Tatgate Two Years Later

April 11, 2013 at 10:24a    by Ramzy Nasrallah    
70 Comments

Right around this time in 2011, Ohio State football was in the throes of a daily nightmare. The Lantern took a look back at the mess and connected with Jim Tressel to revisit how the scandal went down. What's most interesting is his lack of clear hindsight and contrition in what happened.

“If my fault is on the loyalty side, I’ll take it,” Tressel said.

It was on the compliance side, actually.

Tressel said OSU’s violations were a result of “personal decisions” made by his players.

“Sometimes they’re the right decisions, and sometimes they’re the wrong,” Tressel said.

If those violations were reported when discovered, the whole matter becomes a couple weeks of embarrassment, a few game suspensions and a smattering of secondary violations. Tressel would also still be coaching at Ohio State.

Tressel said he is not sure he could have prevented Tattoo-Gate from happening.

Um...we've got a few ideas: Accurate reporting to NCAA, a stronger culture of compliance, and if anything else: GMail and a burner phone.

Regardless, Ohio State came out of its mess with a clean bill of health, and Urban Meyer says the scandal has barely affected his ability to sell the program:

Aside from having fewer scholarships, however, Meyer said Tattoo-Gate has not caused him any additional issues in recruiting.

“It’s one of the easiest sells I’ve ever had,” Meyer said of recruiting players to OSU. “We have a very good graduation rate, very good APR (Academic Progress Rate), our support system’s incredible. Then you start talking about facilities, walk around you see great facilities, you see everything’s in order, you see 12-0 season, great momentum.”

Also of interest from the article: The sixth Tatgater, Jordan Whiting, who had transferred to Louisville last season is no longer on the Cardinals' roster and is registered to resume the pursuit of his Marketing degree at Ohio State.


70 Comments

Comments

OSUStu's picture

Happy anniversary!  *fart noise*

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Hovenaut's picture

Tough time.

Times have changed.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

rdubs's picture

I find this brief write up very refreshing.  After spending the last year or two reading articles by PSU reporters (read: PSU apologists), it is nice to see that those that cover OSU hold those responsible accountable in their reporting instead of making excuses or looking for exculpatory circumstances as a reflex.  The players made mistakes but Tressel made them worse and by not sugarcoating that reality 11W has done the university community a great service.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

We absolutely hated covering it when it was happening, but blaming the boogeyman was never our position. 11W is not a site for zombies.

If anything, we took exception to the hyperbolic media coverage over the cover-up of discounted tattoos, petty cash and no broken laws. But there shouldn't be any confusion over what caused and allowed this thing to fester.

JLBNYC's picture

11W is not a site for zombies.

 

But there shouldn't be any confusion over what caused and allowed this thing to fester.

I wish I could upvote these two statements! 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Meh. Six or so months later Penn State showed how overblown Tatgate was.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Earle's picture

Can we please move on, now?  Or do we have to commemorate this every year?  As hard as it would have been to fathom at the depths of Tatgate, Ohio State Football is in much better shape than it was before any of this happened. 
Let's celebrate the present and eagerly anticipate the future of the Urban Meyer regime, and stop picking at scabs.

Italics are for emphasis.

Oyster's picture

And everyone in unison said; AMEN!

Grant Edgell's picture

And everyone in unison said; AMEN GOT A DOWN VOTE?

Oyster's picture

Obviously somebody doesn't want to move on as Earle suggested.

MN Buckeye's picture

Perhaps AMEN has religious implications for some people?  I say amen, so be it, I agree, let it stand, great post, my thoughts exactly.
Time to move forward and let it go.

buckeyepastor's picture

What I took away from this article is that the two years after the biggest scandal in the program's history, while still enduring some of its sanctions, we are in the conversation as a contender for a national championship.   Sad as "tat-gate" was, seeing where we are now, I'm not all that fazed by it anymore.   Talking about it just reminds me how far we've come in a very short span of time.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

TheShookster's picture

I wish it would have happened in a more graceful way, but Tat-gate was the catalyst for change that needed to happen. Tressel was a great coach, but I think his success against Michigan masked other shortcomings. I don't think OSU would have won another national title with Tressel at the helm, but what do I know...haha.

USMC11917's picture

Idk, both 2010 and 2011 teams could have competed with the best from the Sec. I don't think we'd beat those teams more often than not but we wouldn't have done the same with 2002 Miami either. Maybe with Meyer we can get to a state of expectant victory over the Sec upper tier?

bucksk1n's picture

There is no doubt Ohio State was stagnant at the end of his era and in an odd way this protected Jim Tressel's legacy.  Despite what many want to believe, Hoke is a good coach and I doubt JT would have had the same success against him (assuming he stayed long enough for Hoke to get cycle through RichRod's recruits).  
Tressel built his teams to win the Big Ten and then hope we got a good matchup in the bowls.  Oklahoma State and Notre Dame were tailor made for beatings.  Florida and LSU weren't as easy.  Oregon was probably his best bowl win after Miami though it was due to defense and the freaky athleticism of Pryor and not because of our OL or a fancy scheme.
I love Jim Tressel but I'm glad we have Urban Meyer as coach.  There is nothing stagnant about the program right now.

sb97's picture

Hmmmm, interesting post bucksk1n....  I originally wrote up a reply saying that I disagreed and pointing out that the 09 and 10 teams were better (much better) IMO than their 07 and 08 counterparts and that I felt like we were getting closer to competing with the elite again.  our defense in particular had greatly improved and was much more flexible with the advent of the Star.  On the other hand, Tressel never adequately addressed the issues at OL so I think there is a case to be made that we were stagnant.  Darn you bucksk1n for making me think.
 
I do believe that Tressel would have continued his dominance over Michigan though.  While I agree Hoke is a good coach, I think he benefited from our scandal more than anyone else which allowed him to build some momentum.  If Tressel remained Ohio State's coach I don't think Hoke is able to pull anywhere near as much Ohio talent.  It is my belief that Hoke would have had as much success against us as Carr did.

TheShookster's picture

stagnant is a good way of putting it. I knew by saying anything remotely bad about tressel I would get downvoted, and I clearly stated that I had no idea if I was right or wrong. But I couldn't agree more with what you have said here. I also love The Vest but I just call it like I see it.

PDoggett73's picture

I agree, stagnant is a good way of putting it. I've received a few dowvotes for saying that type of thing, but it's true. I don't think the 6 win season with Fickel would have turned out much different with Tressel there. Tressel was great for OSU but it was time for him to go. Strangley I don't think it could have gone better for the program.

cal3713's picture

I think there's plenty of evidence that Tressel regularly executed specialized game plans in the bowl games... offensively we played a completely different style against Oregon than we had throughout the regular season, I'd call that a "fancy scheme."  That game plan did rely on Pryor's athleticism, but why wouldn't it?
I've also always suspected that we had a very specialized game plan against Florida that involved Ginn in all sorts of novel ways, but then he got hurt on the first play and the entire game plan had to be scrapped.

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Like probably many, many others, I've moved on. It was a scandal that saw the departure of a beloved head coach, though, so I don't begrudge The Lantern for its coverage.
Maybe as interesting a discussion piece would be just how quickly a program, supposedly rocked to its foundation (it would have to be for receiving so much coverage, right? Right?) bounced back to an undefeated season. As a Miami hater, I have despised how they've been let off the hook so far. I wonder if OSU-haters loathe how quickly we've gotten back on top. Seems like it would.

ATXbucknut's picture

Um...we've got a few ideas: Accurate reporting to NCAA, a stronger culture of compliance, and if anything else: GMail and a burner phone.

It's very easy--too easy--to retrospectively instruct JT from afar on what he should have done. The way he handled the situation went against NCAA regulations but was entirely legal.  Had he shared confidential information from an active federal criminal investigation he would have been compliant with NCAA regulations but would not have had sound legal footing.  Given the circumstances, I'm not sure you would have acted differently. Tressel went with the lesser of two evils.

awwwwwwop's picture

Confidentiality is an issue of legal practice, a rule of professional conduct that Cicero undoubtedly violated, hence his 1 year suspension of the practice of law at the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court.  Secondly, if there is, or was, any doubt to the Cicero confidential information leading to criminal investigation, lets think about the fact that Cicero never faced criminal investigation.  Rife was the subject of a federal grand jury. He consulted with Cicero to see if Cicero would represent him. In the course of this meeting, Cicero learned of Pryor and other players committing possible violations of NCAA rules.  He then broke confidentiality (again, not a law, a professional conduct violation) to tell Jim Tressel.  In no way could this have led to an obstruction of justice or any other charge against Jim Tressel.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

ATXbucknut's picture

A very reasoned statement, Aww (I'm being serious).  However, simply because Cicero did not face federal prosecution does not prove an absence of legal culpability. I agree that his actions constituted professional misconduct, but they may also have constituted obstruction *if* public disclosure had undermined the integrity of a federal investigation, assuming it could be proven that Cicero knew disclosure could undermine the federal case against his (one-time potential) client.
Tressel has said that he made a mistake; that he didn't know what to do with the information Cicero gave him; that he was "scared."  With the dearth of situational awareness Tressel had at the time (Where did Cicero get his information? Would he be interfering in an active federal investigation if he disclosed what he knew to the NCAA?) the "right" thing to do was not at all clear. Most of us would have struggled to do (or even recognize) the "right" thing under those circumstances.

awwwwwwop's picture

I disagree wholeheartedly.  The "right" thing to do would have been to contact an attorney, one of his own or the general counsel of the University.  I really do not think  that it is asking too much.  Most of us are smart enough to know that if we are placed in a position where we are afraid of keeping our job, keeping our kids safe, and staying out of prison, you should talk to an attorney.  Maybe some of us could not afford to do this, but Jim Tressel was in a unique situation of having both an institutional attorney and the means and skill to hire his own.  He clearly knows how to do so, because he hired an attorney to defend him when he was caught lying. 
Also, my whole point here is that for it to be obstruction, like you stated,

assuming it could be proven that Cicero knew disclosure could undermine the federal case against his (one-time potential) client.

it would have to be proven that Tressel knew disclosure could undermine the federal case.  That would be impossible to prove.  The whole point is that Tressel had an obligation as a coach operating under NCAA rules to do the best under the circumstances.  His failure to disclose to anybody, his AD, his attorney, or the school's general counsel is total misconduct under the circumstances and his excuse that he was "scared" does not pass the smell test.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

ATXbucknut's picture

A) In hindsight, the "right" thing to do is oftentimes crystal clear.  When you're running arguably the country's best football program with all that entails and you are given information you are not supposed to have, I imagine the "right" thing to do wouldn't be readily apparent.
B) Are you certain that JT did not consult university administrators (see my link/response further down in the thread) and/or personal counsel?  That is an (perhaps faulty) assumption.
I agree with your framing of the obstruction argument. However, my point is that Tressel could not have known that obstruction would "have been impossible to prove."  With such a low degree of situational awareness (Where did Cicero get his information? Is Cicero who he says he is? Would disclosure undermine the federal investigation? How far does the investigation extend? Are my players going to be implicated/prosecuted?) his action (or inaction, rather) was understandable (albeit not commendable).

awwwwwwop's picture

Well I would say that if he didn't have answers to all of those questions, he probably did not consult with individual counsel or OSU compliance.  I imagine he would have had answers had he done so.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

JLBNYC's picture

It's very easy--too easy--to retrospectively instruct JT from afar on what he should have done. The way he handled the situation went against NCAA regulations but was entirely legal.  Had he shared confidential information from an active federal criminal investigation he would have been compliant with NCAA regulations but would not have had sound legal footing.  Given the circumstances, I'm not sure you would have acted differently. Tressel went with the lesser of two evils.

With all due respect, I disagree. First of all, JT owed no obligation of confidence to Cicero (or anyone else). JT could have gone to OSU's legal department without the information being disclosed publicly and I'm sure OSU's legal department could have determined the proper path without jeopardizing any criminal investigation. Disclosure could have been made on a confidential basis for a limited purpose. And JT had many opportunities to report this and he continued to be less than forthcoming.   As a general counsel for a company in a heavily-regulated industry, I never found JT's reasoning to be compelling. 
 
Also - Cicero's conduct was egregious; His suspension was warranted and he is lucky he wasn't  disbarred.

ATXbucknut's picture

Ah, but are you certain that Tressel did not convey any of the information to someone in OSU's compliance department?  Tressel said he did; OSU says he did not, although I remember an OSU statement issued early-on that supported Tressel's claim.  It was later retracted and redacted once it became apparent that university administrators' knowledge of player violations would have constituted the dreaded NCAA 'Failure to Monitor' and '[Lack of] Institutional Control' infraction.
It's easy to make Tressel the sole scapegoat. That's what the university did, and Tressel agreed to fall on his sword. He elected to go quietly for the good of the university, the football program, and, most importantly, the players and assistant coaches. Tress is a good man. 
 

JLBNYC's picture

Ah, but are you certain that Tressel did not convey any of the information to someone in OSU's compliance department?  Tressel said he did; OSU says he did not, although I remember an OSU statement issued early-on that supported Tressel's claim.  It was later retracted and redacted once it became apparent that university administrators' knowledge of player violations would have constituted the dreaded NCAA 'Failure to Monitor' and '[Lack of] Institutional Control' infraction.

 Even if JT had disclosed Cicero's tip to compliance in December 2010 (as referenced in the report you linked), I'm not sure that fact helps too much. We are only talking about a difference of one month. And the original tip from Cicero occurred in early April 2010. So by his own admission, at a minimum he was silent for 8-9 months and then claims he disclosed it around the same time that the US Attorney notified OSU of the memorabilia incidents, at which time OSU self reported?   And he signed his annual compliance certificate in September and didnt disclose it.  Was that because he was "falling on his sword?" He also found time, in April, to forward Cicero's email to Pryor's hometown mentor, which flies in the face of his confidentiality claim.
 

It's easy to make Tressel the sole scapegoat. That's what the university did, and Tressel agreed to fall on his sword. He elected to go quietly for the good of the university, the football program, and, most importantly, the players and assistant coaches. Tress is a good man.

I dont disagree that Tressel is a good man. I suppose we differ on one point -- I think he is a good man who made an incredibly poor series of decisions. If you think there was a cover-up by the University and JT fell on his sword for the good of the University, i certainly can't make a counter argument because there is no hard evidence one way or the other. I do find it hard to believe, however, that there was some sort of cover up at a high level at OSU on this matter. On the other hand, based on the pertinent parties' respective public statements and the hard evidence that has been publicly disclosed, I continue to believe that JT did not disclose information to the appropriate authorities in a timely manner, including the omission of material information in his compliance certification to the NCAA.
 

rdubs's picture

I agree, while it is easy to understand why JT did what he did and even be sympathetic to his situation.  He still did the wrong thing in response to that situation.  Talk to a lawyer, your own or the university's.  As I mentioned above I am just glad that this site doesn't try to gloss over those mistakes the way that seemingly all of those in the PSU media have done with Joe Paterno.  I find it perfectly acceptable to revere Tressel for the great things he did while holding him accountable for the mistakes he made.  No one is infallible.

Grayskullsession's picture

The Lantern will never let Tat-Gate die will they....

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

BrewstersMillions's picture

I think we need to find someone to make the documentary "Framing Tressel" because he was fired without due process! We don't know all of the facts! We want the truth! Maurice Clarrett needs to be seen at the Shoe with a cardboard cutout of JT! He needs to acost Mark Emmert at the AIPORT! There needs to be a petition to name the field "Jim Tressel Field at Ohio Stadium"! Will the Tressel family PLEASE put out a report to contradict the NCAA's findings! This isn't over! We will never stop fighting for the TRUTH!. 10 years of success with honor!
We are!
 
Sources
http://www.framingpaterno.com/
http://www.change.org/petitions/make-paterno-field-at-beaver-stadium
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/joe-paterno-cardboard-cutout-watch-penn-state-ohio-193942978--ncaaf.html
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/franco-harris-apparently-confronts-ncaa-president-mark-emmert-212156955--ncaaf.html
http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/8930657/joe-paterno-family-report-calls-freeh-report-sandusky-scandal-total-failure

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

brumon's picture

you forgot to use the sarcastic font

BrewstersMillions's picture

I did not! I am serious! Jim was fired without due process!
God I ##!@#!@ hate Penn State.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

Earle's picture

I was wondering if your comment above was just an overt shot at the delusional Paterno apologists, or if it also carried a subtle barb aimed at Tressel defenders.
By the way, that is the first time I have ever used delusional, although it is one of my favorite (if overused) words on the internet.

Italics are for emphasis.

BrewstersMillions's picture

If that's how it was received and a stray bullet hit a Tressel apologist, then I apologize. Not my intent. It was geared entirely at the Cult of Joe. Even the most stringent of Tressel apologists can admit wrong doing, that fact alone separates them from Paternoites.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

Earle's picture

Not by me, just curious.  Read it a couple of times and still wasn't sure.  The Penn St. abhorrence was loud and clear, though.

Italics are for emphasis.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Was thinking the same thing the other day Brewster. The Paterno cult (er... Penn State fanbase) is incapable of letting this go. I believe this whole denial response will continue for at least a decade after Spanier, Curley, and Schultz are sentenced, the civil suits are settled, and the DoEd Clery penalties have expired (maybe two or three decades). Guess that's what happens when so much of your collective identity is tied to being a boyscout and someone discovers and makes public that you are not.
I'm thinking about starting a counter of continuous days that a pro-Paterno fanshot or article has appeared on BSD.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Its militant man. Its finding Japanese soldiers in tunnels on Iwo Jima who think the war is still going on. I encountered it first hand on the night of OSU's loss to WSU. I made a comment to Penn State supporter\Paternowasframed creator John Ziegler and was attacked by a few of his followers after he retweeted my comment. Within minutes, 5 or 6 of them were on me insulting OSU, posting pictures of me from facebook (my twitter handle was my first and last name). Another user posted links to my facebook, linkedin and employer profile. Now, don't get me wrong-it was a simple Google search and a posting of the first three hits. It wasn't like the guy had to dig, but the message was clear. This guy disagrees with Penn State, here are places by which you can contact him-go get him, fellow Penn Staters. I've since taken down my Twitter and Linkedin (45 views in 2 minutes) but the speed and venom at which they attacked me for saying how hypocritical they all were was astounding. Utterly amazed.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

rdubs's picture

Unbelievable story.  I think everyone would be more accepting of PSU and their fan base if the general tone was something more along the lines of recognizing Paterno should have done more while still wanting to celebrate the good things he did.  His oversight and possible cover-up was much more egregious than anything Tressel did, but if they could just make that small concession everyone else would be more likely to leave them alone.  

BrewstersMillions's picture

Bingo. That's exactly it man. I'll be the first to admit Joe Paterno did some great things and I think he's one of the slimiest guys that's ever been in front of a camera. This notion that he's infallible is not only wrong, it throws what we do know from his own grand jury testimony into the fire as if it doesn't exist.
You know the newest angle? Since we don't know FOR SURE what Mike McQueery told Paterno, we don't know FOR SURE what he saw and er go, we don't know FOR SURE what Joe knew. There are even insinuations that Victim 2 didn't get assaulted in the shower at all, and therefore the entire thing falls apart. I wish nothing but a life of rolled ankles and bad sunburn to each and every last one of those people who buy into that. They claim to be champions for the truth. Maybe Joe knew, maybe he didnt. Maybe he covered up, maybe he didn't. If he didn't know-as you attest-then he isn't an enabler...he is, however, a criminal because that means he lied to a Grand Jury. Unless that isn't illegal anymore....
I'm not making this up. At all.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

NoVA Buckeye's picture

How can I hate Tatgate? It brought us the firing of Jim Bollman! (He'd very likely still be around if it never happened.)

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

My support for Tressel is well documented. I am still in the camp who believes he lied for the right reasons and concur with Atxbucknut.
I really dislike having to remind people that the DiGerenimo(sp) situation brought the hammer, but I really hate having to remind Buckeyes.
I still can't get my head around anyone who thinks JT lied for the sake for winning. If that were the case, explain why the best player in the country at the time was benched for an entire season for a false police report -- an action that led to some pretty unfortunate events if I recall correctly.
When someone does something they felt was right in their heart, why should anyone expect contrition? Let us not forget that in all likelihood, JT fell on his sword for this University. I guess you will just have to forgive him for not properly serving his penance in the manner you deem appropriate.

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

BrewstersMillions's picture

I'll need you to elaborate that a little-what were the 'right reasons'?

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

hodge's picture

I believe she's referring to Tressel's (albeit errant) belief that his talking would compromise a criminal investigation.  It also seemed to be Tressel's prerogative to try to deal with these things in-house and try to subtly push them in the right direction--in this case I think that he was motivated also by not wanting them to wind up involved in Rife's criminal investiagation, as well.
If that case is true, then I understand why he did it.  Though I believe his first step should have been to speak to counsel, then confront the players with said counsel, and then suspend them for the NCAA-mandated time.  Get them out of the situation, even if it means losing them for a few games.
Granted, Tressel's inaction could speak to the relative frequency with which these kind of things happen(ed?) at Ohio State.

Denny's picture

I too am curious.

Taquitos.

BrewstersMillions's picture

The reason I ask is because it wasn't just one player. It was your starting LT, WR, QB, and RB. That's a lot of offense you are primed to lose for an extended period of time a few months before what many considered to be a title run.
Again, it seems like people are falling into this trap that it was Pryor and Pryor alone. OSU probably could have lived to fight another day without only him but when you see Boom, Posey, and Adams implicated, its more than just worrying about the kids well being-its about losing your best weapons before a potential dream season.
I'm open to discussion, but that's just how I see it.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

Denny's picture

I'm largely curious because in my encounters with the terms, 'doing things the right way/for the right reasons' are often used in ways that either lack nuance or are myopic (calling back to a time when 'the world was much better').
And I totally agree with your points.

Taquitos.

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

Tressel got this info in April, right?
I am fairly confident that if his reason for not revealing the info rested solely in competition, benching the players for the first two MAC games would not have had that large of an impact.
Of course he had to think, "wow, the bulk of my offense, what is that going to mean to the season?" -- he is human -- and by the way we actually paid him to be competitive. But to say unequivocally that his decision was based on nothing more than the desire to win just does not add up to the man we knew for the better part of a decade.
Do you then think that if under the exact same circumstances (FBI investigation, Cicero's request to keep info confidential) that he would have been happy to report to the NCAA had the players involved been 2nd string or walk-ons?

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

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

Tressel believed his actions would both compromise the investigation as well as place his players in danger given the totality of the circumstances.
I completely support not reporting to the NCAA under those circumstances. However, I also believe JT was wrong to not come clean about what/when he knew once the investigation was public (in December). I cannot defend that decision.
I will not ever subscribe to the idea that his intentions in keeping the information private was solely the result of wanting to win. His character has not ever revealed this to be the case -- unless of course you think he fixed some raffles.

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

BrewstersMillions's picture

Lets get one thing straight here, I'm in the uncomfortable position of arguing against a beloved coach. I like JT. What he accomplished with a maddening style of football was nothing short of miraculous. The guy did more with less than anyone in the country-but some might argue did less with more when he had the talent.
I am more than a little concerned about one comment.

But to say unequivocally that his decision was based on nothing more than the desire to win just does not add up to the man we knew for the better part of a decade.

To the man we THOUGHT we knew. He was a football coach, that's all. Anything he did outside of the Shoe, selfless as any of it may have been, was tertiary to his job and duties while under the employ of TOSU. It was also more than 2 games. AJ Green's 4 game suspension set the bar at least that high for similar cases, one had to assume 4 was the minimum TP, Boom, Posey, and Adams were facing. Any early season loss was going to be crippling to OSU.
There is no nobility in lying. I'm sorry. Especially not when the guy that is lying is being sold to us as something more than he is. Ohio State fans are guilty of some of the same hero worship that the fools from PA have been doing for 18 months now. This idea that 'it doesn't add up to the man we knew" simply tells me we didn't really know the guy. JT was probably more win at all costs than we want to give him credit for but what else would you expect? He was the steward of one of the truly elite blue bloods of college football. Pressure comes by the pound in Columbus. Everything we know about Tressel is what we are told. Something like this reveals that he's more like the rule of college football coaches and less like the exception. Once the Penn State saga came to light, the message was simple-every.single.college.football.coach cares about winning and winning alone. Its nice to think he did it for reasons other than covering his team's ass but the guy was wrong. This idea that he 'fell on his sword for OSU' is another one that gets me. OSU took heat, OSU took fire, nothing JT did limited their exposure-unless I've totally missed something. In a twist of irony only M. Night could appreciate, it was Pryor who probably saved OSU from the gallows, not JT. Again-unless I missed something.
For a guy in total control of the program the way he was, it defies logic to think he wasn't thinking about life without %20 of your O Line and %90 of your offense for any extended period of time when he was made aware of his players' misdeeds.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

First, you nor I really knew or are in a position to say we thought we knew Jim Tressel. Let me phrase it a better way:
Nothing about the prior acts of this man would suggest to anyone that he is/was a liar or unethical in any way.
There is no nobility in lying? Please then tell your wife the truth the next time she asks you how her butt looks in her whatever jeans she is wearing. Also make sure your children know that Santa and the Easter bunny are both lies. When you get pulled over for speeding, be sure to readily admit to it. Also, don't forget to tell your boss about every extra minute you spent a lunch. Seems silly, but it's your logic, man.
Greene's punishment did not set any standard. There is no rule or bylaw that dictates these punishments are the same. Not a good argument for why he didn't bench them. Oh, and I still have not heard your take on why Clarett was suspended FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON since JT's only concern are L's and W's. He was only the best player in all of college football.
I don't find giving the man the benefit of the doubt to be 'hero worship.'
Gene Smith still has his job. We were not hammered with LOIC because of the information regarding Tat-Gate. That is how he fell on his sword.
Again, we agree to disagree.

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

BrewstersMillions's picture

Telling my wife (soon to be actually, June 8th this year) her butt looks big ends with me sleeping on the couch for a night or two. If my kids find out Santa and the Easter Bunny aren't real, they move on. If I lie about a speeder who's to say the cop doesn't let me slide for the expired sticker, cracked windshield, busted tail light (edit-I have none of those things but was let out of an expired plate sticker for admitting going 15 over) while telling my boss I spend 34 minutes on lunch instead of 30 prevents him from asking me a question he should already know an answer to. Not being forth coming with information about the potential eligibility of your 4 biggest super stars (offensive anyway) is none of those examples. Its the same-except that it isn't.
Regarding Tressel-His actions? No. His profession? Yes. He was a college football coach who are by definition liars. Liars on the recruiting trail, liars about injuries, liars. Regardless of the severity they all take liberties with the truth to some extent or the other. Doesn't make them bad guys at all, but it does make stuff like this not really all that shocking.
Let me correct myself. Fresh off the AJ Green suspension, coaches across the nation had to swallow the pill that 4 games was dished out for breaking a rule that the NCAA said was a rule. No, it wasn't a bench mark but don't think that number didn't rattle around in coaches' heads whenever they saw one of their stars getting into dicey situation. The world in which we live is very, very small.
Easy- Clarrett was one player on a team that returned 15 starters from a national championship team. Tress was also the defending national champ and not at a bit of a cross roads in his career. The Rose Bowl snapped an otherwise awful post season\big game snide and going into the following year, nothing would silence critics like following up a Rose Bowl win with another big time winning season. Losing 4 players is worse than losing one and nothing would say "Choker" like following up a Rose Bowl winning season with a clunker due in large part to the absence of your best offensive weapons.
Gene Smith kept his job because he steered a ship with no mast to land in a hurricane-your insinuation that he kept it because of anything Tressel did or didn't do is downright foolish. We weren't hammered with LOIC because the violations that took place at Ohio State weren't worthy of the punishment. All the NCAA knew was what it found and the guy that could have sunk the ship is still considered public enemy to a lot of people today and he said exactly bubcus to the NCAA.
Finally, giving him the benefit of the doubt is fine, except for that pesky annoying fact that we know he lied. The guy was sold as the shining image of winning the right way, but he lied to keep guys eligible. Shoot, I'll even come across to your side a little. Lets say he had better interests in mind. Safe to say he was worried about their eligibility and his success that season to go long with these phantom better interests? Or is it just easier to assume he wasn't playing the college football game every other coach in American plays?
 

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

A lie is a lie is a lie. There is no integrity in lying, remember? That is my illustration. Don't now act as though there is no integrity in situational lying. Your words. Your logic. Your fallacy.
Regarding Green, I seriously doubt that the four games he got weighed heavily into the minds of any other coaches. I realize you need to say that to make your point but it still does not resonate as logical. I mean clearly, Miami, North Carolina, and Boise State considered it greatly.
So college football coaches are liars by nature, huh? So why are you surprised at all that Tressel did this. By your own definition, his mere job title has rendered him absent integrity. Not sure why you have to grapple with his shortcomings since by the very nature of his profession it is to be expected. This may be the most asinine thing you have said thus far.
You are reaching on the Clarett situation. An season long suspension for a false police report? Returning 15 starters? Yup, but it's not like we dominated cfb that season. Most people I know whole-heartedly agree that sans Clarett we are not winning that title. Not a few games. Not a bowl game. An. Entire. Season. You don't think JT wasn't salivating for a repeat -- especially after beating Miami (who was trying to repeat) and under the controversy of 'the call.' At the crossroads of his career during Tat-gate? Wasn't he under contract until 2014? Were we not fresh off a Rose Bowl win? And about losing early in the season (had he sat them 4 games); you are so right. Teams with one or two losses NEVER get to a title game (you must have slept thru 2007-2008).
Gene Smith ABSOLUTELY knew about this. We didn't get LOIC because he said he didn't and JT supported it. Enter sword falling here.
You keep bringing up Pryor. I find it odd that you seem to forget that beyond the Tat-gate issue Pryor is even more culpable. Pretty sure it was this guy who ratted out the DiGerinmo situation to be able to enter the supplemental draft after being ruled ineligible. I wish TP no ill will, but he gets no free pass from me. I am so glad he didn't sink the ship he blasted a gigantic hole into.
I know I said a minute ago that something else was the most asinine thing you have said thus far; I stand corrected. You support for TP while condemning Tress easily captures that title.
 
 

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

BrewstersMillions's picture

Yes, exactly. I'm glad you got that. I'm not saying anything about integrity (more on that word later) I'm saying that lying is wrong. The consequence of the lie is where your scenarios differ from Jim Tressel's-and that's what I was arguing. That was a REALLY cute attempt at making up something to argue against, only to turn around and say "See I'm right!".
Again, you are doing this thing where you taking something and make it into something else, and then argue against it as a clever way of avoiding my point. AJ Green and Tat 5 scenarios are similar-they took benefits that they shouldn't have. What happened at Georgia and what happened at OSU isn't close to what happened at Miami or NC or even Boise. I hope you do Yoga will all of that stretching.
Yes, every college football coach lies. All of them. Naive to think otherwise. I also said nothing about the position being "absent integrity"-which of course leads YOU to respond that liars are void integrity but that would be you saying that not me.  Again, another wonderful attempt at saying I said something I didn't say and arguing against it. 3 for 3.
Except that I'm not. Maurice Clarrett was an integral, nay, crucial part to that national title run. I'd agree with your sources-friends of yours I assume-that without him, OSU probably loses 2 or 3 times and thus doesn't win or even make it to a national title (more on teams with losses going to the title game later). The point is, its easier to swallow the loss of one suspended player and play it off as 'doing the right thing' than it is to suspend 4 players-%90 of your offense and the best LT in the conference, and suffer the slings and arrows that comes with losing the games their losses give way to.
Yes. Crossroads of his career-apparentley you didn't know coaches can lose their jobs before their contracts expire. Find a Google Machine and type "fired coaches in college football". Now, was JT on the University hotseat? Probably not. Dude was a winning machine, but his reputation went from big game unbeatable to big game choker in a few seasons. The ability to shed that reputation lied in the laps of 2, 1, 8 and to a lesser extent 75. In addition to being liars, all coaches have an ego they want to repair when its damaged-and JT's was damaged more than any other coach in the nation, other than Bob Stoops who apparentley is bullet proof.
I condemn them both. Pryor and JT. And Herron. And Posey, and Adams...and sure Sol too. Again, I didn't say Pryor  was infallable. But what would you have to argue about...

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

You said there was not any nobility in lying. You also said all coaches are liars. Thus, by your own logic, all coaches lack nobility. These are your words -- how an I making it into something else? I may have said integrity instead of nobility. You got me. Kinda. Not really.
The reason I brought up the other schools -- all with improper benefit cases -- is that no two cases are alike. Coaches punish based on the circumstances of their specific situations. No other coach in cfb was thinking "wow, Green got four games, so-and-so must have the same." Again, pointing out fallacies in your logic is not changing what you say -- it's holding you accountable for it.
Also, I reference the 2007-2008 scenario since Tat-gate occurred after that time. Losing a game early in the season did not prohibit LSU (with two losses, mind you) or tOSU from playing for a title. Sitting the kids early in the season was an option under your 'deep-dark-liar' construct and again, it just doesn't hold.
Of course I know coaches can lose their jobs at any time. WE HAD JUST WON THE ROSE BOWL. Against a supposed 'fast team.' Ego repaired, my friend.

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

BrewstersMillions's picture

At this point it feels almost like shooting fish in a barrel but whatever, you keep coming back for it.
...I'm going to respond to each paragraph one at a time. You have 4 paragraphs. So, the numbers should indicate which I'm responding to.
1) (that's the first one). You literally just put words in my mouth. You draw a connection that you think is there, so you make it and then argue against it again and proclaim yourself the winner. Its almost like you have a man made of straw...and you argue against that man made of straw. Then when you beat that man made of straw you throw your shoulder out congratulating yourself. Here' goes. Nice and slow. Ready? Coaches lie. Even Jim Tressel. I know, hard to swallow, but he does\did. The act of lying-that's where one person tells something to someone he knows isn't true. Like, say, if a coach signs an affidavit stating he knew nothing about his players misdeeds. That's a lie. Again, an immoral act. Committing that act, does not make one immoral, however-now I'm almost positive you immediately want to make a murder\murderer connection here so feel free-the point is, lying is immoral. Not all liars are immoral. You selected to put words in my mouth, got slapped for it and still want to fight the good fight. Good show.
2) (the one after 1, before 3) This whole straw person (I'm so politically correct) thing is starting to become a theme. OSU and UGA are more similar to each other than any of the other scenarios you presented. They are different because they are different. Simply bringing up other schools with scandal and passing it off as similar is a self fulfilling prophecy. Again, another attempt at saying "See I'm right because I'm right".
3) (second to last-before 4). LSU's first loss came at week 7, while number 2 came in week 12. Of the 30 participants in the 15 BCS title games, only 3 teams have gone on to play in the national title game after suffering a loss in the first five weeks of the year. So I stand by-and the facts sorta kinda prove-that an early season loss is crippling to your team's title run %90 of the time.
4) (Last one). What does 'fast team' have to do with anything? Jim Tressel had lost 3 straight BCS games and lost 2 title games. Speed teams has nothing to do with anything....oh wait. Your conclusion is his reputation is repaired. Your hypothesis is that his rep is damaged by faster teams. You literally just created an argument to argue against it and again congratulated yourself for proving yourself right. After the Rose, JT was 1-3 in his last 4 big bowl games. Reputation was reubuildING not reBUILT. You crush that big game choker monicker by winning it all the following year. You win it all the following year by having your best offensive weapons available to you. Get news they did something to affect that? Brush it under the rug and hope for the best. Why? Because your THE coach at The Ohio State University, where winning is currency. Win or go home. That's what matters. If you honestly think Jim Tressel or Ohio State cared about anything else, your naiviety has reached Penn Statian levels and we're done here. JT did plenty good outside of the Shoe-and none of that would have mattered if he marched out 5 loss squads each and every year. He was as moral as he had to be but at the end of the day only wanted wins-and good for him. That's what he got paid for.
 

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

faux_maestro's picture

Nothing about the prior acts of this man would suggest to anyone that he is/was a liar or unethical in any way. 

 
The only problem I have with this statement is that, including his time at YSU, there seemed to be a lot of "smoke" around his programs. And we know what smoke indicates.

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

His acts. Not his accusations.

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

faux_maestro's picture

Yes, but IMO the amount of smoke around tSOU and tYSU indicate something.

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

NC_Buckeye's picture

If the violations against Miami get dismissed then I fully support Tressel's lack of contrition about not reporting the extra benefits. What was going on in Miami dwarfs Tressel's transgressions by a mile.

DefendOhio's picture

Are people still arguing about this? 

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

Sharing a difference of opinion does not equate to arguing.
Arguing implies a disregard for someone else's insights and I don't think that is what we are doing. I respect every person here, even I don't agree with their perspective.

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

UrbzRenewal's picture

Arguing has nothing to do with disregarding other people. That's called being an asshole.

You can argue with civility:
 

ar·gue 
/ˈärgyo͞o/
Verb
1. Give reasons or cite evidence in support of an idea, action, or theory, typically with the aim of persuading others to share one's view.

2. Persuade someone to do or not to do (something) by giving reasons: "I tried to argue him out of it".

sb97's picture

Someone should probably link the old Monty Python argument sketch here.

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

Arguing over arguing?

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

sb97's picture

I remain a big Tressel fan.  I was and remain vocal and unhappy about both how our own administration handled the situation (both before and after Tress resigned/was fired/forced out) and with the sports media's general obsession with the story (it was bad enough that some Michigan fans I know were even commenting about it). 
In the end, I was OK with him losing his job but I was happy as can be that he got the recognition he did during the Michigan game.  It was awesome because he deserved it for his entire body of work.  And it was pleasant to watch that fake controversy about what kind of reception he was going to get implode in a whiff of Scarlet and Grey smoke.

JakeBuckeye's picture

LOLOLOLOLOL at this freaking "change that needed to happen"/"stagnant" stuff. Stagnant in what sense? In the sense that we beat Michigan and won the Big Ten every single year? Look, we got lucky that we got Urban Meyer, but getting him was the ONLY scenario in which this program remained just as/more dominant than it was before

bukyze's picture

We were VERY lucky to get Urban.  Just happened to be perfect timing.  Who knows who else we would've gotten, and what direction our program would be going at this time.  Tressel had the greatest 10 year stretch of success in the HISTORY of our football program.  Enough said.  The only problem was that Bollman seemed to be his kryptonite.

wayneo's picture

fail to see any purpose in dredging this matter up again,hopefully the coaching staff now and whomever in the future pay heed to the mess this created.