Tag:Jim Tressel
Posted on: May 30, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 8:26 pm

Urban Meyer won't pursue a job this fall

Posted by Tom Fornelli

With the news of Jim Tressel's resignation from Ohio State this morning, as you'd expect, it didn't take very long for people to begin speculating about who would be replacing Jim Tressel in Columbus. A name that has come up pretty often in that speculation is that of former Florida head coach and current ESPN analyst, Urban Meyer. Which is probably why Meyer did his best to nip that speculation in the bud on Monday afternoon, releasing a statment through ESPN publicist Mike Humes on Twitter.

"I am committed to ESPN and will not pursue any coaching opportunities this fall," Meyer said in the statement. "I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the people at ESPN this spring and remain very excited about my role with the network this fall.

"Jim Tressel has been a respected friend and colleague for a long time. I wish Jim and his family the very best now and in the future."

Tressel out at OSU

Will this put an end to the speculation? Of course not. Some have already begun trying to read between the lines of what Meyer was saying. Which is not surprising given the nature of the college coaching world. After all, it wasn't that long ago that Jim Tressel was sending the message that he'd wouldn't be stepping down as Ohio State's head coach, and look where we are now.

So no matter what Meyer says publicly, people are still going to speculate that he'll be on the Ohio State sideline in 2012 after taking a year off from the coaching grind. You have to figure that Ohio State will approach him about the job at some point given his ties to the state of Ohio, the school, and his coaching pedigree.

Posted on: May 30, 2011 4:33 pm

VIDEO: Columbus reactions to Tressel resignation

Posted by Adam Jacobi

CBSSports.com was in Columbus today, getting the general consensus from Ohio State students and fans about Jim Tressel's resignation today. 

Obviously, loyalty is important in sports fandom, and OSU is no exception. But one must wonder whether the people praising Tressel's selflessness and doing what's best for the school realize he's only in that position because of instances of greater selfishness and indifference to what's best for the school. This was his mess that he created, then refused to address, after all. But these folks probably don't need to get their noses rubbed in it right now, so their attempts to put a positive spin on the situation can be excused with ease.

Similarly, their desire to see Urban Meyer on the sidelines soon is admirably optimistic, but if Meyer couldn't maintain his health while coaching at Florida, there's no way he would be able to handle Ohio State right now. That's not a knock on his character, but like Florida, Ohio State is a very high-stress job, and his body doesn't handle stress very well. We've seen what coaching does to him. It's not good. But Bob Stoops, though? There's an intriguing name. If there's any best analogue for a powerhouse like OSU replacing a coach amid NCAA sanctions, though, it's USC, so Columbus' expectations might need to get tempered just a wee bit.

Posted on: May 30, 2011 3:54 pm

Jim Tressel resigns; was his tenure 'worth it'?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Any doubt as to whether Ohio State would continue to stand behind its man Jim Tressel through the NCAA investigation was answered today when Tressel announced his immediate resignation from the program. Sure, that's not the same as being fired, but as the Columbus Dispatch reports, that resignation was "encouraged" by Ohio State. The Associate Press' account of the meeting doesn't seem to stray very far from that notion, either.

That departure might be the only thing that saves Ohio State from the worst the NCAA can throw at the Buckeyes. The NCAA's notice of allegations mentions misdeeds by exactly one Ohio State staff member: Tressel. There's also the players' sales of memorabilia and other impermissible benefits received, but that's an eligibility issue, and one that Tressel single-handedly worsened by flagrantly failing to comply with NCAA regulations. If Tressel is removed from the equation, how much punishment does the rest of the OSU athletic department deserve? The way the NCAA's allegations are written, it doesn't appear to be a whole lot.

 So assuming the NCAA doesn't break a bat across the figurative back of the Ohio State football program, considering the entirety of Tressel's tenure in Columbus, will his legacy be overall positive or negative? In other words, would OSU -- or any other school -- do it all over again?

Here are the positives: A 106-22 (66-14) record in one of the most high-profile football conferences in the nation, seven conference championships (either shared or outright), eight BCS bowl game appearances, three BCS National Championship appearances, and one BCS National Championship. Oh, and a 9-1 record against Michigan, a domination that doomed UM coach Lloyd Carr just as much as Tressel's predecessor John Cooper was done in by his ineffectual rivalry record. Few coaches in college history can match a 10-year spree like that. CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy wondered aloud whether Tressel was only good because he cheated; I'm not so sure that causation exists.

The negatives are less numerous, of course, but they're bad. Ohio State's two brightest stars in the Tressel era, Maurice Clarett and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, were both involved in allegations of preferential treatment (Clarett's troubles got much worse, of course, but that's not exactly something to tie back to Tressel). There's a potential situation with Ohio State players and local car dealerships, although there's no allegation (official or otherwise) of any wrongdoing just yet. And then, of course, this, the scandal that just cost Tressel his job. The hand grenade that Tressel had to jump on after he threw it at his players. Lying to the school and to the NCAA about his players' eligibility is, short of major criminal activity or physically endangering his players, just about the worst thing Tressel could have done as a coach. 

The highest of highs. The lowest of lows. The situation's not quite over yet, but what amount of punishment would make Tressel's ten-year tenure not worth it to Ohio State? After all, the entire point of college football is to play for national championships and to beat the living daylights out of your rivals, and Jim Tressel did that in spades. Ohio State's on a streak of seven straight BCS bowl game appearances. Seven. Even if the NCAA hands down a postseason ban of a couple years--and there's not a whole lot about this situation right now that appears to warrant such a ban--is that really enough to put a cloud of shame over the Tressel Era forever? Would no college football fan endure two years' probation for 106-22 in the 10 years prior?

It's not just an idle thought exercise, either. It took Ohio State over five months and the threat of new forthcoming allegations to finally force Tressel out, after all. So that means in OSU's eyes, the stuff that was on that letter of allegations most certainly did not outweigh Tressel's positives. That troubles Gregg Doyel, and it troubles me too. Here's why: if whatever the NCAA throws at Ohio State isn't enough to ruin Jim Tressel's career in the eyes of fans or athletic departments, well, what's to stop this all from happening again and again? 

Posted on: May 30, 2011 1:06 pm

VIDEO: OSU AD Gene Smith's statement on Tressel

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the video statement just released by Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith in the aftermath of Jim Tressel's resignation from the football program:

His three-minute statement largely focuses on the procedure of the resignation and how the administrators went about addressing the team and staff, and there's nothing particularly surprising about it; it was handled the way you'd want an athletic department to handle a sudden resignation.

What's telling, though, is Gene Smith's first mention of the NCAA investigation during the statement, starting at the 2:20 mark (emphasis ours): "As you all know, we are under NCAA investigation. We will not discuss any of the matters around that case, any further accusations that may emerge, we will do what we always do: we respond to them, we will collaborate with the NCAA, and try and find the truth." That acknowledgment that there may be "more" seems to validate Teddy Greenstein's report that the timing of Tressel's resignation is tied directly to a Sports Illustrated article on Ohio State that will be released later today.

Posted on: May 30, 2011 12:35 pm

Full Ohio State release on Tressel resignation

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The sudden (if not entirely unexpected) resignation of Jim Tressel this morning has left the college football world stunned. Here is the full text of Ohio State's press release announcing Tressel's decision and the appointment of 2011 interim head football coach Luke Fickell: 

The Ohio State University announced today that it has accepted the resignation of Jim Tressel as head coach of its 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.

"In consultation with the senior leadership of the Board of Trustees, I have been actively reviewing matters attendant to our football program, and I have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation," said President E. Gordon Gee.  "The University's enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions."

Jim Tressel said, "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."

Athletics Director Gene Smith said, "We look 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."

Smith will reportedly be making a statement within the next couple of hours as rumors swirl about the timing of the resignation. Check Eye on CFB and our Twitter feed for updates throughout the day.
Posted on: May 30, 2011 11:12 am
Edited on: May 30, 2011 11:14 am

Stephen Garcia reinstated by South Carolina

Posted by Bryan Fischer

There's burying news and there's BURYING news. Kudos to South Carolina for announcing a bit of news that was expected for months but was finally made official Monday morning in the middle of news that Ohio State coach Jim Tressel resigned: quarterback Stephen Garcia will be reinstated to the team and be allowed to participate in voluntary summer workouts. He had been serving an indefinite suspension since April 6.

“Stephen is returning to the team on a probationary basis and still has to do some things here for the next two or three months to prove himself worthy of being a student-athlete at South Carolina,” said head coach Steve Spurrier in a release. “We will give him another chance and hopefully he can do the right things and represent the University in a first-class manner.”
Garcia will be re-evaluated prior to the start of fall camp, scheduled to begin August 2nd. He was suspended all of spring practice earlier this year after a series of incidents, starting with allegedly partying before the Gamecocks' bowl game last season and, later, not representing himself at a school function.

“Being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina is a privilege, not a right,” said Athletics Director Eric Hyman. “We explain to all of our student-athletes that there are consequences for their actions. Our main goal for Stephen at this time is to assist him in developing the decision-making skills that are needed for managing life in general, whether as a student-athlete, a person, an employee, a spouse or a parent.

“So the ball clearly rests in Stephen Garcia’s hands.”

Garcia has started 28 consecutive games for South Carolina and was expected to be the starter for a team coming off an SEC Eastern Division title last season, the first in school history. He graduated in May with a degree in sociology but did not pursue transfer options at the time, leading many to read between the lines and see that Garcia would likely be back with the team for the beginning of the season. With today's announcement, it appears that is all but assured.

Posted on: May 27, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 4:11 pm

Don't expect changes at Ohio State anytime soon

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It seems as though the NCAA troubles at Ohio State have taken more twists than the latest episode of General Hospital, with a new story seemingly popping up every day. The latest twist seems to come from former Buckeye Ray Small denying many of his comments to the Ohio State student newspaper, The Lantern, about multiple student-athletes selling memorabilia and receiving discounts on cars. Small's story is just another thing for some fans to shake their heads at in the nearly five months since violations involving the so-called 'Buckeye Five' were brought to light.

“There are no other NCAA violations around this case,” athletic director Gene Smith said in a Dec. 23, 2010 press conference. “We’re very fortunate we do not have a systemic problem in our program. This is isolated to these young men, isolated to this particular incident. There are no other violations that exist.”

As time has passed from that presser however, Smith has seen several other damaging stories about additional violations - head coach Jim Tressel lying to about his knowledge of the case being the biggest - since then. It's quite possible that even more could come out before the school's August 12th hearing before the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

Several alumni, fans and media members have publicly called for the resignation of some of Ohio State's leadership - particularly Smith and Tressel - as a way to stave off possible sanctions. That, however, doesn't appear to be on the table in the near future based on documents obtained Friday by the Associated Press and CBSSports.com.

Although the school declined to turnover communications from Tressel to administrators involving quarterback Terrelle Pryor (citing privacy laws), they did release several documents that pointed to Smith's standing in the athletic department.

More on Ohio State
"You are doing an excellent job leading the department of athletics and achieving national prominence. It is truly a privilege to work with you," University president E. Gordon Gee wrote in Smith's most recent performance review. "I want to strongly state - with great emphases - that I consider you a role model for leaders as to living the institutional values, incorporating the culture principles, and creating one of the highest performing organizations on campus.

"Over time we will reach the point where I recognize your University leadership role with a Vice President title."

Gee's comments, written in August of last year, seem to channel his thinking with Tressel and speak to both leaders' stature at the school despite being at the center of the controversy in Columbus.

“No, are you kidding me? I’m just hopeful that the coach doesn’t dismiss me,” Gee said during a March press conference.

While widely mocked about the comment, it appears it's very reflective of Gee's thinking about the Buckeyes head coach and the documents released today seem to reflect the same about Smith. Tressel's performance evaluation was done verbally and thus, was not able to be requested.

There's still plenty of time between today and the school having to explain themselves to the Committee on Infractions. It seems hard, however, to fathom that Gee will make a move against either Smith or Tressel in the meantime.

Posted on: May 18, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 7:07 pm

AUDIO: Adam Jacobi on Aaron Torres Sports Podcast

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Last night, I was fortunate enough to join Aaron Torres of AaronTorres-Sports.com for a quick podcast. And by "quick" I mean "over an hour long." Hey, we like to talk. There might be a stray profanity or two, so mind the kids and coworkers if you're going to listen, but if there is any swearing it's it's mild and sparse. Your sensibilities will not be seriously threatened.

We cover a lot of topics -- as you would hope for an hour of audio, really -- including the latest developments in Jim Tressel's ongoing saga, my bone to pick with the College Football Hall of Fame, the confluence of recruiting and To Catch A Predator, the Big Ten situation in general, and who I'm picking for the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game (HINT: It's Purdue and Kansas State! No it's not.)

Normally, I take this space to expand further on a point I didn't make adequately enough in the podcast, but c'mon, I had an hour, so just go ahead and listen. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com