After months of snowballing revelations about NCAA infractions, Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel resigned earlier today. Tressel had already been suspended for the first five games of 2011 for lying to the NCAA before and during its investigation of his program.
Tressel had failed to report infractions by his players involving the exchange of memorabilia for improper benefits, most famously free tattoos for star QB Terrelle Pryor and others. Five Buckeye starters will be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season as a result of the violations.
Assistant coach Luke Fickell has been named interim head coach for 2011. Fickell, who had been Tressel’s defensive coordinator, was slated to coach the team during Tressel’s suspension.
Although athletic director Gene Smith and university president Gordon Gee had been publicly supportive of the embattled coach, no one at the university can be entirely surprised by his resignation. With NCAA hearings scheduled for August, the Buckeye program faces severe penalties, and Tressel’s departure may help to soften the blow.
Read on for all the latest buzz regarding Tressel and the Buckeye program as fallout continues from his sudden announcement.