The post regarding the little four year old Bryson, his mower accident and the surprise hospital visit by Coach Tressel was touching and I believe is indicative of the moral character of this man.
A somewhat similar incident occured Dec. 18, 2006. Our family was in Columbus attending the funeral of our son-in-law, Army Captain Shawn L. English, a native of New Albany, Ohio who was killed in combat in Iraq Dec 06, 2006. Shawn left a wife, (our daughter) and 3 little boys ages 7, 5 and 3 at the time..
Somehow the news of Shawns death reached the Buckeye organization and our family was contacted and invited to watch the last practice at OSU before the game against Florida.
After the practice, Coach Tressel huddled all of the players at mid field and was giving a little pep talk. At the end, we heard hiom remark to his players that while the game was important, that what was really important was people like Shawn who were willing to give their life for their country. He then asked our family to come to center of the huddle where he continued to talk of Shawn and our families sacrifice. He then dismissed the team with the exception of Troy Smith and Ted Ginn who he had learned were idolized by our 3 young grandsons. Smith and Ginn got on their knees to be a little closer to eye level with our grandsons and talked to them about football. The 7 year old said "I am also a big fan of Anthony Gonzolez" Coach Tressel asked one of the assistants to "Go get Gonzo out here" Gonzolez came out and along with Tressel, Smith and Ginn presented each with autographed balls and jerseys. Coach Tressel then spent about a half hour with our family. Afterwards, Butch Reynolds was introduced and at our grandsons request ran up and down the field with them. (he of course lost)
What a wonderful way to take minds off of our tragedy for a short while.
As in the case of Bryson, Coach Tressel certainly demonstrated what is important to him in life.
It is my opinion these and similar situations by Coach Tressel dramatically outweighs any mistakes of judgement he made related to the player tattoo and uniform issue. His " five year banishment" by the NCAA not only creates a loss to collegiate football, but a loss to all in and out of football who may have been future beneficiaries of his compassion and gooodness.
He certainly always will be remembered by 3 little boys as such.