The Vest might be gone, but former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel leaves behind thousands of Buckeye fans pondering what's next for their program after his resignation on Monday. Now that the news has had time to sink it, let's take a spin around the Ohio State blogosphere to hear what folks are saying about the latest bad thing to happen to their program.
Along the Olentangy gets its Sufi on.
Tressel departs Ohio State not as a liar; not as a manipulator and certainly not as a cheater. He leaves a man that cared for people--especially his players--and it's being that man that got him into trouble. He was a man that is larger than life, yet always smaller than the company he kept.
However, as easy as it might be to characterize the man with effusive praise and note how difficult replacing him will ultimately be, it's neither the time nor the place for such adoration or resignation to the eulogy of Ohio State football.
After all, as Tressel would be the first to say, the program is not about one individual or one coach. While the hurt and disappointment will resonate and linger for many months, the program will move forward. This too shall pass.
This is a fact: Tressel ran a program that preached virtue, public service and self-reliance. Most of his players bought into it. Some of his players abused the hell out of it; players that he took a chance on against what should have been his better judgment. Toxic, lost causes like Ray Small, whom Tressel repeatedly tried for years to wake up and change for the better even though he contributed virtually nothing to Ohio State's gaudy win total during his four years in Columbus.
Small, a championship simpleton, still does not seem to realize that Tressel was out to help him for all of those years. If Small hadn't been sleeping at study tables of flunking out of survey courses at Ohio State while he pretended to be a college student he would have been decapitating rabbits behind a barn in a Steinbeck novel. He was beyond help. Tressel did not care. He probably still thinks he can help him.
Ian from Inside The Shoe was hoping for more in the Sports Illustrated piece on Tressel.
What we all found was...well, nothing. The only big deal would be the fact that 9 other players were involved with the Tattoo guy, Rife. Those players were: defensive back C.J. Barnett, linebacker Dorian Bell, running back Jaamal Berry, running back Bo DeLande, defensive back Zach Domicone, linebacker Storm Klein, linebacker Etienne Sabino, defensive tackle John Simon and defensive end Nathan Williams.
It doesn't help Sports Illustrated's cause when more than half the article that was written, didn't even pertain to the fact of Tressel in his OSU era. Most of it was during his time at Youngstown State. Really? I mean, give me a break. The fact that they say they've "dug up" some pretty serious stuff is just looking plain stupid right now.
Andrew from Waiting For Next Year doesn't think compliance is anything a coach should be worried about.
It’s a shame that Jim Tressel didn’t do the right thing. A lot will be said and written today and in the coming weeks about everything that went on at Ohio State, but at the end of the day, the minute Jim Tressel received that email from Christopher Cicero, he should have done the right thing and passed the information on to OSU’s compliance office.
When this story is written it’s going to be overlooked that compliance is not the job of a head coach. There are highly trained, highly educated compliance officials hired by the University whose job it is to
overlookoversee (ed. note: horrible slip up there) everything and make sure these kind of overarching problems don’t exist.
Many will tell you that Tressel is at fault because he didn’t monitor the program, but a big part of the reason Tressel got himself into so much trouble was precisely because he tried to act as a compliance official on his own. Rather than letting the experts handle it, he decided to deal with it himself.
Finally, Larry Burton of the Bleacher Report whacks Tressel.
I would love to say that Tressel fell on the sword to save the school and salvage a portion of his reputation, but that day passed long ago. It passed when he tried to serve a paltry two-game suspension as his penance, then was shamed into accepting the same five-game suspension as his players accepted.
No, Tressel didn't resign to attempt to save the school—he waited until his agent, lawyers and entourage made sure he'd still leave with some cash from his contract, assurances that the school would cover his legal fees, which could be substantial, and other things.
Tressel didn't attempt to save the school with this resignation, that day had passed. He was only attempting to save his own butt again and save some cash.