A Letter from Jim Tressel's Daughter to Maurice Clarett's Daughter

By Jason Priestas on December 23, 2013 at 4:57p
Maurice Clarett and Jim Tressel at the premiere of Youngstown Boys

Carlee Tressel, daughter of Jim, weighs in on Youngstown Boys, but instead of discussing the film, she pens a heartfelt note to Maurice Clarett's young daughter, Jayden.

Here's an excerpt:

At heart, our fathers are not so different. They are seekers and thinkers and dads trying to do the best they can. They aren’t perfect humans but neither are we.

Someday you will watch Youngstown Boys. I hope you feel proud of your dad and the journey he has traveled. It takes guts for a person to tell his story. It takes courage to admit that our stories are always being written and rewritten.

I wish you the best as you write yours.


Class. The Tressels have it.

Head over to Carlee's blog, Fifty Rows Up, to read the full letter.

[H/T @SteakNStiffarms]


Comments Show All Comments

ATXbucknut's picture

The words are not leveled against your dad, the person. They’re aimed at the persona other people see.

What a mature observation.  JT raised her right.

TMac's picture

I would expect nothing less from the Senator's daughter. 
Also, not surprised to see this story comes to us by way of Elika! Another class act, with a side of Bacon!

ONE Not Done!

JohnBoy's picture

Yeah....I'm tired of this story and the Youngstown Boys. I think it's great that Maurice has had a change of heart and become a better person....but isn't that what we're supposed to do? I know tons of people that are 3 times the human being Clarett is but will not get a write up here or a 30 for 30 film. Tressel did a ton for OSU football but man I disagree with the pedestal we put him on. He did some very bad as well...that seems to be lost. I guess I'm just not enamored with these guys and all the things that went down with them. I'll take the current situation and staff every time. Let's move on.
Just my take...downvote at will.

Thank you sir! May I have another?

brylee's picture

Sorry bud...Tressel was a much better man/coach than you give him credit for.

JohnBoy's picture

Understood....just my opinion.

Thank you sir! May I have another?

bcarp87's picture

I get what you are saying Johnboy.. but I think you are misinformed, don't mean that in a negative way - real info about Maurice is not accessible by google, all you get is media portrayal. The guy has told his story and visited my church multiple times. He is using his testimony as a way to change other people's lives and giving them hope. I am not saying you don't know a bunch of people better than him, but he is a genuinely inspirational person. I think more people would see that if the media didn't censor the faith part of his message and story.
That said I upvoted you because I get your point, I do not like when the media glorifies people for no longer being a criminal. I am normally very skeptical when I see stories like this.

JohnBoy's picture

Thank you....I obviously haven't seen what you have. Thank you for your insight, I will continue to monitor where and how Maurice continues with his life and message. I hope to have my opinion changed. 

Thank you sir! May I have another?

Chief B1G Dump's picture

+1 for your opinion.
Im torn on this subject. Being a student in 02, the documentary brings back some amazing memories/emotions tied to that team and those guys. I was both saddened and disappointed at what happened to Clarett. Then turned to anger and embarassment as he tried to take everyone down with him and then on to his public criminal issues. As for Tress, I will always love the class and life he restored to the program. I bailed on Tressel when he did not bench the Tat5 in the Sugar Bowl. I would rather have lost that game 100-0 then play those guys. That was telling for me.
With all that being said, I see it as these guys did the crime and have done the time, both literally and figuratively. I am glad they are doing well and wish them the best. They are part of the past, so we can reflect and learn from them/it. I was not pleased with the black eye they left us with but water has passed under the bridge and I have moved on to an exciting new chapter.
Theyre humans, prone to mistakes like all of us. I am not putting them on a pedestal...but I am intetested in their story and rebound none the less.

ECSAGESTER's picture

I think Tressel gets a bad rap from everybody about his handling of the TatGate deal. He didn't turn over information to the NCAA about his guys committing an infraction, one that everybody knows is petty at best. Selling one's personal items can in no way be logically condemned. Standing by your guys and starting them anyway, despite heat over some media-incited nonsense, was a move that I personally liked. The NCAA is not a judge of morals and just because they, along with the media, decided that breaking an arbitrary rule deserved condemnation does not mean that Tressel has to go along with it. The reputation of Ohio State to those on the outside is not and is never going to be good. That's an indisputable fact. People outside of Ohio see Woody as the guy who punched Charlie Bauman, Tressel as a snake for trying to hide information in the best interest in winning, and Urban as the devil incarnate. When you can finally come to terms with the fact that Ohio State is not well-liked, you have to see certain decisions as being made in the interest of those within the program. And I will always want the guy who is loyal to Ohio State and his players first and that's what I see in Tressel. He tried to protect his guys from sanctions and went down with them when everything went bad. And when he started them in the Sugar Bowl, I like to think of it as a statement, a statement that declares that Buckeyes will always come first, not what others think about us. Maybe that's naive, but that's what I'll always think about Tressel, a guy who was fiercely loyal and is a Buckeye forever. And that's the threshold of what I want in an Ohio State head coach. 

JohnBoy's picture

Great points. +1.....I think that fine line of loyalty vs demanding accountability is a very gray one.

Thank you sir! May I have another?

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Great synopsis of exactly how I feel about the whole damn tatgate spectacle. The decisions that were made "in the interested of those within the program" is an important point that always seems to get lost when this gets discussed. Thanks for bringing that out.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

While I agree with the point that the NCAA rule is completely stupid...I completely disagree with you. Tressel and all of the players signed an NCAA waiver stating that they would abide by the rules or face punishment, regardless of how stupid those rules are. Arbitrary or not, that DOES mean they have to go along with the rules or face sanctions by the governing body, in this case the NCAA. According to Tressel himself he was notified and also told this was part of a greater FBI tax/narcotics investigation. Tressel 100% knew this was an issue, at the very least, on the NCAA level. I do care about the reputation of the university but I do not care if we are liked or not... for me it was about Tressel practicing what he preaches. I dont care if you like us but i do care that we demand respect. Tressel was captain of a ship on its way down...and rather than sticking to his preachings and benching the players for the bowl game when the cat was out of the bag...he caved to the bowl organizers and played the star players anyhow. He lost major credibility there in my eyes. In my opinion, the only statement he made by playing them was win at all costs. Only this time, everybody watched it unfold, and he lost respect for himself and the school. Proof in his dismissal.
I agree the NCAA rule is stupid and the media went overboard. However, the rules are the rules. I dont agree with the seatbelt law but I understand I face punishment for not following it.

For the record, opinions are not indisputable facts. Saying that Ohio State will never have a good reputation is ridiculous and something I will never give up on. I do not care if we are loved or hated but I absolutely care about being respected.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

He did some very bad as well.


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

klfeck's picture

Agreed, silly statement.



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

JohnBoy's picture

I mean his decision making process throughout the TAT5 ordeal was really inexcusable. It cost the University millions and our national reputation is just now emerging from the toilet.  I would also say that added to that scandal we became a national embarrassment vs. the SEC and in several other high profile games (USC).  Like it or not, outside of our Buckeye world virtually no one wants to see us back in the NC game. I give Tress credit for restoring our record against SCUM and of course the 2002 season which was magical looking back. I think he's a good coach and probably a very good man. He's earned respect, but that's it. He was handsomely paid to achieve those things.
Just the way I see it. I feel better about the program and accountability now.

Thank you sir! May I have another?

klfeck's picture

I assume you have kept up on the NCAA infractions since Tatgate and agree how silly and minor they seem in comparison?



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

JohnBoy's picture

I have and that doesn't change anything about what happened. The coverup was much bigger than the crime...that's where I'm coming from I guess.
This discussion is over because I have now shifted all my attention forever to your profile picture.

Thank you sir! May I have another?

Brutus's picture

You and I have extremely different definitions of "very bad".

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I'm still waiting for the "very bad".

Like it or not, outside of our Buckeye world virtually no one wants to see us back in the NC game.

Those same people didn't want Ohio State playing Miami either.

I think you're confusing ignorant Ohio State haters with people that genuinely enjoy college football.

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

woodcocklives@osu's picture

He didn't and he can't.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

"Good Night Johnboy"......
I still see Tress as the John Walton (the father in the show) of College Football coaches....

JohnBoy's picture


Thank you sir! May I have another?

captain obvious's picture

Clarett is news to Buckeye fans because he was so instrumental in winning our last National Championship. As far as what he did wrong I'm not condoning it "but walk a mile is his shoes."

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

Qujo's picture

While you live in your Pollyanna world, the rest of us respect that people fail and pick themselves up. Yet MoC failed in public and then went to jail and picked himself back up like few before him. 
Yes it is easy to cast stones at people less fortunate as you. However, please remove that plank from your eye as you cast those stones.

Our arch rivals.... 11 National Championships, 10 before 1949 - eight of eleven shared. Trying to respect them... trying.... Ugh!

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Wonderful letter by Carlee Tressel.  I thought YB's was a very powerful story of redemption.  It changed my perception of Maurice Clarett, as it turns out he is a very intelligent and insightful guy from the inner city of Youngstown that got caught up in circumstances that spun out of control.  I do think Andy Geiger was a petty, vindictive individual that threw Maurice under the bus and left him with few options other than to revert to a life of survival.  Coach Tressel was there for him for most of that time, I'm sure he would have liked to have changed some things during the initial fall from grace, which may have (as the film insinuated) affected his later response to the Pryor episode, falling on his sword trying to prevent another kid possibly winding up in jail or even worst.  The other thing that blew me away is how articulate Clarett's mother is, that is obviously where Maurice gets the poet side of him from.  Did the 30/30 episode leave out some key facts, no question, did Maurice make some horrible choices after being cast aside and becoming an alcoholic, absolutely, but at the end of the documentary most of us felt good at how he emerged from the chaos, and angry at a system that in part chewed him up and spit him out.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

FROMTHE18's picture

still proud of Mo for turning things around. 

CharlieBuckeye's picture

To all who tend to criticize prior to learning all the facts- To many of us, me included, have the propensity to react immediately to certain news which we think affects us. However in many instances we need to step back and take a breathe, wait for the dust to settle and then obtain actual facts of a situation.
The fact is the events which we believe affect us do not. At least not in the manner in which  the events affect the actual people involved. For no matter how peaved, upset or disgusted we are at individuals who have done wrong in our minds- we are on the outside looking in.

"To have a great life simply follow this rule:  Do not bring undo conflict into your life..."

Charlie Baker - OSU - 1986

Hovenaut's picture

Nice gesture from one daughter to another, and a nice footnote to the story.

andretolstoy's picture

Outside of ESPN/Cable, where could someone watch "Youngstown Boys?"

Unky Buck's picture

I've known Carlee for a long time. She was a good friend of my middle sister growing up (both were a grade younger than me) and even though I see her sparingly now, she is just as down to earth and thoughtful now as she was then. It's a fantastic blog and worth everyone's time to check it out from time to time.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

ARMYBUCK's picture

If you look at all the positive things Tress has done in the lives of his former players and basically anyone whos met him would you expect anything less from his own daughter?  Me neither! God bless Tress.