Tressel Not Alone In the Blame Game

By: T.J. Zuppe

In light of the press conference in Columbus on Tuesday night, which revealed a glimpse at the truth behind the story uncovered by Yahoo Sports surrounding Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, an even greater truth was revealed.

Throughout the wordplay at the podium by Tressel, President E. Gordon Gee and athletic director Gene Smith, we learned that the sweater vest-wearing football coach would be suspended for two games by the university. He was also fined $250,000 for his role in withholding knowledge of a few of his players selling memorabilia in Columbus.

Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel

But the greater truth emerged from behind the curtain, along with the magician act that was soon to follow, as Tressel tried to explain in his best pair of figurative tap shoes.

That truth is simply that the NCAA created this monster long ago.

And no more proof is needed than the man under the microscope on Tuesday night.

Tressel seemed like a man who had escaped the tragedy of a hypocritical nature in NCAA athletics. He has always been about building the individual first, making them better men before football players.

He put so much stress on being a better person. It was that honor and credibility that made the situation even harder to swallow.

Here he was sidestepping questions about the character of himself and his university. The slippery and slimy nature of it all has finally reached its final victim, latching its claws into one of the most proud colleges in the country, the Ohio State University.

It has finally forced a man of high integrity down a road of regret and remorse. Instead of answering questions honestly, it was more of a clean up, full of political answers and dodged questions. The proverbial “we cannot comment on that at this time,” continued to taint a terribly awkward situation.

But honestly, the system can shoulder just as much blame as the Buckeyes.

After all, who would not get their signals crossed by an organization that wants to see the top players play, ineligible or not, in the biggest games, yet decide a suspension is fitting against the “sisters of the poor?”

If a statement is truly to be made, have players sit out of big bowl games. Force Tressel to miss more than just a couple of tune ups for the real season. But then again, who would that really be hurting?

Whether it was Auburn’s Cam Newton playing through a sludge fest of allegations, or even Reggie Bush giving back a Heisman years after tearing it up at USC, can someone explain why it has turned a blind eye when it is beneficial to do so?

Why implement the rules when it is beyond the realm of actually causing an effect? What kind of rules are those?

You already know the answer to this.

So while the cover up of the real story at Ohio State is wrong and very deserving of punishment, at what point will everyone be held to the same standard?

Simply put – they never will be.

Two options present themselves in these types of situations. Either execute the rules to the letter of the law or throw the rule book out completely.

While Tressel has no one to blame but himself, do not forget who paved the way with such a disappointing precedent.

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4 Comments

  1. This is a crap blog. Move to Michigan…please!!

  2. well said TJ i am saddened that the temptation finally got to Tressel but its not all his fault its the NCAA the BCS and the players as well

  3. WHAT I WILL REMEMBER ABOUT THIS SHORT TERM, IS MISSING THE ACTUAL START OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE ON MY SPORTS STATION, WKNR AS AARON GOLDHAMMER DECIDED IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO GLEEFUULLY READ THE SELF-IMPOSED SANCTIONS ANNOUNCEMENT RIGHT OVER THE START. WHAT A DISGRACE…

    HE’S YOUR BOY, RIZZO!!! ENJOY…

  4. Hammer grabs himself at the news. This still comes down to kids making choices, good and bad. I don’t even listen to Hammer unless Rizz is on the air. He wants to be relevent and he is a young twit. His shtick has been here before ie Peter Brown. If I was on the KNR staff I would watch a guy like him. In little ways he likes to point out what others are doing or not doing. You can almost guess what he was like in grade school nosing up to teachers. A tattler. Backstabber. When he gets called on the carpet his voice cracks. Spoiled kid. Even flew back to Denver when his feelings were hurt. Wish he would have stayed.


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