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Ohio State hired Jim Tressel before the 2001 season to replace John Cooper and to revive its struggling program. Since then, Tressel has brought to Columbus a national championship, three BCS championship births, 7 Big 10 conference titles, a Heisman Trophy, and complete domination over rival Michigan. Unfortunately, the legendary Tressel has also brought shame to this storied program that cannot be overlooked. Under his watch, their have been numerous arrests, questions about recruiting, and concerns regard players receiving extra benefits, but his handling of the OSU Five should be the last straw.As it stands, there is a dark cloud looming over Columbus, and Tressel is to blame. The NCAA has strong evidence that Tressel knew that certain players were receiving improper benefits yet he did nothing to warn the NCAA or notify school officials. He even mislead the NCAA by lying on his compliance form back in September which is in direct violation of university policy and NCAA ethical standards.
If the NCAA’s allegations are true, OSU could face serious sanctions to include forfeiting wins from the 2010 season, limiting future scholarships, and preventing post-season play. Despite OSU having 90 days to respond to the NCAA’s Notice of Infraction, OSU must save the face of the already scarred program by releasing its beloved head coach.
There are serious pending allegations, and to continue the success and uphold the rich tradition of the program, and not to mention the reputation of college football, OSU’s President E. Gordon Gee, who seemingly loves Tressel, must part ways with Tressel.
This would not be the first time OSU had to fire a head coach for improper actions. Back in 1978, the venerable and feisty coach Woody Hayes was fired after he punched Clemson’s Charlie Bauman during the Gator Bowl. Some thought his immediate firing would devastate the program, but the Buckeyes turned out just fine.
Tressel is not, and should not, be treated bigger than the program. For OSU to garner any respect out of this bleak situation, the university must send a strong message. Fire Jim Tressel to send the message that the university will not tolerate certain actions regardless of who you are or what you have accomplished.