By now I'm sure all of you have already heard the news. But in case you haven't, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel is in big, big trouble.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State suspended football coach Jim Tressel for two games and fined him $250,000 on Tuesday for violating NCAA rules by failing to notify the school about information he received involving two players and questionable activities involving the sale of memorabilia.
Tressel also will receive a public reprimand and must make a public apology. The NCAA is investigating and could reject the self-imposed penalties and impose additional sanctions.
All of this started bubbling up last night when Yahoo! Sports broke the story last night that Tressel was made aware in April 2010 that some of his players were accepting illegal benefits.The Yahoo! report was widely criticized in the blogosphere all day because the only shred of evidence they could produce was one anonymous source. But this evening they were vindicated through Ohio State. Give the Buckeyes credit for not trying to cover this up any further and releasing the emails that implicated the sweatervest.
And now for my reaction after the jump.
TWO GAMES? Give me a freakin' break. Does Ohio State really think that's going to fly? They gave the players five game suspensions. These are dump college kids that just sold their stuff for some pretty small amounts of cash so they could get some cheap tattoos. You could almost forgive them, because like every Ohio State fan has been whining since the story broke in December, they were just selling their own stuff that belonged to them. And they got five games off.
Jim Tressel is a grow man in charge of a major college football program. He's paid to know the rules, and he's paid to follow the rules. To knowingly ignore the fact that his players were breaking the rules, and then lie about it when the scandal came to light saying you had no prior knowledge is simply unconscionable. And yet Ohio State thinks they can get off with a two-game slap on the wrist.
I'm not suggesting Tressel should be fired. Personally, I think as a society we're sometimes too hard on people who make mistakes. Our first reaction is all too often FIRE HIM. I don't agree with that, but two games is a joke. They'll let him coach the team all spring, and all summer right up until the first game, and then he'll watch on television while the assistants execute the gameplan he spent all week drawing up. He'll basically let his offensive coordinator call the plays for a game, but nothing else will change. Some punishment.
If I were the NCAA I would be insulted by this overture by Ohio State. Especially after the players got five games. If they get five games, don't you think the head coach who knew about it and let those guys play anyway should get even more than that? I'll be shocked if the NCAA allows it to stand as it is.
At a minimum Tressel needs to be given a leave of absence from the team. If he suspends a player from the team, that guy doesn't play. He doesn't practice. He doesn't even get to stand on the sideline during the game. The same should apply to Tressel. And since the players got five games, I would start at a minimum five week suspension. Since he's supposedly supposed to know better than a 20 year-old, I might even suspend him for a year.
Two games is a joke, and if it is allowed to stand, then the NCAA has lost whatever shred of credibility it has left.