What Kills Us In the End

By Jake on June 15, 2011 at 1:00p
Never a doubt of his dedication

Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak
Of one that lov'd not wisely but too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought,
Perplex'd in the extreme. . . .


Passion is a curious thing. People are capable of the most heinous crimes and the most heroic sacrifices in the name of love; whether love of family, love of country, love of money and power, or simply love of the game. Passion makes us, and it ultimately ends us. 

And in truth, it was Jim Tressel's passion for football, and his love of Ohio State that allowed him to achieve everything he did in his decade as Head Coach. That passion, plain to see to anyone who meets him, gave him the dedication necessary to succeed, and it carried over to the players on his team. From the moment he stepped onto the court back in 2001 for "The Speech" he's been the very embodiment of Ohio State tradition. 

When word leaked of his knowledge of the Tat-5, it was not a betrayal of the university and evidence of a duplicitous and conniving con-man who lied to everyone for an entire decade. You cannot fake the kind of sincere admiration and respect that Jim Tressel has for Ohio State, nor can you deny that most every person the man has touched claims they are better people for it.

So when people start tossing around words like "immoral" with regards to Tressel's recent actions, I cringe. The reality is, following or breaking rules is not an inherently immoral action. Motivation matters.

I cannot claim to know the mind of the man, by all accounts Jim Tressel tried to act in what he considered the interests of his team and his university, rather then for himself. And if the university and team are suffering for his sins, he certainly bore the brunt of the resulting response.

That's not to say that Tressel's conduct had to be entirely unselfish, himself a martyr to the evil NCAA empire. The rules are in place for a reason, and what is good for the Buckeyes and The Ohio State University is not necessarily good for all of the other Universities in the country, or College Football generally. As admirable as love of family/clan/team/whatever is, the greater good is more important than any constituent part.

We can blame Pryor for being an entitled and spoiled punk, we could blame Christopher Cicero for his self-serving reveal of his correspondences, or we could blame the NCAA for it's Kafka-esque rulebook that seems to have more to do with appearances than fairness. But Tressel bears the ultimate responsibility for his demise.

In Shakespeare's play, Othello's passion for Desdemona ends up destroying both of them in the end. In much the same way, Tressel's dedication to those he cared about the most ultimately led to his demise, and significant hardship for those connected. 

I don't know whether Tressel deserves any sympathy. I don't know if he's merely the latest in a long line of ignonimous exits. What I do know is that he had to leave the program, and what I do know is that Jim Tressel has made many young men better people for working with him. 

As with all things in life, the exit of Jim Tressel is a messy, complex, and entirely gray thing. What can you call a good man whose passion both destroyed himself and cast down his house? It is the essence of tragedy; that love can destroy. 


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Bucksfan's picture

You've gotta be kidding me, Jake.  Romanticizing these events?!  C'mon!  Is he passionate about Ohio State?  Yes.  Did he f' up?  Yes.  Are the two related?  I certainly hope not.

btalbert25's picture

I just have to think that if he was so passionate and loved the university so much, he certainly would've known that his actions were going to be extremely detrimental to the Ohio State.  Especially, when he lied to the NCAA 8 months after the initial information came out. 

I have a great deal of respect for the man, and wouldn't go so far as to call him immoral, but I have a hard to believing that the BS he told the NCAA 8 months after the fact was incredibly self serving.  Anyone who knows anything about the NCAA and their method of punishment, knows that it's not the violation of the rules that the come down on the hardest, it's the covering up and lying that follows.

I don't question that kind of many Jim Tressel is.  There is way too much evidence that the school, students, and fans were better off with him at the helm.  Nor do I question is passion for the university.  I just don't agree that he was blinded by his passion for Ohio State that he lied to the NCAA. 

BuckeyeMark's picture

Bucksfan beat me to it.  Let's not try to dress this thing up, or blame others (esp the media).  Tress cheated.  Period.  Cheated and lied a lot that we know about for certain and probably even more if you take account turning the blind eye.

If you take what Tress did and sub the word "Saban" in we'd be screaming to high heaven about Bama and the SEC (and who'd be surprised? -- maybe it's not "if" but "when").

Tress cheated and lied.  End of discussion.  There is no excuse for what he did.

And as a result he got the Bucks in a TON of trouble.  I'll be interested to watch all this "I still love Tress, he's a good man" blather disappear when the NCAA hands down heavy penalties that hurt us big time.  If scUM wins against a depleted Bucks team two years from now you won't hear many people praise Tress for his passion...  and while we watch bowl games on TV that we are banned from I won't be quoting Othello.


chibucks's picture

thanks jake, i thought it was well written.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Good job Jake.

Sometimes the world isn't black and white and during those times of ambiguous shades of gray I tend to make decisions with my heart, thinking that karma/God/whatevs will see that I'm trying to do the right thing and it will go unnoticed because I'm doing the right thing and the crime is always so entirely petty. From what has come out, I believe the violations regarding the tats were extremely petty and Tress overlooking signing a document for such a petty violation is also petty.  Being lied to may piss off the rich old white guys raking in tons of cash who call themselves the NCAA but it's still petty and very hypocritical.

We don't know Tress's motives, that is certain, but hearing those he has impacted it's hard to think his motive was just to win football games.  If I had to speculate, I would guess that it was to give those kids a chance to be great.  To give them an opportunity at history and making a future so that someday they could pay that forward.  He wasn't afraid to take chances on kids who had a few character flaws, maybe we need more people like that.....

btalbert25's picture

I thought the piece was well written as well, but at the end of the day does it really matter what your intentions are if you get caught cheating?  There is one answer, NO.  I don't care what the reason was, his actions were directly responsible for Ohio State's problems.  He's going to cause the program to get hammered.  I find it hard to believe he was trying to protect anyone or was acting with honorable intentions.  Especially after he was asked by the NCAA, 8 months later, if he had any information.  That's what I have the hardest time with. 

That's the problem I've had this whole time.  People keep waiting for the whole story, or want to believe he was acting in the right.  I personally think it's a naive way of looking at things, but that's irrelevant.  He cheated and the program is going to be set back quite a few years because of it.  It doesn't matter what his intentions were.

doodah_man's picture

We seem to be experiencing all the emotions that are expected when someone of JTs caliber falls. I can tell you, as I sat in my living room in 1978, watching the Gator Bowl, feeling numb at what I saw unfolding before me, it was incredibly similar to what you are feeling now.

For 27 years, Woody Hayes was Ohio State football. Sure, there were rumors about tirades and cruelty to his players. If you read the literature, you will see that there were many players who would give up their moral soul for Woody Hayes. There were stories about what he did for the university, the way he conducted himself, and what he did for others. Now, on national TV, he was punching a player on the field. Even six years later, when I learned of his death, I was angry that all the good things that Woody did were reduced to a 15-second clip of the 1978 Gator Bowl.

This is an individual thing. Some of us are going to remain angry with JT for some time. Some of us will look only at the good and forgive the bad. Many of us are going to go through the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) because we are experiencing a loss. Whatever your take, own it, and then admit that you might be wrong.

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

Irricoir's picture

All I know is that T. Pryor has been in my dog house since he was a freshman (I am sure he's not worried about that) and has continually disappointed me with the comments and proven infractions. (Not to mention the accusations, still unproven.) He is no longer on the team and the lead catalyst for all of this drama. Now that he is moving on, I wish him the best and hope that he can continue to grow into a respectable, responsible man. If I can still support TP then there is no reason in my mind that I can't continue to support Jim Tressel. Regardless of a disappointing season, I can't cast hatred onto the man that has given so much to the university and the people of this city because of the win/loss column. I will sure as hell be disappointed and might wish the scenario had never taken place, but for all I know at this moment and all that any of us know, there is no reason to vilify him yet.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

BuckeyeMark's picture

the parallels to Woody and the dreadful Gator Bowl incident are obvious ... but remember this: Woody embarassed and hurt only himself.  the NCAA didn't hammer us because he hit a kid.

people talk about how JT is an honorable man (no, he's not - he lied and cheated) and how they still support him (seriously?).  just wait till the NCAA nukes the program and see how charitable you feel toward the man who was responsible for keeping us out of such a catastrophe and manifestly failed.

that doesn't mean I hate him but I am sure not happy with what he did, nor will I try to justify it, blame others for it, or somehow cast him in a better light. 

you get us put on NCAA probation, schollies revoked and a bowl ban and in my book your contact info gets re-filed under "V."  V as in VILLIAN.

I predict by the time this ends JT does NOT become the warmly loved and well received former coach as Woody finally became.  I predict by the end JT is viewed with scorn, derision and outright anger for what he did to our Buckeyes.

Bucks's picture

I'm glad we all live in a place we are welcome to have our own opinions. Sorry, but mistakes by someone don't wipe out their past/present/future. I'm surely not going to condemn a man in the manner you do.

Past that, what Jim Tressel was responsible for wasn't good by any means & we certainly would/will face some form of penalties on that. The difference between the original issues vs any ability to prove the additional allegations in the eyes of the NCAA are night & day. The only way we are getting "hammered," is if any of these additional stories with anonymous sources is able to be proven.

I realize for a ton of people the allegations seems to blend in with what we are officially facing right now. Until there is some notice from the NCAA about it, we are absolutely NOT getting the hammer so many outsiders are foaming at the mouth for.

Irricoir's picture

He screwed up and made a monumental error in judgment. From what I know right now, I will not condemn him because he made a mistake of the heart. Now, if it turns out that he did other things like pay for play and did some other form of ethical wrong doing (Paying players for recruitment and things of that nature) then that would damn him in my eyes. Knowing they would be ineligible and rolling the dice was a stupid move but p4p and things that give us a recruiting advantage along those lines are one of the few things that could make me turn my back on him. For what we know right now, what is proven, regardless of a possible bowl ban and a few scholarships reduced, I still support him and do not view him as a villain. I have lied and regretted it. I will not cast the first stone. We learn and grow, I just wish that Jim would be in a light that we could see him conquer this.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Pam's picture

Sorry, but Woody wasn't the only one who was hurt and embarassed by his throwing a haymaker on national TV. Yes, he lost his job, but to this day that incident is brought up whenever somone derides tOSU as a rogue program with out of control coaches. When the Prez of tOSU who fired him died, his obit in the NYT's said "Ohio State President who fired Woody Hayes dies" He died in '06, 28 years after he let Woody go.  There was no mention of how he had increased minority and women's enrollments or that tOSU had a Nobel Prize winner during his tenure.  I am pretty sure his legacy suffered because of what Woody did.  But, 28 years of coaching were not wiped out in that one act during the Gator Bowl and neither will the last ten years of Tressel's career be.  He will be in the CFBHOF just like Woody and their will be a banner in the 'Shoe with his name on it just like Woody.  I for one, supported his hire from day one and believe he did the wrong thing for the right reasons.

btalbert25's picture

I don't understand why it's one extreme or another.  It seems like people think you automatically are smearing a guy's legacy because you can recognize the severity of the 1 action that ulimately defined their career.  Woody Hayes punched a player who did nothing but burn his players on the field of play.  That, by a college coach, is inexcusable.  No one can deny the good he did or the players and young men he impacted while coaching.  I can certainly recognize the how great he was.  I can also totally agree that Woody deserved the venom he received afterward.  If Woody was half the man everyone on here claims he is, he probably hated himself for that 1 incident as well. 

I will always defend the great things Jim Tressel did, but they have nothing to do with him cheating.  That 1 transgression will be what is mentioned first as well it should be.  In life we are judged by the good and bad things we do.  People will always remember how good he was, but he should be remembered for this monumental F up and the fall out that is going to result as well.  You can recognize the significance of both. 

Bob Knight is a first class asshole, he assaulted players, threw stuff across the court and bullied reporters all the time.  He also graduated a ton of kids and was a positive role model to many.  Both can be recognized, but you don't forgive and forget the horrible things a guy does because he also did a lot of good. 

NW Buckeye's picture

OK, Jim screwed up big time.  And, it will probably cost tOSU severe sanctions.  But I know the man, and can honestly understand the dilemma he was in that made him screw up.  I can say that I would have acted differently, but I now have hindsight on my side. 

The whole thing just does not make sense.  He is being accused of a massive coverup in order to win.  How can you cover up something that is under investigation and will be made public at some point in time?  It makes absolutely no sense for anyone to think that the facts of a Federal investigation would not be made available to the public, the University, the NCAA, the Sports media, etc, etc. 

I re-read the emails that Cicero sent.  No where in them is there concrete evidence of wrong doing - much circumstantial evidence, yes.  The best that one could have hoped for as a result of these emails is the commencement of a full blown investigation to get to the bottom of things.  Should he have turned it over to compliance?  Yes, we all know that.  But, the fact of the matter was that a full scale investigation had already been launched and the facts in the case were going to surface.  I can kind of understand that line of thought.  Was it right?  Who am I to say?  My point is that short of seeing the results a full blown investigation (one that was pending) there was no way to know if the allegations in the emails were correct. 

I can say that as someone facing their first experience with a Fed investigation I would probably have elected to lay low and let them ferret it out.  We now know that was unmistakably wrong.  He should have immediately turned if over to the compliance office - the compliance office would have begun their investigation, and all the media hype that we are now experiencing would have come out in May '10.  What you say?  Not possible for a confidential compliance investigation?  Just who do you think was leaking everything to Wetzel, et. al.?  Hindsight also gives us a look at just how transparent University Compliance Offices really are (thanks, FOI).  And, the NCAA's offices are not much better (although they do not have to comply with FOI). 

The accusations of Tressel just wanting to keep the players eligible in order to win is laughable.  There are too many examples of him making players ineligible for "violating team rules" or for other grounds when big games were on the line.  I know that many people just can not fathom that Tressel had a genuine concern for the well being and safety of his players.  That is because none of those people would feel that way.  It is always easier for them to throw someone under the bus than to actually try to help them improve.  That seems to be the prevailing attitude in our society.  Damn the person who screws up, make sure to put as much distance as possible between them and yourself.   

I am not trying to paint Tressel as a saint here.  He screwed up.  We all know that.  But, to condemn him mercilessly the way most bloggers do is just as much of a screw up.  And, if you can not see that you need to sit back and chill. 

Pam's picture

No coach had more job security than Jim Tressel.  He was not on the hot seat desperate for a winning season.  Was the team in the NC hunt? Of course, they are every year, 2010 was no different. No one can ever convince me he had  nefarious intentions by not reporting the violations

Bucksfan's picture

Buckeyemark, you're probably right about how Tressel will be remembered...not warmly, but with at least some degree of scorn.  No other OSU coach was ever found to have knowlingly played players he knew were ineligible, which is cheating, then lied about it until the proof hit the public.  Buckeye fans who are still in support of Tressel and his supposed legacy are, in my opinion, living in a naive world.  It's easy to live in a naive world when nothing bad has happened yet.

Woody is looked at as an asshole because of his overall stubbornness and the way he left the game, but is certainly regarded as a full legend in the eyes of the game's history.  He's a coronated saint in Ohio.  Tressel is a cheater and a liar.  And if you talk to non-Buckeye fans from around Ohio, they have been pointing to how shady his programs have been going all the way back to his years at YSU.  The fact that Tressel created this aura of do-no-wrong just adds insult to injury for us all.  This validation will forever keep him from attaining legend status, and it will always taint the decade.

He beat Michigan a record 7 times in a row?  Yeah, but he cheated.

He won a national title?  Yeah, he should have won more, but Maurice Clarett was a cheater from Youngstown, just like Tressel.

Troy Smith won a Heisman?  He tried to cheat, too.

Terrelle Pryor beat an SEC team?  Show me where it says that, because it doesn't seem to show up in the record books.

If the NCAA hammers us, how awesome will it be to win the Leaders and have to watch Wisconsin in the B10 championship or Rose Bowl game?  How great will it be to watch Luke Fickle lose big recruits to Wisconsin and Michigan with only 10 scholarships at his disposal, or the 7-5 seasons that could result from it?  How about if we lose to Michigan this year?

Bucks's picture

You know, I certainly don't agree with Mark or it seems, yourself in regards to how you view this man. I certainly respect that everyone has their different viewpoints though. I'm absolutely not naive & don't live in alternate realities.

It isn't naive to point out that with what we're currently facing, the punishment(s) for that based off past cases are not the "bringing the hammer down," that some seem to expect. Just because there are anonymous sources out the wazoo claiming everything dirty possible, doesn't mean they are factual or that they can be proven.

Bucksfan's picture

None of the anonymous material went into my assessment of how the NCAA is going to rule.  Knowlingly playing illegal players to preserve your chance at winning, and leaving a paper trail of lie after lie about that is all the NCAA needs to come down hard.  I would consider just half the penalty that USC got a harsh judgement.  Missing out on the first Big Ten championship race is going to turn this exciting new era for Ohio State, the conference and its network into a big joke.  If they take scholarships away, the NCAA will have reduced the best team in a weak conference to a mediocre team in a weak conference.

The NCAA is certainly not going to do nothing here.  They're not just going to erase 2010 for Ohio State and call it all good.  And it will be all Tressel's fault, whether you like it or not.  If you're willing to look the other way because Tress visited children in the hospital or was dedicated to kids graduating, that's your perrogative.  But to me, that's naive. 

In the NCAA's eyes, winning helps you recruit.  The more you win, the more attractive you are to play for.  No one in the region won like Ohio State.  And Ohio State's football players have a 10 year history of cheating in different ways.  Now, the coach was found to be cheating to obtain a competitive advantage.  The NCAA has already made mention of all of these events, past and present, in their report.  They will definitely penalize Ohio State's competitive advantage it gained under Tressel's winning tenure.  That's just how they operate.  They don't require coaches to be good community members or make their students get straight A's (a C-average is compliant).  That's left up to you.

When Ohio State returns to the spotlight atop the conference, it will not be because of what Tressel built.  It will be in spite of it.

Bucks's picture

Never once said the NCAA would do nothing. In fact, I agreed they would. We just completely disagree on what will be coming (at this moment).

It was already widely talked about back when all this first broke that since this is not a recruiting violation, there would likely be no recruiting penalties (and if any would be assessed, they would be directed at JT, who is gone).

Again, never said I was looking the other way & in no way have I tried to justify JT's actions. I will not though, talk about this man like he is a farce, piece of garbage who has doomed this university. It is absolutely not true.

What I will absolutely do is understand that no person is infallable & sometimes people make mistakes. I will absolutely take into account that I don't know him, but there are plenty of people who have known him. What they say about him & how they perceive him is entirely worthwhile. College football or any game, is not something I choose to define someone as. You can call it naive to not condemn him, I could care less. 

And honestly, some of the comments about JT or someone who has made a mistake or even multiple mistakes, make me cringe. I might as well call any number of people I know who have, in their life, done something wrong & tell them they are forever that. Nothing else matters. The mistake is you for eternity.

Not going to happen. A person, in this case Jim Tressel, DOES stand on more than their coaching of a football team.

Bucksfan's picture

USC committed no recruiting infractions, but got docked scholarships.  So, you're wrong.

Bucks's picture

No USC was found guilty of:

"18 specific instances of violations by Reggie Bush or his family, including a house for his parents, a car (with new rims and a stereo), airfare, hotel stays, limo services, meals, car repairs, clothing, furniture and and appliances.

12 similar instances of violations out of basketball player OJ Mayo.

Running backs coach Todd McNair was found to have known or should have known of Bush's activity and was also cited for lying during the investigation.

Further violations by the women's tennis program and a failure of the athletic department's infrastructure when it came to oversight and policing.

Together, these findings led to a charge of Lack of Institutional Control."

-Per Jason above.

They also willfully blocked and attempted to hamper the investigation. There was also an agent involved.

^The above is why recruiting/scholly sanctions came into play.

Bucksfan's picture

Look, if you're not going to at least acknowledge something you wrote then we can't have a meaningful conversation.

Bucks's picture

I fully acknowledge what I wrote? It seemed you were drawing a comparison that was nowhere close to being comparable. USC had a multitude of violations that stemmed multiple programs & tried to stop the NCAA at every turn. They got LOIC which brought the scholly/recruiting issues.

Edit: They also had a compliance department that was an issue, something that thus far we don't. In fact, I believe we recently got a positive acknowledgment by the NCAA.

Currently we have a coach cited for 10.1 lying (and one of the few who got cited for that & not numerous other violations) & is now gone from the university.

I don't see recruiting becoming involved in our penalty.

Bucksfan's picture

Well, I hope you're right.  And I'll eat my humble pie if it doesn't.  But from what I'm reading from analysts all across the country, experts are expecting OSU to get hammered worse than USC.  So far, they've been right about almost everything that has come out, despite my own refusal to believe the rumors along the way.  I've had it with trying to disagree with these investigative journalists...it keeps making me feel like an idiot when they turn out to be right.

Pam's picture

Don't ever put Woody and asshole in the same sentence again. I don't know how old you are but, having been a student while he was still coaching and growing up in Cols. I know god damn well why he is a coronated saint. 

I am not going to say much more than that, because quite frankly, your entire post does not deserve being dignified by a response.

Bucksfan's picture

Pam, seriously, c'mon.  Of all the posters here, you're far too emotionally and personally engrossed in the lives of the coaches in question to be objective here.  I respect you as a superfan, for sure.  But telling me what to do is silly.  I don't have to have known Woody Hayes personally to know how the world sees him.

Type "Woody Hayes" and "asshole" into google.  There is no doubt that most of the college football world would regard him as an asshole.  Hell, drive 100 miles south on I-71...the people that live there don't see him the same way you might.  His demeanor on the sidelines, hitting not only that one player but his own players, cussing at refs...if he wasn't an Ohio State coach, most of us would definitely regard him as an asshole.

William's picture

You really are completely ignorant if you think Hayes was an asshole. Why would so many of his players vouch for him, and declare him as the greatest man they've ever met if he were so terrible? He made a horrid mistake, but I never knew that one mistake could cancel out all the good a man has ever done. Schembechler was an ass, his own damn son stopped talking to him, but what do you know, Hayes's players maintained contact with him throughout their lives. Then again you are obviously a saint and have never done anyone a wrong and therefore are morally greater, and are obviously a better person than Hayes. Might want to change your moniker from Bucksfan to dumbass....

Bucksfan's picture

William, you've called me ignorant plenty of times on this site, and I've done enough schooling you on topic after topic to warrant a little more respect.  Remember when you thought Ohio State earned more money than Harvard?

Just because Hayes was an asshole doesn't mean he wasn't a great man.  I never said he wasn't a great man.  The two aren't mutually exclusive.

William's picture

Never said OSU had a larger endowment than Harvard. I said OSU was more efficient with their use of funds than Harvard was...

Pam's picture

I don't give a shit what google produces and I really don't give a shit how the word sees him and I am at a loss why you think it matters. You put Woody and asshole in the same sentence you are going to hear from me and I suspect you will hear from others here as well.

Why don't you google former player's of Woody and find a negative word about him from them? Don't bother, you won't find any.

And seriously, do not pull the "far too emotionally" engrossed which of course means it's because I am a woman.  Tone down the sexism along with the Woody comments.


Bucksfan's picture

Sexism?  Firstly, you freely proclaim that because "you were there" when Woody coached that that gives you some sort of advantage in the argument.  It should have been painfully obvious to you that the faculty by-and-large hated him, and if you read any biographies or testaments you'd know that lots of Ohio State fans hated him, too, and they let him know it.  He was no stranger to getting booed during his rants, both home and away.  Secondly, it's WIDELY known around these parts that you are pen-pals with Tressel.  This has N-O-T-H-I-N-G to do with you being a woman.  I SHOULD be offended, but honestly your vastly irrational overreaction to what I wrote didn't come as a surprise.

Woody did plenty of things to warrant being called an ass, a mean old cuss, whatever.  He also did a lot of things to be considered a great man.  I never said the two were mutually exclusive.  To ignore his bad side, though, is to ignore the man, and sugarcoats a history that never asked to be.

William's picture

By calling him an asshole, you are stating that the two are mutually exclusive because you in fact aren't taking into account all of his good deeds that he performed. I never called him a saint, he obviously committed a horrid act when he punched Bauman and was fired for it, and deservedly so. But to call the man an asshole is completely ignorant. The man would visit hospitals and go door to door and speak to patients, he nurtured and took care of his players. Jim Otis, a player who Hayes hit during hafltime of the 1967 Illinois game, regarded the man like a second father, and has stated that his love for Hayes continued to grow over time, and that the man had a more profound influence on him than any other individual. Hayes had a terrible temper, but you cannot call the man an asshole, without being hypocritical, for by calling him an asshole you are deeming his two natures mutually exclusive. The man had a temper, but he did more good than bad.

Bucksfan's picture

William, it's getting laughable at this point with you.  Mutually exclusive properties are properties that cannot be true at the same time.  By saying they're not mutually exclusive (which I did in an above posting) I'm saying that they CAN both be true.  Woody Hayes WAS a great man, but he was ALSO a complete dick, hitting students, firing assistants for no reason, scaring the shit out of people, cussing out referees.  In my original posting above, I said he was both (an asshole and a saint).  So how can I be ignorant if you agree with me?  Does that make you an ignorant hypocrite, too?

NW Buckeye's picture

I was with the team in the early 70's.  Woody was definately NOT an asshole.  He was one tough SOB, but he was NOT an asshole.  Thank you Pam for your defense of him.  I concur. 

The interesting thing about the punch was that OSU asked for Woody's resignation once the team returned to Columbus.  Woody refused, saying that he did not deserve the easy way out.  He stated that what he deserved was to be fired and, in fact, demanded that the university fire him.  One tough SOB. 

Bucksfan's picture

Oh, he can be a "son of a bitch," but not an "asshole."  Now I get it.  Maybe they should put that on the SAT analogies as antonymns so shmucks like me are kept from attending Ohio State.

Bucksfan's picture

Not really.  If you take a series of events, and surmise someone is a son of a bitch, while I take those events and use the word asshole instead, that means they are no different.  I can't believe one word would illicit such a reaction, only to be contradicted with basically the same senitment.  It's actually one of my biggest pet-peeves to be contradicted (or attempted to be contradicted) with a synonym.

NW Buckeye's picture

Wow, you really need to take English 101 again.

osujake9's picture

I don't want to get involved with the whole Woody Hayes is an asshole or not  thing but, I do agree with you 100% that calling someone a son of a bitch and an asshole are both basically the same thing.

NW Buckeye's picture

Trying to explain connotation to strong willed people is a hopeless task. They just don't get it. You do, and I thank you for that.

NW Buckeye's picture

As a football coach I have used the term "tough SOB" to describe both a worthy opponent and a player on my team who demonstrated extreme persistence in practice and games.  Perhaps a better description would have been "tough hombre."  I would never use "asshole" to describe those same instances. 

While I can see your viewpoint that "son of a bitch" and "asshole" are synonymous I disagree that they are the same in this instance.  Your use of "asshole" was and is derogatory.  My use of "tough SOB" is not.  If you can not see that you are not one "tough SOB". 

And, yes, synonyms can be used to suggest entirely different tones.  "Strong willed" and "pig headed" essentially mean the same thing (stubborn).  One is used positively, one is used negatively. 

That said, I can see where the original post was going.  People outside of Ohio may have believed the negative.  Those of us who knew him viewed him has one tough "dude" (does that pass your synonym test?) who got the job done and was a respected mentor and citizen off the field. 

Denny's picture

Google search clearly has become canon.


Bucknut-in-the-South's picture

I like your article a lot, Jake, and I agree with almost everything in it.  I am, however, a bit leery of attempting to mitigate what JT did by pointing to his intentions.  All of us, myself included, have speculated about the whys and wherefores of this sordid affair for months now.  Very few of us possess enough inside knowledge to do more than speculate.  I am convinced that Tressel did what he believed was right, and, in doing so, ignored the possible consequences to his and OSU's detriment.  I still think he is a good man, flawed but good, as we all are.  In the end, his transgressions were played out on a much larger stage than yours and mine, and the consequences are much more far-reaching.  Nonetheless, he has been a demonstrably good influence on a number of young men and has brought Buckeye fans everywhere a great deal of happiness in the past ten years.  Though stained, his legacy will survive, at least for those of us who take forgiveness and compassion seriously.

btalbert25's picture

Essentially, what BuckeyeMark has said I agree with.  Jim Tressel knew he had players who would be inelligible, he with held that information from Gene Smith, Compliance, his personal attorney and a whole host of other individuals who could've advised him on what to do with that info.  Then 8 months later, when the NCAA asked him about it, he lied.  That means, he had players who received improper benefits, he knew about it and decided to not do anything with this information, then he lied about it to cover it up.  That's a big deal.  Put Miles, Carol, Kiffen, Saban, and any other coach in the NCAA's name to those charges, and we're all foaming out the mouth.  He's not the only coach who has done great things in the community of whatever school he was involved.  He's certainly not the only coach who has shaped the minds and lives of troubled youth.  No one has disputed the good deeds he's done.  However, those don't matter.  He knew the rules, decided against abiding by them, then when asked about it later on, lied. 

I think Tressel is the best coach Ohio State has had ever.  I really think he's better than Woody.  He won at a time where pressure has never been higher.  He won more than 80 percent of his games had a website devoted to firing him.  He handled the media, the prima donna players, and all the BS that comes with coaching much better than Woody would've been able to.  However, the program is going to be damaged.  We are already starting to see a little bit of this in recruiting.  The program may not get hammered, but this will do enough damage to have some average to bad seasons.  Also, it's going to allow for other schools in the conference to pick off recruits at our expense. 

Jim was a great coach and I feel lucky to have had him on the sideline.  I'm proud of things the players and program did on and off the field while he was here.  All of that being said, there is NOTHING to be proud of or respect him for when it comes to all the trouble that has resulted from his actions that brought us where we are now.

BuckeyeMark's picture

we all need to remember the NCAA isn't a court of law.  they don't have to prove anything - they just decide what they want to do and then do it.  some have noted the actual "evidence" against USC was very thin, but that sure didn't stop them.

the NCAA is very much aware of the court of public opinion about our beloved Buckeyes.  if you think we aren't getting hammered you may be in a for a very sad awakening.  I believe they are going to smack us hard ... very hard.  can you imagine the outcry if they don't?  well, they can too!

further, they have a coach lying dead to rights.  not alleged.  admitted.  you think OSU accepted JT's resignation because this isn't a big deal?  if he's such a fine person and this is not such a big deal how come JT has so much free time these days?

and as for forgivness and compassion - I've got loads of it FOR SOMEONE WHO ASKS.  JT's admissions of error have been few and far between.  TP did a better job apologizing then he's done and what we got from TP wasn't anything parents will be using a model of "how to ask forgiveness" any time soon.

I'd like to believe JT meant well, had good intentions, etc.  the truth is he may just be an arrogant football coach who thought he could get away with it.  I don't know.  and I don't need to know his motives or motivation.  I know what he did and that's more than enough.  and until he shows contrition it's going to be hard for me to be sympathetic to him.

if we come out of this smelling like a rose, the NCAA gives us a pass and we don't get hurt no one will be happier than me (okay maybe Luke will!).  but I don't see that happening.  I think we're going to get pounded, maybe even nearly crippled.

I think when that happens a lot of folks are going to be really really unhappy with the guy who got us in this mess.  that guy wasn't wearing #2.  that guy wore a vest.

Bucks's picture

Flatly and emphatically disagree with a majority of what you have said in your 3 posts on this thread.

Everyone is welcome to their opinions though & I respect yours.

As was even pointed out by Jason (I believe) in a previous posting, what we are currently looking at is not even in the same realm as a USC penalty/findings. As for your claim that the NCAA goes on light evidence sometimes, I certainly agree to some extent. If though, public perception was a decision maker for the NCAA, the Cam Newton issue (for one example) would NOT have gone like it did.

Unless something else surfaces (again in the way of a Notice by the NCAA) there is not much chance of any "hammering." I'm sure we'll all know soon if that is on the horizon & is my main concern right now.

Regardless of the bumbling in the way OSU handled this with the media, they have still been upfront & transparent to the NCAA, the coach is gone (regardless of it being later on) & the main player in all of this is gone. Two of those aspects are huge when it comes to the NCAA. 1) Being open & unobtrusive with the NCAA (Check). 2) Coach involved is gone (Check). Based off past history & cases in regards to this, the severe penalties come into play when additional admin officials are also linked (Nope).



BuckeyeMark's picture

All of that being said, there is NOTHING to be proud of or respect him for when it comes to all the trouble that has resulted from his actions that brought us where we are now.

this x100000000000000

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

I am pretty pissed I hit a button that deleted the response I had to your posts.  I am just too emotionally exhausted to re-write it now, but its coming.

Be on the lookout, you wont want to miss it.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

baddogmaine's picture

I live in Maine now but I grew up in Ohio and bleed Scarlet and Grey and hang with Sloopy. Even so I'm not eating Tressell's humble pie. He may have had some concern for his players, but in an age and at a school where what you have done lately is everything the skin he cared most about was his. His salary structure, his longevity depended on winning. Fans will forgive a cheater who wins, but nice guys who don't win find websites dedicated to their demise. Had he turned in TP and the others he was looking at multi-losses, possibly no better than .500, in a year that started with the title game as a possibility.  In that situation Tres had a tough decision to make. He did not make the decision for TP - turn TP in and the guy sits a few games, continues to get coached and plays his senior year, instead of being forced to go pro long before he is ready. He didn't really do it for OSU - the school could live with one bad year, but the several bad years that might be in front of us are a lot worse. He did it for himself.  It was a calculated risk for his own benefit, and it backfired. End of story.

The next coach needs to understand that one bad year is forgivable, inviting NCAA penalties that reduce tOSU to Indiana is not.

Bucksfan's picture

Right on.  Going into 2010, Tressel hadn't beat a top-10 regular season team since 2006...which was a constant story.  There's no way this team was going to beat Miami without those 5 guys, or even without just Pryor.  And that would have been a staggering embarrassment to lose another big game at home (hell, Miami would have gone on to have a very mediocre season, and that would have made Tressel look even worse).

There's no doubt his motivation was one of "I can't afford to lose these guys, I'll take my chances that it never comes to light."  He was on the hot seat with a large contingent of Buckeye fans, despite the win over Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

Pam's picture

I am going to say this again: No coach in CFB had more job security than Jim Tressel.  His contract was up in 2014 and there was no indication from him that he would continue to coach beyond that. I remember him being asked if he would be like JoePa and simply said "No".  Longevity was not his game plan. His salary was as high as it could be and he didn't even ask for an increase when his contract was extended. He had so much good will built up, even a .500 season wouldn't have hurt him.  Tressel's teams are always a NC possibility, 2010 was no different. The player's would have been suspended for the first five games of the 2010 season. Only one of those do I believe would have been a problem might have been Illinois since they struggled with them.  Had the season played out the rest of way, they are looking at 10-2 and still could have gotten the Sugar Bowl bid.  And why are you saying there would be "several bad years" had he reported the players? They would sit out the five games of 2010 and it's back to business and on to this season.  Jim Tressel's job was NEVER in jeopardy.  He had NOTHING to worry about in that regard. Why take a an necessary risk if your job is safe? It doesn't make any sense to me. We will probably never know his motives, but to save his job?  No way.

baddogmaine's picture

The "several bad years" ahead are because he did NOT report the players. My point is that he tried to avoid even one bad year by not reporting them, and it backfired. I think 10-2 with Bauserman at QB is a stretch, but that doesn't get the Sugar Bowl bid - the Spartans get it. No job has guaranteed security. Beating TSFUN regularly helps in Columbus, but fans and alums will turn quickly on a coach who loses; recruits with big egos will question signing to play for a coach that won't cover their transgressions, which leads to weaker teams. The Big Ten did not get weaker with the addition of Nebraska; MSU could have been a one-year fluke, or could be a power on the rise; TSFUN has to be better under Hoke - continuing to dominate the Big Ten was no sure thing. Tres' job had not been in jeopardy to that point, but he knew quite well that contrary to PAM's belief one .500 year and he's in serious damage control. Today's love can change quickly, and he did what he did to try to keep it from changing. It likely is true that Tres never intended to coach long enough to break JoePa's winning record, but it doesn't follow that as young as he is, as driven as he is he would hang up his cleats after 2014 - he has years left in him, and almost certainly wanted to make sure that those years were in the spotlight. Ironically, the choice he made may ban him from any spotlight for a long, long time.


The guy can coach, but when faced with a fork in the road he ignored the signs leading to long-term Buckeye success, and misread the ones with his name on them.

Pam's picture

It's not my belief. Anyone who pays attention knows that Tressel could have easily survived a .500 season. No need for damage control when no damage occurs. His job would have been secure. The Sugar Bowl can pick any at-large team they want, if tOSU was 10-2 it doesn't mean they would have taken MSU, as long as tOSU was in the top 14, they could still have taken them.  If history has proven anything, putting tOSU in a BCS bowl is a guarunteed pay day. MSU? Not so much. 

Jim Tressel had the only job he ever wanted for ten years.  He is a wealthy man. He is hanging up the cleats. Jim Tressel never needed the spotlight it just came with the job. He will not wither without it.


btalbert25's picture

1 .500 season may have been survivable, but we really don't know.  I was at the Iowa game in 2009, a game the Buckeyes won, but a game where the whole stadium was cursing Tressel for how he handled the game and chose to essentially go for the tie.  It worked out luckily, but people were pissed.  On the car ride home after the game people were calling into a local radio show and talking about having him fired.  Said he wasn't a good enough coach.  We all threw a fit when Greg Doyel wrote an article basically saying the same thing, but I can tell you, a lot of people felt pretty bad about Jim Tressel leading the team that night.

He's come under a lot of pressure the last few years for big game losses, not adapting to the college football game that is played today, and losing/failing to close on big recruits.  To be sure, there was a lot of pressure on the man.  If the general fan base has detractors, boosters and donors do too.  He could have been one bad season from really being in hot water, and I don't think that idea was lost on him at all.  What if Arkansas doesn't fall on that blocked punt?  What if they run it in for a TD and win the game.  How would Tressel have been received then?  0-10 and embarrassed on national TV by the SEC AGAIN.  It wouldn't have sat well. 

I agree, he had plenty of support and job security, but in today's game, one where he already had people question his coaching ability, one bad season can get a whole lot of people acting against you.  Once the donors and boosters start complaining and threaten to not give, you have a major problem.  This day in age, goodwill and support disappear quickly.  He knew he had to keep winning.  I'm not saying that was his motivation here, I'm just saying it doesn't take long for people to call for your head. 

Pam's picture

I was at the Iowa game in '09 too.  I am not sure what you mean about the "whole stadium" being pissed since the place nearly exploded when Barclay hit the winning FG.

Having a .500 season because you had to sit your best players for 5 games is not the same as a .500 season with them. He would have been given a pass had that happened.  Last time I checked fans pissed off because the Buckeyes didn't WIN the way they think they should have don't have much of an argument for getting rid of a coach, especially when he went on to win the Rose Bowl over a team that was favored and whose "speed" they had no answer for.

btalbert25's picture

So where you were sitting at that game,  no one was pissed about how that game was handled?  Granted they won the game, but the whole 4th quarter, the several hundred people in the section around me were not happy, and I heard what the hell is Tressel doing.  Fuck Tressel.  Tressel is an idiot, etc etc etc.  Again, the whole drive home from Columbus, a 100 mile drive, I listened to fans calling in and ripping him a new one.

I'm not saying 1 .500 season would have been his undoing, but there's no guarrenttees in college football.  There was already pressure on the guy.  Another star in trouble with the NCAA, and a subpar year(with or without star players) would've led to increased pressure.

I'm not saying he would definitely get fired, but it doesn't take much in todays climate for a legend to become former coach.

Pam's picture

The Rose Bowl was on the line.  If he doesn't go conservative and go to OT and loses, how pissed do you think the fans would have been then? I guess the section I sat in had fans who understood that.  And FWIW, Ferentz played it conservative too and for the same reason.

Only our fans get pissed when we win. 

btalbert25's picture

I don't think it was a definite IF/Then Statement.  Who knows what would happened, but I think a lot of fans from a lot of programs would be pissed if their team didn't try to go for a win rather than a tie.  Look it worked, and I was fine with it, but that style has cost Tressel games, and almost cost him his last win that is going to be left on the record books. 

For what it's worth, I was fine with the outcome, Buckeyes won the game, but I can see where people were growing tired of Tressel's style.  People called it playing not to lose, but I think it was playing not to win.  It depended on the team playing flawless and the other time F'ing up.  Again, I loved Tressel, but there was a sizeable portion of fans who were tired of his product.

NW Buckeye's picture

Thanks for the link.  Looks like a few of the posters here could stand to read it.  They will probably just call it rubbish from an individual who is too emotionally involved to see the big picture. 

BuckeyeMark's picture

This, for me, is the toughest part of it.  There is no doubt Tress is, or at least gave off, the perception of being a great guy.  Stories like this are legion.  Hey - he wrote books on the need for integrity and honor.

Then he knowingly lied and cheated.

How can that be?  As I noted above, if it's Nick Saban no one blinks.  Tress?  our Tress?

I don't understand how it happened and I may not ever understand it.  Tress didn't explain what happened against Florida (running game, hello, where was the running game?) and I don't expect him to hold a news conference any time soon and explain his thought process in knowingly lying to the NCAA and exposing the University to the possibility of serious penalties.

But I know this: what he did is indefensible, and wrong and it has hurt the University and will continue to do so.  for that I hold him 100% responsible.

blazers34's picture

I love Coach Tressel, always will.  He made an egregious mistake, and he is paying for it.  You cant tell me that he is not a good man.

Denny's picture

This is a wonderfully succinct statement. Totally agree.


baddogmaine's picture

So what does "good man" mean? That he went to church - you can lie all you want but as long as you kneel once a week you're good? I don't need to prove that he was evil, and have no desire to do so; but it's equally warped to put him on a pedestal. Praise his positives, condemn his negatives, and if it all balances out to "good" then that's how he is for you. But I bet a lot of posters are going to reevaluate Tressell's sanctity should the NCAA impose sanctions that cripple our football program for several years.  And let's be clear - a university whose president said "I hope he doesn't fire me" and calls schools with less imposing sports teams "the little sisters of the poor;"  that was already on probation; that spends far too much on athletics to ever get away with "I guess we weren't paying enough attention to compliance" could easily be held up as an example by an NCAA that needs to change its image as a protector of the powerful. We all joked about LLLLLLLLLLoyd; we won't be joking about FickeLLLLLLLLL.

Bucks's picture

Fun Detour! (Except for M Man wherever he may be):




Every once and a while, I gotta go to this page & while going through my bookmarks tonight "cleaning" I came across it again.

Just love going through all those videos! Any that remember what they were doing that day?!?


P.S. - Every now & then, my die-hard Grandpa sports off his Appy State T-shirts & other apparrel. He has told me repeatedly (with a large grin) that within a couple days, Appy State sold out on all their clothing & had to go on back order. No idea if that is true, but I can def believe it!

btalbert25's picture

Pam and others, I certainly can't speak for Bucksfan, but I can agree with what he's saying, maybe just not the way he is presenting it.  As for the Woody Hayes stuff, he's absolutely right, outside of Columbus he is widely viewed as an bully and asshole.  He never said the guy was one, just that he was viewed so.  It's not hard to picture with his rants and punching a kid on national TV.  Much like Bob Knight is characterized as one for his tirades and physically assaulting players on TV. 

As for Tressel, everyone defends him sitting on the information because he was protecting kids and whatever.  Ok, so I'll buy that.  A good case has been made.  He cheated for the greater good there.  NO ONE adresses the lie he told 8 months later, when all this information became public and he wouldn't be jeopardizing any investigations or player safety.  The NCAA said did you know about this and he said NO.  HOW ON EARTH CAN ANYONE DEFEND HIM AFTER THAT?  It's totally indefensible.  He knew that if he were honest about it, the kids wouldn't be playing in the bowl game.  He knew that he would be screwed.  He thought it would die right there and no one would obtain the emails, which were public information.  What he didn't count on was a leak in the program selling the story to Yahoo Sports.  He was trying to cover his and the programs ass.

We know all the good things he's done and taught his players to do.  That is absolutely not in question.  We also know he's a liar and a cheater.  Maybe those words are too harsh for some to process, but there's just no other way around it.  I hate that the coach is gone, but this NCAA infraction is going to cost us.  Vacating wins isn't that big of a deal to me, it is what it is.  They will lose at least 1 bowl to make up for the Sugar Bowl that they were given after Tressel lied to the NCAA.  Had he been honest, those players would not have been elligible for the bowl.  They are going to get probation, and I wouldn't be shocked if they lose some scholarships.  Not to mention the recruiting losses.  Dodson was a big loss the other day.  A guy we thought was going to be a sure fire Buckeye took off to Madison.  No doubt the situation the program is in influenced that.  The program will be set back 3-5 years because of all this.  That being said, being set back may be 9-3 or 8-4 seasons, but around here we're used to 10-12 wins a year. 

If you get past the emotional reactions to what Bucksfan has said, and get to the actual content, he's not far off base folks.  You may not like what he says, but it's not that far off.

Bucksfan's picture

I re-read what I wrote, and you're right...I didn't exactly make it 100% crystal clear what I meant when I wrote a mild comparison between Woody and Tressel in how they'll ultimately be viewed.

So, maybe this will clear it up for some people:  The point was that Woody is considered a legend DESPITE his character flaws.  Only much later, once books were written about him and testimonials from players and coaches emerged, was the world able to appreciate the man as a person.  Like I said, the faculty hated him - thought he was getting too big for the school, that football was taking over, and that he was a poor representative with the way he conducted himself.  The world STILL regarded him as a legendary coach with 4 national titles, amplifying the intensity of the race for the Rose Bowl, the rivalry with Michigan, and his style of running the football.  He also never cheated, and did not leave the program in disarray.

Tressel created an aura of do-no-wrong.  He wrote books on the subject of integrity.  He did good deeds off the field.  But, he still had his distractors as a shady operator outside of Buckeye nation, and that goes back to his days at YSU.  Most of Buckeye nation (INCLUDING ME here, I bought into it all, too) refused to accept that.  "Bah, haters hate...we know the REAL Tressel.  And the REAL Tressel is running the tightest ship of any program!"  Blah, blah, blah.  Tressel has left the program and the fans of the program embarrassed with their pants down to their ankles.  I speak from emotion because I invested quite a bit of emotion defending the man, his style, his integrity, and his performance over the years, especially during the 2006-2010 streak of big game collapses.

Now that some of those big game collapses are over (Oregon, Arkansas...not Wisconsin), it turns out that they were won by young men who cheated, and half of them were won by a cheating Tressel.  That is a legacy that should be a lot harder to overcome than some people are allowing.  And I know I'm not the only alumni out there who feels embarrassed by Tressel, Gee, Smith, the players, and even starting to be embarrassed by other fans who refuse to accept how this all looks outside of Ohio.  Accountability is important.  The severity of Tressel's actions are going to be far more detrimental to the program than Cooper's inability to win bowls or beat Michigan, Bruce's inability to make the boosters like him, or Woody's temper.  In the grand history of Ohio State coaches, Tressel is leaving on the sourest of notes.

William's picture

This I can agree with.

William's picture

I have no problem with what people say about Tressel. He lied, that's it, there is no way to argue against it. Were his intentions entirely pure? No, he lied partially to ensure that the team would win. But I'm sorry anyone that is taking a shot at Hayes is completely ignorant. During Lincoln's presidency he was viewed as one of the worst presidents in our history, now he's a consensus top
5 pick by everyone. People outside of Ohio have no idea what good he did for the people in that state. Living here in North Carolina, the only thing people know Hayes for was his punching of Bauman. If you want to get a real perspective of who Hayes was as a man, read the book War As They Knew It, its extremely informative. The man had a horrid temper, but the good deeds he committed vastly out way any of his misdeeds, that does not make the man asshole. The man was a better person than any of us could ever wish to be.

btalbert25's picture

I don't think anyone took any shots at Woody at all.  The sentence that got Pam so worked up was that people OUTSIDE OF OHIO see him as an asshole.  He went on to acknowledge that he did great things off the field.   The point was, you can recognize the severity of his actions and how terrible it was, but also acknowledge that he was a good man.  One doesn't cancel out the other though. 


William's picture

Calling a man an asshole is taking a shot at him. Also Pam and I have both acknowledged the severity of his misdeeds; but my point is that his good acts far out way his misdeeds and by calling the man an asshole you are not taking into account what he did off the field.

btalbert25's picture

AGAIN, no one said he was an asshole.  Recognizing that the outside world thinks he was, does not mean that I or anyone else share that sentiment.  My dad hates football, knows nothing about it, you say Woody Hayes to him, he says asshole, maniac etc.  That's the point.  OUTSIDE OF BUCKEYE NATION people have these thoughts/emotions about him.  I have not seen one sentence where a person on here said I think Woody was an A-hole. 

You all saw his name and the word asshole and got upset, but no one here actually said they though he was, just acknowledged what the outside world thinks.  There is a difference.  I have acknowledged what he did off the field and his good deeds.  I can also recognize how horrible his mistake was, but no where did anyone say, Woody Hayes was an A-hole.

AJ's picture

calling him an asshole and saying he is viewed as one are two different things, no?

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -----------Woody Hayes

btalbert25's picture

and to be honest, I don't think that there is a scale that says, Woody you did 10 good things this week, and 1,000 through your career, that far out weighs punching a kid on national TV.  Jim you have done all these good things and have written books about being a great person and having values.  You lied and cheated.  Let's put them on the scale and see what shakes out. 

Basically, both men spent a career leading by a certain example.  They committed certain acts that spit in t he face of everything they stood for their whole careers.  You can remember the guys for those actions, because those very actions destroyed the foundation their whole career stood for. 

No one has said these men didn't do a lot of great things.  It has been well documented over the years.  There's no doubt in my mind, if you do a little homework you'll see that Nick Saban, Les Miles, Pete Carol, and other coaches we beat up on daily, have done a lot of great things in the community.  I know a basketball coach at UK and a former coach there are very similar to Tressel in terms of off the court work, but we still call them slime balls on here despite that.  Certain actions that all of these men including Woody and Tressel have committed are deplorable, and people outside of their programs will remember them for such, fair or not.

741's picture

Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole.

Pam's picture

No, the words Woody Hayes and asshole in the same sentence got me worked up. I haven't lived in Cols./OH for over 35 years. The last time I remember discussing Woody in any context was when I was showing pics of the 'Shoe after I returned from a game and the Woody banner was in it. One of my co-workers asked who he was. 

We as a nation whether it be the US or the Buckeye nation, are a forgiving lot.  Nixon resigns in disgrace, has a Presidential library and is remembered now more for his foreign policies than Watergate. Clinton is impeached for lying about a BJ and leaves office with his popularity #'s higher than when he was in office. Anthony Weiner showed pics of his weiner, has resigned but the people in his district still support him.  Woody punched Charlie Bauman on national TV and has a banner in the 'Shoe. Jim Tressel resigns and ____________TBD.


gwalther's picture

Good post brotha.

Class of 2008

Maestro's picture

Peace.  We have been blessed with some outstanding, legendary coaches at Ohio State.  Let's hope that Fickell is one too and when he decides to hang it up it is on his own accord.

vacuuming sucks

Maestro's picture



And then there is this to make things more fun.

vacuuming sucks

Bucks's picture

Sat down & read through the new comments a little while ago. I try not to get involved in the conversations that lead to demeaning someone or questioning if they actually are fans of a school/program/coach/etc.

I'd just like to point out that Buckeye Nation is that, due to the diversity of opinions, backgrounds, life decisions & growth. Just because some of us disagree, does not mean a person is not a Buckeye or supportive of our University.

While I disagree with Bucksfan, BuckeyeMark, BTAlberts, etc (in some regards, more so with a few) ... that does not mean they aren't just as much a supporter of this incredible entity as I am.

Arguing the possible ways to term a thought seem silly to me but if someone is affronted, I'd hope the superb community we have here @ 11W can sift through it/talk back & forth & keep our perspective.

My Grandpa still to this day calls Woody names, but his names are in admiration of him as the person. He absolutely LOVES Wayne Woodrow Hayes, but that doesn't mean he can't appreciate some of his antics (even if he relishes & appreciates the meaning).

None of the people I disagree with are assholes, fake fans, etc. They just see things differently. No malicious intent is present.


Just my two cents. Hate to see some of us go after one another.

Bucksfan's picture

I get called a fake fan, fairweather fan, bandwagon fan a lot around here, and more often than not it's coming from non-alumni.  I don't really have much of an explanation for why that tends to be the case, but I usually only bring it up in the conversation to find out because I spent 4 years there on scholarship and I take a lot of pride in it.  To be called a fake fan because I'm critical bothers me a lot.  My passion for the school and for the sports sometimes turns me into the harshest of critics.  Yeah, the way I present my ideas may seem overly-emotional and slightly off-target, but that's just me.  If anyone saw what I used to post in arguements with SEC idiots, you'd think I'm the most blinded Buckeye homer around.

I don't think it's being a fake fan to look at what's transpiring at Ohio State and wish it were cleaned up, and handled by people who weren't such boneheads when it came to athletics (for example, Gordon Gee once said during his first term that the tie against Michigan in 1992 was the greatest win Ohio State has had over Michigan...yeah, THAT guy is in charge once again, and made that snood comment about being fired by Tress that we are all very aware of by this point.  Fool me once...you know?).

Anyway, moral of the story is if you like Ohio State, that's all that matters.  There are different ways of showing it.  But fans are fans are fans nonetheless.

biggy84's picture

No one really knows what Coach Tressel was thinking. Everyone seems to think he had sinister intentions and fully understood his choice. People are totally speculating on his intent. Maybe, just maybe, he thought it was something he could handle in house and didn't think it was a big deal. I doubt that he heard ominous music in the background and broke out a maniacal laugh when it happened.

BuckeyeSki's picture

That's not what SportsbyBrooks told me

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

btalbert25's picture

I can admit that he may have had good intentions when he didn't come forward with the information he received from Cicero.  What can not be defended is lying to the NCAA 8 months later.  There was absolutely nothing to protect at that point in time, and the only thing gained was a competitive advantage.  That part of it, to me, is where he acted quite selfishly. 

biggy84's picture

I know he didn't come forward or report receiving the information to anyone, i don't know whether he lied to them. The media will point out the signed form etc, but no one really knows the info that the university and the ncaa shared. The infractions were self reported and after the resignation Delany said he had known about the situation with Tressel since January, months before the March presser.

btalbert25's picture

Bucks, thanks for your comment. I certainly love Ohio State, I just prefer to approach things a little more realistically than others.  For Tressel, he F'd up and I don't care what the reasons were.  If he was doing something honorable or was acting to deceive it really doesn't matter, the punishment will be the same, and the damage is going to be significant.  We are already feeling it, we've lost 2 or 3 recruits and Price(maybe for more than just the program's problems)  This is all before sanctions have come down.

I think we've all remained pretty civil through this exchange.  I am able to separate my love for a sports team from my daily life.  So, while I love me team and live and die with them during the game, but wins and losses don't really affect my daily life much after the game is over.  The program and Jim Tressel/Pryor mess sucks and I hate it, but between work, bills, and other stress in my life it's really not that big of a deal.  I wear my colors, I'll defend my team in a debate, and during a game I'll cheer like hell.  If that makes me less of a fan than others so be it.

Bucks's picture

Thank you for your words back. Obviously, I don't agree with you to some degree (what we are facing currently being primary), but you love the Buckeyes as much as I, or anyone else does. Just because we don't agree on that aspect ... doesn't mean one person is more of a supporter.

btalbert25's picture

 I totally agree.  I could never have the emotional attachment of someone who was born and raised in Columbus and who went to and graduated from the Buckeyes.  I understand that.  Ohio State in terms of the institution is not part of who I am, it doesn't define me like it does many others.  However, I think a fan like me is a testament to the greatness of the institution.  I fell in love with Ohio State, I wasn't born into it.  The first time I went to Ohio Stadium, it brought tears to my eyes.  We can certainly disagree, but I'd never questions yours, Pam's, Bucksfan, Buckeye Mark or anyone else's love for the program. 

Bucks's picture

This is completely unrelated to the tense type of responses in this thread, but I am incredibly curious...

Would you possibly speak of your first trip your referenced to Ohio Stadium? I'm genuinely intrigued!


P.S. - I will never like or agree with a person believing their love for tOSU is minor to another. If you didn't attend this University, you are still welcome to! Even if you can't/didn't/unable, love is love. There is no issue here with that.


P.S.S. - (Also Edit): If the Buckeyes are exclusive to people who graduated and/or attended, it is time to cut the spiderweb of fans across the nation & the world. What I just wrote is ludicrous for a reason. We embrace Buckeyes wherever they may be & in whatever way they come. I for one, love that every single day I can find Buckeye fans (Even in overseas work. I have spoken at length to business contacts in India who love Ohio State b/c it is Ohio State). Boundaries, Graduation, Attendance do not matter in regards to admiration.

GoBucks713's picture

Anyone that says that someone that didn't go to the school can't be as big of a fan or have as much love for the university as one who did should be dragged out into the streets, tarred and feathered, then sent to Ann Arbor.

I had a full ride scholarship to another school and even though it was a life long wish to attend and graduate from tOSU, my family could not afford to help me go to school, and it would have been financially irresponsible of me to not take the opportunity to attend what is now my alma mater. Even though i went to school in Kentucky, and in the last NCAA Men's BB tourney, i had another team to root for seeing that it had been a long long time since they went into the second round, I know that I screamed more at Buford acting like an idiot than Faried getting hacked.

My wife graduated from tOSU and I can say without a doubt that i have just as much love for this fine institution as she does.

Maybe it's better for me though, seeing that I'm not up to my eyeballs in debt.

Side note- if anyone here says that athletes need to be paid for playing, guess what, they got free school, free food, free room and board, free clothes, and a $50 per day stipend when on the road, plus money to cover other expenditures, and if you live off campus you get money for that also. Being a former student athlete, I feel that I was paid quite hansomely for my services. If anyone thinks that this is not enough, then they are greedy and they don't dexerve the wonderful gift that they were given.

-The Aristocrats!

biggy84's picture

How much of a stipend did you need to get a lunch special at Slones' or a beer at Pasquales?

GoBucks713's picture

Nah, we kept it for the closing deal at Papas and half everything at BK in Alumni right before they closed

-The Aristocrats!

biggy84's picture

I know the town well. I worked for an adult beverage company in Lex and serviced that area for a little while. Slones was my place for lunch...fat boy like!

btalbert25's picture

I have been a fan since I was about 12.  I have mentioned many times on here.  Basically, I went to a small catholic school in Northern Kentucky and EVERYONE loved Notre Dame Football and UK basketball.  Regrettably, I was quite the Diehard UK basketball fan as a young man, however it go to go to Rupp Arena and see quite a few games and it truly is an iconic place to watch a game much like Ohio Stadium for football. I digress

So when the Cooper and Eddie George led Buckeyes beat up on Notre Dame 2 years in a row, 6th and 7th grade me was very happy.  They were my team and I started watching them every chance I got.  I had to suffer the Michigan debacles through high school as well for some reason Michigan was the second favorite college football team of Northern Kentucky teens lol.  Anyway, I always thought man it would be awesome to go to a game. 

Fast forward to 2002.  I saw a date on the schedule that showed Ohio State coming to Cincinnati to play UC at PBS.  I decided right then and there I would go to my first Ohio State game.  I live about 15 minutes from PBS, so I parked in Covington and started walking the suspension bridge, I met a man who was selling his last ticket and purchased it for 50 bucks.  When the band took the field and started playing I got goosebumps, the atmosphere was cool, and the game was great.  I went home that day and got on hangonsloopy.com to look for tickets.  I was fortunate enough to get 3 tickets to the San Jose State game.

2 of my friends and I packed up the car and drove to C-bus for the game.  We tailgated, walked around the festival like atmosphere and had a great time.  As we were approaching the entrance to the stadium my heart started beating really fast and I had the biggest shit eating grin on my phase you could imagine.  When we took our seats I was in awe of the place, I couldn't stop looking around and taking pictures.  When the drum major came out and the band started up, I was overcome by emotion and I was just so happy I had tears streaming down my face.  The game was awesome, after the game, going to 4 kegs(is that right) and having liquid dope was a blast.  I've been to 4 games since at the horseshoe and every time I get chills.  You know you are part of something special when you are there.  I tell people all the time, if I can get you to one game at the Shoe, I bet I can make you a fan. 

Little did I know that Saturday when I was 12 years old, I'd be sitting here at 30 remembering all these great memories.  What started out as admiration for a team that beat Notre Dame, has become a full blown love affair.  My enthusiasm for the team has converted 2 of my best friends to diehards as well.  Hell, even my buddy who loves UK, follows Ohio State football some. 

303 Buckeye's picture

It is what it is. JT is gonna be that coach that kicked everybody's ass but screwed up in the end.  THAT will be his legacy.  In 10 years nobody will still be pissed off that we didn't get to play in the 2011 Outback bowl because our frosh qb lost 3 road games and wouldn't have gotten us to the BCS anyways.  But the bright side is that in 2013/2014 when Braxton is a Junior and we win the NC with Urban Meyer as head coach everybody will be happy. Nobody will sit around and say "goddammit Tressel, why did you get us banned from a bowl game in a year that was mediocre anyways!?" Plus, as much as I hated the guy, it's gonna be sick with Meyer (fingers crossed) on the sidelines beating the hell out of everybody in the conference, just like JT. Tressel was a great coach, but he isn't Woody, and he won't be as talked about or remembered as much or as fondly as W Hayes.  Some of the posters on here should head to Hollywood and write scripts for soap operas.  The ability to overemotionalize everything is clearly a strong trait for some of you.

Buckeye in Athens's picture

While this is indeed a heated thread, this kind of argument is fairly rare. Usually the 11W community is quite civil. We're all fans of the same team, no need to throw internet haterballs around. 

303 Buckeye's picture

Yeah i guess I overreacted. But seriously come September the only thing thats gonna matter is who wins and who loses.  I'm not hating on anybody hell I love all OSU fans my first game at the Shoe was in the womb...