Reviewing Jim Tressel, OSU’s Shame

COMMENTARY | WYTV reports that many Ohio State University football players and former OSU football coach Jim Tressel are at the center of another controversy. Sports Illustrated has published a cover story on the scandal. The story covers the tattoo parlor scandal, in which six OSU players traded memorabilia for tattoos and ultimately were suspended for the violations, along with Tressel, who received a two-game suspension and a $250,000 fine for not letting OSU know about the situation.

The story also delves into misconduct and violations of the same manner, with players receiving illegal benefits at Youngstown State University, where Tressel was a football coach for 15 years until 2001. Sports Illustrated seems to be trying to show a pattern of corrupt and illegal behavior by Tressel which is going to damage his reputation as a college football coach.

One aspect of this whole situation I find very interesting is that Tressel resigned officially Monday from his job as coach. What is really ironic about that resignation was that this cover story hit stands Tuesday, which begs the question whether or not he knew that it was coming out. It almost seems like Tressel was aware of the bad press he was about to get in Sports Illustrated and tried to lessen the damage to OSU by leaving now rather than later. It also makes me wonder whether he was pressured by the organization, or if school officials were aware this story was coming out today.

I also find it interesting that these allegations stem back years, including when he was coaching at YSU in the early 1990s. Tressel spent 15 years as the head coach of the Penguins and it was during that time that quarterback Ray Isaac got into trouble for accepting benefits that were improper and a clear violation of the rules. I find this interesting because it seems to show a pattern of behavior or lack of leadership skills when it comes to Tressel and being a head coach. YSU ultimately admitted these allegations and accepted the penalty but that is not really the issue. Not all of these players could have been the ones to instigate the exchange of products or cash, so it makes you wonder whether Tressel put them up to it or persuaded them to do it, assuring them he would not say anything.

I also find it interesting that the NCAA and OSU are currently investigating star quarterback Terrell Pryor; he has already spoken with investigators. Pryor is also involved in this whole situation, with the investigation centering on whether or not he also received products such as cars or cash, which is an obvious violation of the rules and is highly improper. I find this really depressing because Pryor is a star at OSU and is also a very good football player. I am disappointed he might be involved in this mess with Tressel. Pryor could have a very good career in the National Football League, but this might just mess everything up because it would be disgraceful.

WYTV Staff, “Youngstown Ties Abound In Sports Illustrated Article”, WYTV