For anyone who has ever played the game of truth or dare, you know that a person asks you a personal question about yourself, you can either tell them the truth or take the dare—whatever that dare may be.
Ex-Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel seems to know how to play the game well. Instead of just telling the NCAA the truth about what happened last summer with a few of his players, he dared not only the NCAA, but the national media to look more into this story—which, of course, they did.
What they found was more confusing and more complex than people could imagine. Tressel basically lied.
Now, what reasons he had for lying can be argued.
If you are an Ohio State grad like ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, you want to believe that Tressel did it to protect his players like a good father would to protect his children.
But if you are cynic like me, you believe that Tressel did it so he could win ball games.
I find it interesting that most of the media, including me, saw Tressel as an stand-up guy who would never cheat, but according to history, Tressel has cheated in the past.
He cheated at Youngstown State. It just so happens that the NCAA and Youngstown swept the incident—another former player receiving benefits—under the rug, making a clear path for Tressel to leave for Ohio State. Tressel spoke of integrity and such in books and on the rubber chicken circuit, but it looks like even he was not toting that line himself.
Tressel is like every other coach in the country; he wants to win, and he wants to win by any means necessary. Tressel, like so many coaches before him, sold his soul to the devil, and now the devil has decided to come collect.
What the devil has collected is not only Tressel's job, but his reputation as well.