Ever since December the public persona and image of former Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel has been in a tail spin. He was seen to be the squeaky clean head coach who was the role model that every kid wanted to play for. But in a recent Sports Illustrated article that image has been torn down and we are shown a seedy underside that Tressel has kept hidden from public persona.
There are reports in the story that talk about his wrong doing as far back as his days at an assistant at Ohio State, but you even learn that he turned a blind eye during his time at Youngstown state. Jim Tressel has been known as the “Senator” because he was so squeaky clean and eloquent when he spoke, he could make you believe the sky was green, even while you could clearly see it’s blue. He was the good christian head coach who did no wrong and played by all the rules. He was what every school wanted to have as far as a coach goes.
The longer things go on, the dirtier the story gets, it has been reported that not only has Tressel known about everything that has gone on under him, he has even helped organize a lot of it. But up until March, he would lead you to believe that he didn’t know it was going on and he was still squeaky clean. With his reputation, you couldn’t help but believe it. His nickname of the “Senator” has become more fitting since all this news broke, because he was nothing but a silver tongued politician who would make you believe he is innocent even with the evidence in his back pocket.
It is highly doubtful that Tressel will walk the sidelines of a major college ever again, but this is one case in light of the new evidence that the NCAA needs to levy some punishment on Tressel and make it where no school will touch him for a long time. Much like they did when Basketball coach Kelvin Sampson got busted and he had a personal punishment besides what his school had to suffer through. Jim Tressel will get hired by some school somewhere in the future if he so chooses, but he needs to suffer with some no name school out of the spotlight.
This is the one chance that the NCAA can really make a statement, and lay down the hammer on Tressel and keep him from having another BCS quality job in college football again. But it wouldn’t surprise me if we ever see Jim Tressel on any sideline ever again, he has made enough money to never have to work again. Only time will tell where he comes back into the public conscience, and I am sure at some point when this is forgotten by most, he will end up being an analyst for one of the networks or even a color analyst at some games.
In the end, we have learned that the sweater vest is tarnished and will never be able to remove that filth that has been uncovered by what was a great coaching career. If this had never come out, we would probably be calling him one of the greatest coaches of all time. So as the tarnished vest rides off into the sunset, I am sure more dirty laundry will be aired before the final verdict is handed down by the NCAA in August.