Jim Tressel Suspension: 10 Reasons the Ohio State Punishment Is Not Enough
Apparently, Terrelle Pryor wasn’t worth all of the trouble after all.
The star Ohio State quarterback leads a pack of five Ohio State players who have been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia, which is a violation of NCAA rules.
Ohio State fans have been downplaying these players' suspensions because they believe that under Jim Tressel’s guidance, the program will be just fine for five games.
It will now be far more interesting to start the season.
It turns out that eight months prior to the investigation in December, Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel actually knew about his players’ actions.
For failing to comply with NCAA bylaws and his contract with the Buckeyes, Tressel has now been suspended two games and fined $250,000.
Tressel always appeared to be squeaky clean, but is this punishment enough?
10. Opening 2 Games Are Meaningless
First and foremost, let’s be real here. The first two games are meaningless to Ohio State.
Not only are they in the confines of Columbus, the opposition are Akron and Toledo. These are cupcake games.
This Buckeyes team doesn’t need the four starters it will be missing, or Jim Tressel’s guidance, to take care of business, especially with an entire offseason to prepare.
Ohio State is just giving Tressel a slap on the wrist here. If the Buckeyes really wanted to take a stance, they could’ve, at the very least, suspended Tressel for the first two Big Ten games against Michigan State and Nebraska.
9. Prepare for the Future
This punishment is zilch, nada, nothing. Jim Tressel can say all he wants to the press, he won’t fool many. I highly doubt he gives a damn about missing two games.
A $250,000 fine hurts. Of course it does. Yet we’ve seen bigger fines in sports.
Tressel has violated the NCAA before, which we’ll certainly get to later. This type of suspension and fine might make him think twice in the future, but it’s not enough to make him change his shady ways.
A harsher punishment would send the message home to Tressel that he better not try any funny business again.
8. Have Faith in Program
Ohio State could have sent an earth-shattering message to the rest of the Big Ten and college football in general.
Had they suspended Jim Tressel, and even the violating players, for an extended period of time, they would have sent the message that they have more faith in their players and coaches than just about any other program in the nation. They would essentially be saying that they don’t need Tressel or their starters to win the Big Ten and dominate college football.
Maybe they would come off cocky and arrogant, but at least they would show the confidence in the rest of their coaching staff and talent to maintain success in 2011.
One could even argue that the program would be better off if the higher-ups displayed that type of confidence, rather than the lack of confidence they're showing by the weak punishment.
7. Ohio State Needs to Maintain Its Own Integrity
This weak punishment is proving to everyone that Ohio State really doesn’t care about any violations done at the school. If they did, they’d lay down the law.
Instead, they’re dishing out a measly two-game suspension to Tressel. If Ohio State had any dignity, it’d let the entire nation know that it won’t tolerate such behavior anymore.
It has to make you wonder if they’d prefer kids to know that they might be more able to get away with stuff at their school than at other schools…
6. Ohio State Needs to Make Stand for Entire NCAA
In light of the Reggie Bush reports last year, Ohio State should take it upon itself to make a stand for the rest of the NCAA. Let the Buckeyes take the lead and put an end to all of these shenanigans.
Is it just me, or did USC get the brunt of every other program's violations? The Trojans received a two-year bowl ban last year because of violations.
Yet here we have violations at Ohio State, and the players were able to play in the 2011 Sugar Bowl and are only suspended for five games. On top of that, the head of the football team only receives a two-game ban!?
I wonder what Pete Carroll would have received had he still been head coach of the Trojans…
5. Players Suspended 5 Games
Am I the only one that finds it strange that Terrelle Pryor and his buddies are suspended for five games while the head coach, who knew about this for months and kept his mouth shut to cover up for them, only receives two games?
Is Tressel really any less at fault now?
Isn’t Tressel supposed to be the one guiding these young adults in the right direction?
Look, I’m not trying to be self-righteous here. I understand what Tressel did. Yet he did get caught in the end. If you can get away with something, go for it…but if you get caught, you have to accept the punishment and the disciplinarian must dish out the rightful punishment.
At the very least, Tressel should be sitting with his players for the entire five-game suspension.
4. Violation of Contract
Okay, okay, let me get this one straight.
So we found out that Tressel’s refusal to come clean on this matter prior to the internal investigation was grounds not just for punishment, but termination!?
Whoa. Now that’s harsh.
Yet Tressel knew this and still didn’t come clean, but only receives a two-game suspension!? Somebody please explain how we go from a potential termination and zero income to a mere meaningless two-game suspension and $250,000 fine.
You’re going to tell me Ohio State couldn’t even find a happy medium here?
3. Status Should Play No Role
I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks Tressel is getting away easy because of who he is and what he’s done for the program.
I’m all for reputation dictating punishment. If somebody has a clean record, for the most part, they don’t deserve to be made an example of.
Still, had this been a coach of a lesser profile, how many people want to take on the bet that Ohio State would have suspended the coach for the entire season, or better yet, used that termination clause?
That’s the kicker here. Is the sweater vest-wearing head coach really as pure as Ohio State wants to make him out to be?
2. Not the First Violation by Tressel
So here we go, folks. This is where it all comes out…again.
We forget that this isn’t the first time Jim Tressel has been caught in the mix of NCAA violations.
Oh, ya don’t say!?
So Tressel and his buddies wanted to give Clarett some extra motivation on game day by giving him improper benefits to the tune of thousands of dollars.
Okay, that’s fine.
I’m actually all for students receiving benefits for playing college sports, especially a sport as brutal as football.
Yet when Maurice Clarett is shunned and left to fend for himself after once covering up for Tressel, I have an issue with the higher-ups and most importantly, Tressel himself.
Ohio State has remained a top program despite the Clarett situation. It’s time the NCAA steps in and does some “USCing” on the Buckeyes.
1. Tressel Thought He Was Safe
Wait…the Maurice Clarett scandal wasn’t the first, you say!?
At YSU, Tressel had a great quarterback, who he helped find a way to provide money via a friend of his, YSU head of trustees Mickey Monus. Sound similar to the Maurice Clarett scandal?
The investigation was done internally by YSU and the records were never released. Tressel was quickly hired by Ohio State, thus never having to admit any wrongdoing at YSU.
Tressel wasn’t punished then, and he wasn’t punished for the Clarett scandal either, since Clarett took all of the blame.
Tressel had it easy and thought the pattern would continue.
He knew his players did something wrong and that it was his job to at least tell somebody at the University. He failed to comply with his contract because he believed he was above the law. He was never caught before and he wouldn’t this time around either. If his players took the blame, then so be it.
Why would Tressel care about these players when he didn’t care about his former players who faced similar issues? He thought he was safe and would escape any punishment, again.
It’s about time Tressel’s dirty hands have been put under the black light for all of us to see. Ohio State needed to hand down a just punishment, but they failed to do so.
Would anybody be surprised if another Tressel-related scandal is presented to us in a few years from now?