Stop making excuses for Tressel

The NCAA was aware of the rules violations of five Ohio State football players and affirmed five game suspensions for them earlier this year.

Then things got much worse. It came to light Tressel knew about the violations and lied, and now there are reports that even more players had done the same thing.

Pryor and everyone else who got this started should just be kicked off the team! Right?

No. That’s crazy. If we do find out that there were additional violations by Pryor of which the NCAA was unaware, then that may be justified. But the NCAA has already decided what the appropriate penalty is for these guys based on what they did. A week ago, most Buckeye fans would have been happy with the penalty they received, but now that the situation seems so much worse than we had originally thought, those guys deserve to be punished to a greater degree?

I just don’t see how that logically follows and that this is a knee jerk reaction.

Well…. Tressel had to resign for what they did. If he can’t coach, they shouldn’t be able to play.

Actions of the players were definitely the original sin in this debacle of a situation, but the scale to which people were breaking rules and high profile players were breaking rules with Tressel fully aware and lying to the university and to the NCAA on multiple occasions and running a program over which he had lost control was one in which he could no longer reasonably remain as the head coach.

The players are isolated entities in themselves. They broke the rules and that was wrong, but those who had already been caught have received their punishments for the rules they had broken individually.

The fact that this was rampant in the program with Tressel at the helm doomed him.

But some make the mistake of viewing Tressel as a martyr or the one who took the fall. If it is ever found that university president Gordon Gee or athletic director Gene Smith knew this was going on, they too will be forced out.

Tressel built a program around integrity with a philosophy of teachable moments through the game. When he found himself in a situation where he could have (and should have) done the right thing, he lied and misled again and again.

Even now as he resigns. It’s not because he suddenly became honorable. It’s because the university was tipped off by Sports Illustrated  that another shoe was about to drop, and you can be sure that they told him to take himself out like how the Nazis took down Erwin Rommel.

People are making too many excuses for Tressel. It’s not because of some tattoos that he no longer gets to be coach. It’s because he lied and withheld information. There is no excuse for that. This program was never going to seriously regain credibility with him at the top.

Throughout Tressel’s career, players had issues with rules. While I know that no program is perfect, when there is proof that he lied and it was rampant, how many more chances were we going to give him?

In a couple of years when someone else got in trouble, was that going to be the time he was fired? It was going to be an inevitability.

While I don’t think these players should be kicked off of the team unless more information about them comes to light, I do think Luke Fickell needs to lay down the law that from this day forward, any player caught selling personal items will be thrown off of the team.

Earlier in this post, I said that the punishment for players should not suddenly be made more severe because more information is coming out about more rules violations from other players. But I do think that Tressel should be out.  Am I not guilty of the very thing about which I am complaining? No. Because I don’t think Tressel should have resigned over these latest details about the scandal. He should have resigned in March when it initially broke that he knew and lied, just to protect start football players.

jrb

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