Jim Tressel: Ohio State and the Problems Ahead

Sal DeRoseCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Head coach Jim Tressel of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Over the past few months Ohio State has had a couple of problems arise regarding its compliance with NCAA rules.

First it was the players receiving improper benefits, headlined by their star quarterback, Terrelle Pryor. Now it's time they start gunning for the sweater vest himself, Jim Tressel.

The heretofore golden boy of the NCAA head coaching ranks has marred his tenure a little bit with the latest accusation.

According to reports, Tressel knew about the players receiving improper benefits. Not only that, he also received an e-mail about the improper benefits and the fact that two of his players were caught in a federal drug trafficking ring.

Tressel's response, you may be asking? "I will get on it ASAP," according to an ESPN.com report.

That e-mail never even reached Ohio State's athletic department for nine months until now. Oops?

Now the NCAA is once again investigating Ohio State, but this time it's more focused on gunning down Tressel. Ohio State has already taken action against Tressel, fining him $250,000 and suspending him for the first two games of the 2011 season for his failure to notify the school.

The NCAA can reject the self-sanctions placed by Ohio State and create its own sanctions.

No matter what, Tressel will survive the mess that has now been created. He has received a vote of confidence from just about everybody that matters within the athletic department of Ohio State.

"Wherever we end up, Jim Tressel is our football coach," Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said.

Tressel is a great coach and has done wonders for the Ohio State football program. You can't argue with seven Big Ten titles and a national championship. You just can't. He went from a small program like Youngstown State, took over a big-time program in Ohio State and has conceivably dominated the Big Ten since he took over.

But when you look at it, you have to realize that maybe he isn't exactly the stand-up guy everybody portrays him to be. Everybody makes mistakes—everybody knows that. This issue just shouldn't slip through the cracks, though.

Tressel should be suspended a little bit more than the two games that he will miss—perhaps three or four. His players got hit hard with the NCAA rule book; he should be too. He was just as much a part of this as they were.