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Fickell: Our Focus is on What We Control July 28, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - "Appearing at his first Big Ten Media Days as head coach of the Buckeyes, Luke Fickell was admittedly nervous, but ultimately stuck to the message. That message being the past is out of his control and he can only look towards the now.
Appearing fourth after Zook, Bielema and Hope, Fickell opened with a statement expressing his gratitude to be coaching the school he loves:
I just want to start by honestly saying how honored and grateful I am to be up here representing the Ohio State university, a place I know, love and respect as much as anything in my entire life.
As you can probably imagine the last few months have been nonetheless a whirlwind, exciting, crazy, emotional, but yet very productive as well.
Fickell went on to stress the importance of the stability in his staff:
I think and believe the number one most important thing for our program right now, as well as for me, is the stability that we've had in our coaching staff. The experiences that we have had as a staff over the last eight, nine, 10 years is invaluable. I think this alone will allow us and help us to move forward and allow us to focus on what we need to do to be successful on and off the field and do it now.
He then opened to questions and the first one had to do with the quarterback battle. Fickell seemed to imply that it was a two-man race, which might be news to Kenny Guiton and Taylor Graham:
That's going to be an interesting question. Again, I think our focus is going to be on a competitive nature. We have four obviously very capable guys, one being maybe a 25-year-old senior and one being an 18-year-old freshman and everywhere in between. We refer to all of this them as being young.
Fickell was then asked about Braxton Miller, specifically:
I think he has a lot of similar qualities in what he can do as a football player. Again, we're excited. Obviously we had him through the spring practice, but excited to see how he can continue to grow and how he can put our football team in the best position to win...."
Ohio State coach Luke Fickell speaks with members of the press at the 2011 Big Ten Media Days in Chicago on July 28, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors
Ohio State tight end Jake Stoneburner speaks with the press on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors
Ohio State safety Tyler Moeller speaks with the press on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors
What they're saying May 31, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Reaction to Jim Tressel's resignation:
"I think that if it had been me, I would've made the decision at the (March 8) press conference to say, 'I own this, I'm totally responsible and I deserve the opportunity to make this right and I will make it right.' I don't know why they didn't do that. That's the biggest mystery in the world to me." - Chris Spielman, Ohio State linebacker, 1984-87
"In my opinion, I don't really see the cheating everybody talks about. I could see if he was giving players money or supplying us with steroids. That would be different. This was the actions of a couple individuals. And the last I checked, a tattoo doesn't make you run any faster." - Dionte Johnson, OSU fullback, 2004-07
"We live in such a cynical world where everyone wants to rush to judgment and condemn people at the drop of a hat. The truth is, though, that for 10 years the man did a better job than anyone outside of maybe Woody Hayes when it comes to running the Ohio State football program the way it ought to be run: by winning with integrity." - Anthony Gonzalez, OSU receiver, 2003-06
"Actions of individuals can bring you to this point, but I don't think it's the whole program that should be tarnished by this. Punishments have been handed down to guys who messed up, and they know they messed up. I guess this just happens to be the punishment handed down to him, but since he's at the top, he had the farthest to fall." - Dane Sanzenbacher, OSU receiver, 2007-10
"I still today have great admiration for coach Tressel and what he was trying to do. As a former player, I appreciate what he did. He was handed a bad deal, and instead of doing what he was supposed to do, he tried to do what any coach would want to do - take care of your players and try to make the problem go away." - Kirk Herbstreit, OSU quarterback, 1989-93
"... what upsets me most is that everybody around the country is so quick to point to the negative, and I'm very cognizant of all the good things that have happened, not only on the field but off the field, since he's gotten here." - Craig Krenzel, OSU quarterback, 2000-03
"Probably the biggest is his passion for all things Ohio State and the players. I think he was committed to Ohio State and its success, and I think he was committed to his players." - Jim Heacock, defensive coordinator
Bob Hunter commentary: This had to happen, for benefit of program May 31, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...There's still a lot to admire about Tressel , both as a man and as a football coach, but Ohio State has been down this road before. Nobody is bigger than the program, and it had reached a point where his positives couldn't possibly overcome the damage he was doing to it. It's sad to see a good man's life cast in such cold, stark terms, but, well, business is business..."
Current job: ESPN analyst after stepping down as head coach at Florida following last season.
Coaching resume: Owns a 104-23 overall record, including a 7-1 mark in bowl games and two national championships at Florida (2006, 2008). Was 17-6 in two seasons at Bowling Green, 22-2 in two seasons at Utah, then was 65-15 in six seasons at Florida. Recognized for his spread offense.
Connections: Born in Toledo, grew up in Ashtabula, where he starred at St. John High School. Played defensive back at University of Cincinnati. Was a graduate assistant at Ohio State 1986-87.
Bo Pellini Age: 43
Current job: Head coach at Nebraska.
Coaching resume: Has a 30-12 record, including a 3-1 bowl record in three seasons at Nebraska, his first head coaching job. Spent 16 seasons at an assistant coach, including nine in the NFL. Most of his background is on the defensive side of the ball.
Connections: Youngstown native as a safety and team captain at Ohio State. Was nicknamed "Bo" after former Browns running back Bo Scott.
Mark Dantonio Age: 55
Current job: Head coach Michigan State.
Coaching resume: Has a 51-16 record as a head coach, including 18-17 in three seasons at Cincinnati and 33-19 in four seasons at Michigan State, including a share of the Big Ten championship last season. Spent 23 years as an assistant coach, most on the defensive side, including three defensive coordinator jobs.
Connections: Native of Zanesville, started his coaching career as a grad assistant at Ohio University. Also had coaching jobs at Akron and Youngstown State (under Jim Tressel). Served two stints as an assistant at Ohio State, including three years as Tressel's defensive coordinator.
Luke Fickell Age: 37
Current job: Interim head coach at Ohio State.
Coaching resume: Has been an assistant on the OSU staff since 2002, when Tressel named him special teams coordinator. Later became linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator. Also coached defensive line at Akron for two years.
Connections: Besides being on staff, he was a standout nose tackle for OSU from 1993-96. Was born in Columbus and attended DeSales High School.
Dan Mullen Age: 39
Current job: Head coach at Mississippi State.
Coaching resume: Has a 14-11 record, including a 1-0 bowl mark, in two seasons at Mississippi State. Spent 15 seasons as an assistant, several as QB coach for Urban Meyer at Bowling Green, Utah, then Florida.
Connections: None, other than the Meyer connections.
Gary Patterson Age: 51
Current job: Head coach at Texas Christian.
Coaching resume: Has a 98-28 record in 10 seasons at TCU, with a 6-4 mark in bowl games and four conference champions. Spent 20 seasons as an assistant coach, including three as defensive coordinator at TCU.
Darrell Hazell Age: 47
Current job: Head coach at Kent State.
Coaching resume: Was named head coach of the Golden Flashes in December, after seven years as an assistant at Ohio State. He was assistant head coach/wide receivers coach for the past six years. His first job as an assistant was at Oberlin and other coaching stops were at Eastern Illinois, Penn, Western Michigan, Army, West Virginia and Rutgers.
Connections: Had often been mentioned, along with Fickell, as possible successor to Tressel. Played college football at Muskingum.
Tony Dungy Age: 55
Current job: NFL analyst for NBC.
Coaching resume: Compiled a 139-69 record in 13 seasons as a head coach in the NFL, six with Tampa Bay and seven with the Indianapolis Colts. Won two Super Bowls and three AFC championships. Started his coaching career as an assistant at the University of Minnesota, before taking assistant positions in the NFL with Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Minnesota. Known for his defensive prowess, especially the Cover 2.
Connections: Strong Midwest ties. Born in Michigan and went to college at Minnesota. Played for Steelers, 49ers and Giants in NFL.
Bob Stoops Age: 50
Current job: Head coach at Oklahoma.
Coaching resume: Has a 129-31 record in 12 years with the Sooners and a 6-6 bowl record. Won the national championship in 2000 and has won seven Big 12 championships. Was an assistant at Kent State, Kansas State and Florida before getting the job at Oklahoma.
Connections: Born in Youngstown, the son of longtime Cardinal Mooney High School coach Ron Stoops. Three brothers are coaching in college: younger brother Mike is head coach at Arizona, older brother Ron is an assistant at Youngstown State, and youngest brother Mark is defensive coordinator at Florida State.
Jon Gruden Age: 47
Current job: Analyst for ESPN.
Coaching resume: Had a 100-85 record as an NFL head coach, including 38-26 in four seasons with Oakland and 57-55 in seven seasons with Tampa Bay. His playoff record was 5-4 and included winning Super Bowl with Tampa Bay in 2002. Spent seven years as an assistant college coach and five more as an assistant in the NFL.
Connections: A Sandusky native, he grew up a fan of the Browns and was rumored to have been a candidate for the Browns job before Pat Shurmur was hired.
Chris Petersen Age: 46
Current job: Head coach at Boise State.
Coaching resume: Has a 61-5 record in five seasons at Boise State and a 3-2 record in bowl games. Only two-time winner of the Bear Bryant Award as National Coach of the Year and also won Bobby Dodd coach of the year award. Spent 18 seasons as a college assistant, including five as offensive coordinator at Boise State.
Connections: The California native has spent most of his career out west, except for one season as quarterback coach at Pitt.
Less than three months after President E. Gordon Gee and Athletic Director Gene Smith said they fully supported their embattled coach, mounting pressure, a pending NCAA disciplinary hearing and new revelations about the culture of the program forced the university to act on their once-revered coach, sources said.
University officials wouldn't confirm that Tressel was asked to resign. Gee had appointed a special committee within the past month to assess the impact of the football scandal on the university, an indication that Tressel's departure was in the works for several weeks.
Luke Fickell, who had been named to coach the first five games of the season while Tressel served his suspension for withholding information from the university compliance office and the NCAA, will serve as interim coach of the Buckeyes all of next season.
Met outside the Woody Hayes practice facility at OSU today, Fickell declined to comment.
In an email announcing the resignation to students, Gee said that "recruitment for a new head coach - which is expected to include external and internal candidates - will not commence until the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season."
Tressel flew back from Florida last night for meetings with OSU officials. Assistant coaches and players were informed this morning.
The Dispatch has obtained a memo Gee sent to OSU trustees this morning:
"I write to let you know that later this morning we will be announcing the resignation of Jim Tressel as head coach of the University's football program. As you all know, I appointed a special committee to analyze and provide advice to me regarding issues attendant to our football program. In consultation with the senior leadership of the University and the senior leadership of the Board, I have been actively reviewing the matter and have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation.
"My public statement will include our common understanding that throughout all we do, we are One University with one set of standards and one overarching mission. The University's enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions," Gee wrote.
Trustee Algenon L. Marbley, reached this morning, declined to comment and said that trustees decided that Gee would speak for the university.
Tressel addressed the team in a meeting at 8:45 a.m. Sources said that it was an emotional moment. He then left the room as Fickell talked to the players who were told not to comment on the situation.
Athletic director Gene Smith, who also attended the meeting, declined to comment but said in a release that he is looking "forward to refocusing the football program on doing what we do best - representing this extraordinary University and its values on the field, in the classroom, and in life. We look forward to supporting Luke Fickell in his role as our football coach. We have full confidence in his ability to lead our football program."
In a release, Tressel said it was best that he leave.
"After meeting with University officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach. The appreciation that Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable."
"Today, the University is announcing Jim Tressel's resignation as head coach of the University's football program. Luke Fickell will serve as interim head coach for the 2011-2012 football season. Recruitment for a new head coach - which is expected to include external and internal candidates - will not commence until the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season.
"Throughout all we do at the University, we have one set of standards and one overarching mission. As we move forward, the University's enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions," Gee wrote.
Jim Lachey, former OSU lineman and leader of the Gold Pants Club, said Tressel "is a great football coach; he really did some great things at Ohio State.
"More than anything, I hope people remember the first nine and one half years more than they remember the last six months," Lachey said. "It's unfortunate because I think what he did the first nine and half years was as good as any football coach here at Ohio."
Ohio State's football program came under fire in December when six players were suspended by the NCAA for selling or trading uniforms and other memorabilia to a Columbus tattoo-parlor owner. The NCAA also drew criticism for allowing the players to participate in the Sugar Bowl instead of serving their suspensions immediately.
Tattoo-parlor owner Edward Rife was under investigation for drug trafficking when his unrelated trading for OSU memorabilia came to light. It was revealed in federal court on Friday that Edward Rife, owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos on Sullivant Avenue on the Hilltop, agreed in December to plead guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering. As part of the agreement, Rife must forfeit all of his OSU memorabilia if he does not come up with $50,000, the amount federal investigators say he made in profit selling marijuana.
Tressel expressed surprise in December at the revelations of his players being involved with the tattoo-parlor operator, but the university learned in January that Tressel was told of the relationship last April in an email from a former OSU player. The coach did not share that information with the university as his contract requires, nor did he reveal it when he signed an NCAA compliance form in September verifying that he was unaware of any possible violations.
He was suspended two games and fined $250,000 for his actions. He requested that his suspension be increased to five games to match the penalty his players received. The university obliged.
Tressel's contract was renewed last spring through 2014. He earns about $3.7 million annually in salary and other incentives. He leaves Ohio State with an impressive coaching resume, having led the school to its fifth national title as well as directing impressive runs of Big Ten championships and victories over archrival Michigan.
The coach who came to Ohio State from Division I-AA Youngtown State University leaves OSU as one of the most recognizable figures in college football and all sports with a record of 106-22 at OSU. His winning percentage of .828 was better than the legendary Woody Hayes (.761).
If you follow this site on Twitter, or have an account, you've seen the Tweets of @ActionJackson66, as well as other Ohio State fans, who have 'tweeted' such things as "Tressel's lying is a fact. The coverup is a fact. Quit your denials my buckeye brother," and "Because we need to fire Tressel ASAP to get our reputation back. We need to cleanup NOW &set example of clean program," and "To deny our reputation is in tatters is foolish. Nobody will trust us until we fire Tressel."
It's a constant battering from him, and to a lesser degree others.
This is my response to @ActionJackson66 and all of those who feel the same way:
Why continue to bludgeon Ohio State, something that is bleeding and something you purportedly love?
Is it attention for yourself that you seek?
The media today is almost always sensationalism over substance. We keep reading/hearing/seeing there is more to come from the media and bloggers ...yet none of these attention whores is informing us of anything that is "new." Doesn't that fly in the face of how they operate?
Journalism today is almost always break the story first and get the facts later.
What continues to be reported by the media was all self-reported by the university to the NCAA. What out there is new?
The program has suffered enough embarrassment to last a lifetime. That disappoints me terribly.
Public perception of Ohio State athletics can't go much lower than it already has, which is almost rock bottom. The embarrassment is what it is.
However, I will not throw Jim Tressel under the bus making him a sacrificial lamb we offer up to the media and public; a sacrifice for forgiveness.
Tressel has earned our support and respect, notwithstanding this incident.
You will never find me in favor of having Tressel take the fall in an attempt to save face with a public that is already circling like vultures.
Did Jim Tressel make a mistake...of that there can be no question.
As @JTFriedman tweeted, "If Jim Tressel should be fired for telling one lie and hiding a bone head mistake, then we should fire 90% of congress, the media and lawyers."
Firing Jim Tressel before he, or the program, have their day in court, i.e., NCAA hearing, is wrong, unfair and offensive to me.
We do not know all of the facts, contrary to what anyone believes. To state anything else is simply opinion.
The last time I checked we still lived in the United States where one is innocent until proven guilty. Hasn't Tressel, like every American, earned the right to be treated this way?
Let the governing body, the NCAA, be the final arbiter on what both Ohio State and Jim Tressel's punishment should be.
What happens if new details, aka "facts", emerge in the course of that hearing?
While there is reason to be cautiously pessimistic for what the future holds, I choose to be cautiously optimistic.
You won't see me getting worked up into a lather over public opinion, new rumors or all the unfounded and unverified information that is being disseminated.
Everyone it seems wants to be the next Bob Woodward; this is their Watergate. However they are more like Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, the Iraqi Information Minister under Hussein in 2003...enough said.
Buckeye Nation stand strong.
Tressel's lawyer: 'I am not a rah-rah fan' May 18, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "When Gene Marsh agreed to serve as counsel for Jim Tressel at the Ohio State football coach's appearance before the NCAA Committee on Infractions, he did not sign on as a cheerleader.
In fact, Marsh said, that would be the last thing a coach would want when he faces the 10 committee members on Aug. 12 in Indianapolis. Marsh knows that as well as anyone; he was on the infractions committee for nine years, serving as its chairman for two.
"The exchanges that matter most when it comes to coaches who are the subject of a serious inquiry like this are the ones that come directly between the committee and the coach, not the exchanges from the committee to the coach's lawyer," Marsh said. "In fact, they will get tired pretty quick of hearing too much from the lawyer, and they will tell you. They might even say to the lawyer, 'Shut up and stand down.'"
Marsh said the real value in such hearings is when committee members look into a coach's eyes when he answers questions that cut to the heart. Tressel, he added, can be expected to expand on his admission that he did not forward information, as is required by NCAA rules, about some of his players possibly receiving improper benefits from a tattoo-parlor owner.
"'What were you thinking? What motivated you to do this?'" Marsh said. "If that didn't matter, you wouldn't have a hearing. ... The body language, and how sincere the individual is, it matters a great deal. It is the show."
At one time or another, the 59-year-old Marsh has been in every seat that matters in a committee-on-infractions hearing room except that of an NCAA enforcement officer, who is a prosecutor of sorts in a case.
"I've even been on the hot seat," Marsh said. "I was faculty representative at the University of Alabama when we had several major-infraction cases," including the pay-for-play case involving player Albert Means.
Marsh, a native of Dayton, said he was in the Army infantry for three years before enrolling at Ohio State. When he showed up on campus, he was "all business," taking 20-plus hours per quarter on his way to a bachelor's degree, then a master's in 1978.
"I didn't go to one Ohio State football game during that time," Marsh said. "The last game I attended there was about in 1988. So I am not a rah-rah fan."
In fact, he and fellow attorney William King from the Birmingham, Ala.-based firm Lightfoot, Franklin & White worked with Michigan during its committee-on-infractions hearing last year.
"I think it's safe to say I had absolutely no ties to Ann Arbor," Marsh said. "But they were a great institution to work for, and they made me proud because they were so forthright about everything. When you are lawyering a case, you just squeeze the fan element out of it."
That said, Marsh is sold on his new client, Tressel, who faces a $250,000 fine and five-game suspension imposed by OSU before the NCAA has its say; the Committee on Infractions could levy further penalties.
Marsh said he's been struck by the scoffing of some in the media at the proposed penalties against Tressel.
"This case has had no small amount of incredible piling on by media who otherwise - their sole credential is blankety-blank dot-com," Marsh said. "All is fair in love and war, and people are free to write what they want. But it's almost as if some people think if they write one more article, it will be the straw that broke the camel's back."
That's not the way it plays out in the room, Marsh said.
"This is a serious matter with serious people involved," Marsh said. "They are not going to get all jazzed up or get their head turned by some dot-com writer somewhere."
Such experience is one reason why Tressel hired Marsh, whom he described as "a good guy." Tressel refused to comment further.
Marsh emphasized repeatedly that his only allegiance in the case is to the coach; it's not to Ohio State athletic department officials, who also will be at the hearing. He also said that his having been on the committee will have no bearing on current members or be, "as some have suggested, some kind of inside track or whatever. That is just complete baloney."
But Marsh's experience did help him learn that "what really matters to committee members is to try to get an understanding for the coach, their ethic, their lifelong work, their reputation, and whether their institution believes in them. And that's not in any way to diminish the fact that Ohio State has said this was a great big mistake" by Tressel, he said.
"But the institution (in not firing Tressel) also has a bigger picture in mind, and that's the lifelong work of Tressel, and what he has done for kids, what he has done for the school, what he has done for great causes above and beyond that."
Buckeye Motors: Welcome to Cargate! May 10, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - "It's a clever little sequel to Tatgate, except that not all of the stars from the original blockbuster returned for part two. So basically it's Speed 2: Cruise Control. Draw your own box office parallel. We've heard the stories for awhile about how Ohio State football players - most notably Terrelle Pryor - had acquired vehicles from the same salesman, a guy named Aaron Kniffin. That story, which grew wings once Tatgate broke in December quickly dissolved once OSU Compliance ruled in January following an internal investigation that nothing improper had occurred. Fast-forward four months to Saturday when the Columbus Dispatch published its own investigation of the transactions between Kniffin and dozens of Ohio State athletes and their relatives along with the news that OSU Compliance was going to re-examine the already-vetted car deals. So this is actually a sequel to the original, short-lived Cargate. A sequel no one really wanted. Just like Speed 2. Mere hours after the Dispatch story broke, ESPN also made it a front page story. For those of you playing the ESPN Selectively Newsworthiness Home Game, Cargate II was acknowledged exactly two years, eight months, 11 days and several hours faster than the Reggie Bush investigation was. And it seemed even faster than that because in the Big Ten everything moves too fast for us hurrrrrrrrrr..."
The NCAA has accused Tressel of lying, he will serve a five game self-imposed suspension next season and the Ohio State football program could be facing harsh NCAA sanctions.
But so far, one important audience, high school recruits, still hold the Ohio State coach in high regard.
"To tell you the truth it's a bit of a non-issue with the top prospects," National recruiting expert Tom Lemming told WTVN. "He's built up a great program at Ohio State. He made a mistake, has admitted that mistake and will suffer the consequences of that mistake, but as far as recruiting is concerned, it's business as usual for Ohio State. I have not heard one ball player say they're not going to go to Ohio State because of this incident."
And Lemming should know. The CBS College Sports analyst has been an authority on recruiting for more than 30 years. He is currently in the middle of his annual cross-country trek to scout and visit the nation's best high school prospects.
"From what I've seen and heard from kids, there's no drop off in interest in with the Ohio State Buckeyes," Lemming said. "And I've seen no drop off in loyalty to Jim Tressel. The ball players love him, the high school coaches love him, he'll pay the penalty and then move on and right now I think (players and coaches) will move on with him."...
Tressel appears before the NCAA committee on infractions on August 12. It will be months after that before Ohio State finds out what sanctions it faces. Potential punishments include vacating wins in the 2010 season, a reduction of scholarships or even a post-season ban.
"If it lingers it will have an affect in that other schools will use it against you," Lemming said. "Reduced scholarships would hurt...that's an obvious. The post-season ban really affects the current team right now. The majority of recruits would red-shirt so it would have little affect on them. If Ohio State gets a two-year ban now, it really affects the current team much more than it affects the prospects."
Southern California's football program is dealing with harsh NCAA penalties handed down last year from the Reggie Bush scandal. But despite scholarship losses and a 2-year bowl ban, U.S.C. produced one of the nation's top recruiting classes in February. Lemming said he would not be surprised if Ohio State is able to survive this year with similar success.
"This is what Jim Tressel and Ohio State should do right away. Tell the prospects exactly what happened, exactly the situation the NCAA is investigating, and what they expect to happen," Lemming said. "If it's brought up, out front with a recruit he's going to see that and he's going to take everything that's said to him by other schools as negative. If you don't say anything or pretend it's business as usual, that's when the kids start believing the other schools."..."
Click HERE to listen to recruiting expert Tom Lemming talk with WTVN's Matt McCoy about the affect the NCAA investigation is having on OSU recruiting
Concrete Blonde: He's a Buckeye, and he's fake - but he's not a fake Buckeye. May 3, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...This isn't really a column about Kirk Herbstreit. This is a column about you, the easily-persuaded plebes who continue to fuel the false narrative that Ohio State fans are ruthlessly terrorizing Herbstreit for simply speaking truth to power. This is about setting the record straight. It's too easy to paint the Ohio State fan base as a cauldron of unsophisticated zealots who take to the streets with torches to go after anyone who dares to sully Buckeye football with unpopular remarks. Falling for the fiction that Herbstreit has fallen out of favor with Buckeye fans only for traitorously speaking ill of Ohio State is absolutely lazy..."
Fused together by wins and pride, separating Jim Tressel from Ohio State would be no easy task May 1, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - Jim Tressel is not bigger than the program. But in his 10 years as Ohio State's head football coach, Tressel has become so interwoven with the program that separating him from the university, if it comes to that, requires surgery. The situation is too tangled for a clean break, and the calls for his removal in light of his NCAA violations, while understandable, don't give enough credit to the relationship that existed before..."He really has managed to synergize the long, proud history of Ohio State, and mainly doing it right, with the Tressel lifestyle and the Tressel value system," Ohio State professor and faculty rep Dr. John Bruno told me before the 2010 season. The story I wrote on Tressel then, detailing the way so many people in and out of the athletic department viewed him as a symbol of what was right not only with the athletic department but the school as a whole, may seem quaint now. But the point was the perception. It was very real then, and to some extent, remains true now. "Of all the coaches I've worked with, he is not only the best coach, he is also the best person, and that is saying a lot," OSU president Dr. Gordon Gee said then..."
Woody and The Vest -- Two coaches united by success and scandal May 1, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - Scandal brought down the greatest coach in Ohio State history, Woody Hayes, but there were signs all along that it was coming. Scandal may well bring down the Buckeyes' second-greatest coach, Jim Tressel, more than a generation after Hayes punched Clermson's Charlie Bauman in the Gator Bowl. Few saw it coming..."
Jim Tressel as Jim Tressel May 1, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - If you took the time to read the NCAA's rejection of the final appeal from former USC running backs coach Todd McNair on Friday, your stomach likely settled somewhere under your bladder. The first attempt to appeal any part of the sanctions levied against USC last summer was met with a kind GTFO, locking in McNair's show-cause, and the language used in the NCAA's response (PDF) gives us a pretty good indicator of what we'll see later this fall when the NCAA makes a decision..."
2011 Ohio State Spring Game Breakdown - Part 1 Source: Bucknuts.com
2011 Ohio State Spring Game Breakdown - Part 2 Source: Bucknuts.com
2011 Ohio State Spring Game Breakdown - Part 3 Source: Bucknuts.com