It’s time for Jim Tressel to be fired from his post as the Ohio State University football coach. Tressel is accused by the NCAA of lying about when and how much he knew about NCAA violations that some of his players, including star Terrelle Pryor, were committing by selling their memorabilia.
It’s time for the university to concern themselves about their reputation. It’s all about trying to stay ahead of the firestorm that will ensue and quickly engulf the program.
The thought around much of college football is that the progress of the investigation will be slow and nothing may be decided until after the football season in 2011.
Regardless, it is time for the university administration, as well as Athletics Director Gene Smith, to think about how much they really value the national perception of Ohio State. Tressel, who has the highest winning percentage of any Buckeyes coach ever, has put the reputation of the university and the future of its football program on the line because of his actions, or lack thereof, and must be held accountable.
Originally, Tressel claimed he didn’t know anything about the actions of his players, but as time wore on it was discovered that Tressel not only knew but contacted people to try and quell the violations by recruiting the help of people who knew the athletes and taking his findings to a lawyer. This realization quickly debunked any assertions Tressel had made about his ignorance in the matter and instantly made it a viral story all around the country.
It only got worse for the Buckeyes head coach when it was discovered that he had told everyone that he didn’t want to jeopardize an ongoing investigation into a tattoo parlor owner who was being investigated by the FBI. But then it was discovered that he had forwarded the emails he was protecting to a friend of quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
So the decision Ohio State faces is similar to the one that Tennessee had to answer with Bruce Pearl and to some extent BYU with Brandon Davies. The Buckeyes have to decide whether to stand on principles or to let what Tressel has done play out in the media and with the NCAA regulations. Hopefully for college football and those who admire Ohio State, the Buckeyes’ leaders will stand for the right thing. As much as we all love to see that vested genius walk up and down the sidelines at games, it’s time for him to go.