I’ve never made excuses for Ohio State’s rules violations in 2010. Tressel needed to be out when everything came to light. The players who broke the rules were allowed to play in the 2011 Sugar Bowl after it had been known that they had sold memorabilia. Their suspensions were moved to the beginning ofthe 2011 season. Some of the players had suspensions increased for additional violations. Terrelle Pryor left the program. For the other players, they served their suspensions and returned to the field. They were able to play in last year’s bowl against Florida.
One year ago today, as I woke up in the late morning, I learned that Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel had resigned. A couple of months before, when the news that Tressel had lied about rules violations became public knowledge, in a press conference, a reporter asked if Tressel was going to be dismissed. With all of the public savvy of Joe Biden, university president E. Gordon Gee infamously quipped, “I’m just hoping that the coach doesn’t dismiss me.” Later, Tressel coached in the spring game, and preparations were underway for the 2011 season.
But on Memorial Day, suddenly, the era was over. It was a dark day for the program and for the fans. For a decade, Tressel had been a source of stability. It had seemed like he was weathering the scandal. But then, suddenly, it was over.