Tennessee Football: Why Jim Tressel Is Worth the Show-Cause Penalty

Alex Callos@@alexcallosCorrespondent IDecember 1, 2012

HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, PA - AUGUST 20:  Former Ohio State Unversity football head coach Jim Tressel laughs following Terrelle Pryor's pro day at a practice facility on August 20, 2011 in Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

There are more than a handful of college football programs looking for a head coach right now, and one of the biggest schools on the list is the Tennessee Volunteers.

After another disappointing season that saw a 5-7 record and a 1-7 mark in SEC play, Tennessee fired head coach Derek Dooley and is now in search of its next coach.

A lot of names have surfaced, but perhaps the biggest name on the list, John Gruden, has just removed himself from consideration.

Now Tennessee will have to look in a different direction. Perhaps the name it is looking for is someone who is not only one of the most successful head coaches in the history of college football, but a coach who is also ready and available. 

Enter Jim Tressel.

That's right, the former Ohio State head coach might be the perfect fit for the Vols. While many do not know too much about the stipulations of hiring Tressel, they can be very easily explained.

Tressel has a five-year show-cause. The penalty, however, is virtually nonexistent after the first five weeks of his head coaching tenure.

During that time period, Tressel can not participate in practice, meetings or games. He also must submit a progress report to the NCAA every six months. Tressel must also miss the team's bowl game in his first season.

He can still do everything else essential to being a head coach, such as recruit and hire his own staff.

For Tennessee, what better way to get back on the national stage than to hire a coach who is one of the best the college landscape has ever seen.

Some Vols fans may cringe at the thought of having a rule breaker as its head coach. Hopefully, those aren't the same fans who are calling for Bobby Petrino as its head coach.

Petrino has been getting plenty of looks for a head coaching position, so why not Tressel?

After all, his crimes are much easier to defend from a moral standpoint. Tressel has never been caught for recruiting violations or for throwing money around. 

His only crime was not going to the higher-ups when he heard about the free tattoos his players were receiving.

While what he did was wrong, it is nothing close to as severe as what Petrino did.

From a moral standpoint, Tressel is not a bad guy. Giving him a second chance would not only make him grateful, but would also give the Vols the best available head coach.

For a program that has been struggling in recent years, giving a guy like Tressel a shot just might be the best decision this program has made in quite some time.