The embattled Buckeyes coach has been under intense scrutiny since December when news broke that some of his players—including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor—were selling Big Ten championship rings and other memorabilia to a local tattoo parlor owner.
The tattoo parlor owner was under federal investigation for drug trafficking and money laundering, and law enforcement agents discovered separately that he was buying memorabilia from the players.
The Dispatch noted that "mounting pressure, a pending NCAA disciplinary hearing and new revelations about the culture of the program forced the university to act on their once-revered coach, sources said."
Neither school president E. Gordon Gee, athletic director Gene Smith nor Tressel could be reached immediately for comment, according to the newspaper, which noted that assistant coach Luke Fickell will serve as interim coach of the Buckeyes in 2011.
Fickell had already been tabbed to coach the first five games while Tressel served a suspension for lying about his knowledge of information to the NCAA and OSU's compliance office.
The Dispatch obtained and published a memo Gee sent to OSU trustees Monday morning that read:
“I write to let you know that later this morning we will be announcing the resignation of Jim Tressel as head coach of the University's football program. As you all know, I appointed a special committee to analyze and provide advice to me regarding issues attendant to our football program. In consultation with the senior leadership of the University and the senior leadership of the Board, I have been actively reviewing the matter and have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation.
"My public statement will include our common understanding that throughout all we do, we are One University with one set of standards and one overarching mission. The University's enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions.”