Monday, May 30, 2011


Jim Tressel
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)

That is the only word that holds the power to describe how I really feel about Jim Tressel’s resignation.

I want to feel sadness for him because he’s done so much for The Ohio State University, the entire athletic program and the Columbus community.

I want to feel anger toward the NCAA for having such ridiculous rules prohibiting players from selling their own merchandise for a little bit of change and some ink.

I want to feel relieved because I know that with Tressel turning in his resignation papers, this unofficially sparks a direction leading Buckeye Nation out of this entire mess.

I want to feel resentment toward every player who helped nudge Tressel into this terrible series of events.

I want to feel suspicious of Gene Smith, the university’s athletic director who supposedly had no idea any of the allegations toward Tressel had gone on.

But all of these mixed emotions equal an unfortunate sensation in the pit of my stomach. Tressel was a made man, in a sense. Not really untouchable, but more in the idea that he would never put himself in a situation that wouldn’t produce a few positives. As a fan, I knew Tressel would never involve himself in scandal because he just wasn’t wired like that.

Boy, was I wrong.

It’s unfortunate that Tressel will no longer be roaming the sidelines on Saturdays in the fall. The guy seemed destined to pull a Paterno and lead Ohio State into the next three decades. But all of that is gone. 

Tressel is gone.

It’s unfortunate that Tressel didn’t push all of the weight of “Tattoogate” on to university’s compliance department and let somebody else deal with the situation. It’s hard to believe it’s come to this, but if Tressel simply forwarded an e-mail to the compliance department then there would be a much smaller and much less costly mess to wipe up.

It’s unfortunate that Tressel went out the way he did. Much like former legendary coach Woody Hayes, Tressel has seen his departure unfold much sooner than anyone imagined.

It’s unfortunate to know that instead of being “stuck” with Tressel and the impending actions of the NCAA, we’re now glued for another season to the six players who originally started this whole disaster.
Tressel was a great coach, a great leader and a great man. It’s hard to not let this situation define his term at Ohio State because of how simple it could have been to stop the inevitable avalanche.

Nonetheless, the era of the “Sweatervest” has ended.

Pardon me for a moment while I get a tissue.