Jim Tressel: Machiavellian or Looking out for His Players

Derek CrouseContributor IIIMay 31, 2011

Who's to blame?
Who's to blame?Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The recent resignation of Jim Tressel due to players receiving things from tattoos, cars and other services is another aspect of college sports that is common, but when players and coaches are caught is becomes a big story. The timing of this occurrence seems very planned.

The press release seems a bit orchestrated because of the news breaking on Memorial Day when nobody is watching the news. Covering for the players is one thing, but when it becomes a trend, it shows that the respect and honor that Tressel earned from people wasn’t warranted.

The guy who looked like a high school principal is stripped of that image forever.

This is the type of politics we see in college sports and we shouldn’t be surprised when news like this breaks. Just like in life, there is favoritism, back-scratching and greasy hands. The trick is to not be so obvious about it, but having a large sense of entitlement always leads to slip-ups, missteps, and serious violations.

Previously, when the Terrelle Pryor story broke, many thought it was an isolated incident and trading Ohio State memorabilia for tattoos seems pretty inconsequential. Tressel made him sign a paper saying how he would come back next year and serve a five-game suspension.

The story gets bigger when stories come out that over two dozen players have done the same things while Tressel knowingly just pushed it under the rug.

When you want to get to bowl games and get that coveted high school prospect, there are certain things you are willing to do to make it to the top. Focused guys like Tressel put blinders on and do whatever is in their power to climb the mountain.

Whether you call it lying, cheating or withholding information it is a way to succeed no matter how Machiavellian.

Type A personalities have their own set of rules…

If the college players have a coach who let them take deals on cars, trade sports gear for services and have tickets exonerated, what do you think they will do?

Tressel said he didn’t know anything about the issues, which is par for the course. One thing is certain, that tattoo parlor will get even more business due to this situation.

Minus the issues of money or gifts being exchanged, who was hurt from these actions…nobody.

This argument goes on and on about what college-athletes deserve when it comes to preferential treatment. Honestly, I think that getting tattoos for gear is something very insignificant, but when you are a Division I football coach, the rules are quite different.

You have to represent you school as well as your sport. Getting a deal on a car or getting a cushy job is something that has been going on for years. The coaches don’t always know, but when a coach knows and lies to officials, he has nowhere to hide.

If Tressel was to admit that this went on, I think that people would take it easier on him.

We always are willing to forgive somebody when they tell you once they’re found out, but when they deny, deny and deny, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Most “star” college athletes are not worried about representing their school.

The majority are there to use that vehicle to enhance their lives down the road. Are the plethora of basketball athletes who stay in school for one year so they can bank in the NBA care about the nationalist-type loyalty for their school? They are there to get theirs, that’s the bottom line.

Just face it, not everybody is Tim Tebow. Pryor will be the scapegoat in Buckeye nation, but he was just one of many. Many of these college students come from backgrounds where they had nothing and now they are offered something.

Do you shun them for taking it or should the coach guide them? These are all ethical debates that come up during stories like this and surely will be hot topic.


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