Tales of November and Indianapolis

Hoody Wayes's picture
November 1, 2011 at 8:26a

Today, begins what will likely be, the most suspenseful November in Buckeye memory. 

It's not the "gales of November" and a floundering Edmund Fitzgerald. Ill winds are blowing, however. 

Maybe, another maritime analogy is more fitting. The Indianapolis comes to mind. That ship was torpedoed. It sank. And the sharks circled - then feasted - on its crew.

How ironic it is that this ship's namesake - Indianapolis, Indiana - is the site of the final act in Ohio State's almost yearlong drama, in which its football program has been torpedoed and the sharks have circled...and feasted.

Shore: Indianapolis, Indiana is the site of the first, Big Ten Championship Game.

Sharks: Indianapolis, Indiana is headquarters to the NCAA.

Torpedo: Indianapolis, Indiana is home to the Colts, the NFL team employing Jim Tressel, presently. 

Beyond want, lies consideration. More and more Buckeye fans are saying they want Jim Tressel to be on the sidelines, for the 2012 football season. 

But, what will it take to put him there?

Let's consider the following:

1.) "Show-cause": The press has distilled the NCAA's judgment of Jim Tressel down to two words: show-cause. This is legal terminology and not exclusive to the NCAA. But, all we've heard is, if the NCAA issues a show-cause penalty against Jim Tressel, his career as a college football coach is over. That may - or may not - be true;

2.) Public perception and the usurping of the NCAA: Ohio State can rehire Jim Tressel, despite a show-cause ruling against him. However, this would be unprecedented and would equate open defiance of the NCAA, a governing body supported by the 1,281 academic institutions participating in intercollegiate athletics. To do this, Ohio State would have to consult the leadership of these other institutions. Wouldn't such bold action require their unanimous support? Would Ohio State risk the public scorn of its peers, by acting unilaterally? Hasn't Ohio State endured enough scorn, over the past ten months?

3.) Money: Private and public benefactors may regard the re-hiring of Jim Tressel as, untenable; 

4.) Luke Fickell: What if Luke Fickell leads the Buckeyes to a perfect November and a B1G Championship? Do you expect him to give way to Jim Tressel...willingly and happily?

5.) Jim Tressel: What's going on in Indy? What's the nature of his employment with the Colts? Do the Colts have big plans involving Jim Caldwell, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and...Jim Tressel? What is Jim Tressel thinking and feeling? Are we sure he would return to Ohio State - if invited? Would honor allow Jim Tressel to accept the invitation, in light of what he told Luke Fickell:

Fickell said that he and Tressel had had conversations about how Fickell could one day take over the Buckeyes, perhaps in three or four years. Ohio State’s president, E. Gordon Gee, indicated the same, saying there had been preliminary talks about grooming Fickell for the job.
When Ohio State announced Tressel’s departure on May 30, the football staff went to Tressel’s house as a show of respect. Fickell waited until everyone left and met with Tressel.
They have spoken only once since, at Ohio State’s N.C.A.A. hearing, but Fickell said Tressel instilled confidence in him, telling him this was part of a plan they had talked about, only that it had happened a few years earlier than they expected.
“Other than that, really, he said: ‘You don’t need me. Go do it. That’s what best for you. That’s what’s best for the program. That’s what you need,’ ” Fickell said.

Jim Tressel put us here - here - in the lofty place of National Champion, National Championship contender, Seven-Time Big Ten Champion and Nine-Time Vanquisher of Michigan…ALL in one magnificent decade.

And Jim Tressel put us here - now - in the water with sharks, where we have struggled for months, to survive.

Shore is in sight. We may reach it.

Do we want Jim Tressel, waiting there?


Comments Show All Comments

BucksfanXC's picture

Ok, I'm getting fed up with you "Bring back JT" people. You are idiots and you're making us as a fan base look like idiots.

1) IF JT doesn't get a show cause (which is a possibility) and 2) IF OSU wanted him back badly enough to not only be stupid enough to ask him, but beg him to come back, he would still say no.

Get over it.

There will be a coaching search at the end of the year. JT will not be a candidate. Luke Fickell will be. Urban Meyer might be.


“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

O-H Kee Pa's picture

+1 on every word. People can wax poetic about JT as much as they want; he's not coming back. Funny how people also automatically assume JT would want to come back after OSU clearly made him fall on the sword.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

You are idiots and you're making us as a fan base look like idiots.


I would rather see you call their comments idiotic than to attack them personally and call them  idiots. 

Denny's picture

Yes and also what did he mean 'you people' ???


AltaBuck's picture

The irony of your analogy is that Capt. McVay of the USS Indianapolis was court martialed based on his actions that fateful night when his ship was torpedoed. All kinds of evidence were ignored by the court and he was found guilty. The Navy needed their pound of flesh and they found it. In 1968, Capt McVay committed suicide. In 2001, he was exonerated by Congress.

Just like it was a blackeye for the Navy, what happened to JT will eventually end up being a blackeye for Gene Smith, Gordon Gee, the NCAA, and the media.

However, he is NOT coming back. Our beloved captain has left port, and for good. Time to move on.


I am Groot - Groot

Nick's picture

May not be the path we are used to, but we are still on the way towards a B1G title this year, that is impressive IMO with everything that has happened.

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

oh come on..that was a fun read..everyone relax and let the man use this as his forum as it was meant to be...you can respond but you don't have to be Douchey mcDoucher about it

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Menexenus's picture

Bucksfanxc is calling "you Bring Back JT people" idiots.  Being one of those idiots, I know first-hand that Hoody has argued *against* bringing back JT in the past.  And he is clearly arguing against it in this blog post as well.  So I hope Bucksfanxc is not confusing Hoody's position with the one he is clearly arguing against!  That would make him quite an idiot, wouldn't it?

First, kudos to Hoody for producing the most cogent and persuasive argument I have seen to date that Tressel will not be our once-and-future head coach.  I've been asking for an argument (rather than angry tirades/snide put-downs), and Hoody has delivered in spades.  Well done!  For what it's worth, here are my responses to Hoody's considerations point-by-point.

1)  Let me start by saying that I am no expert on show-cause penalties.  I know what Wikipedia knows, and that's about it.  But from what I've learned, show-cause penalties have a duration.  And when I look at the sorts of things that have gotten coaches 2 year bans in the past, I don't believe that Tressel's transgressions are of that kind.  So I don't think he will get more than a 1-year ban.  And if it's only one year, then it will already be served by the end of this season.  Now of course, this is all a matter of speculation.  The NCAA will do whatever it will do.  But I think there are strong reasons to believe that Tressel will be eligible to coach again as of the beginning of next season.

2)  If I'm right in my response to #1, then Hoody's concerns in #2 are irrelevent.  If he has already served his penalty by the time he is re-hired, then there is no open defiance of the NCAA.

3)  Hoody suspects that rehiring Tressel would have a negative impact on donations.  I find that highly unlikely.  In fact, I suspect that the contrary is true.  But these are just hunches on both of our parts.  So there is nothing to argue against here.

4)  Yes, I suspect that Fickell would willingly give back the head coaching position to Tressel with no hard feelings.  If you have ever been in a mentor-mentee relationship, you know that they foster a great deal of fondness and loyalty.  Fickell doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would begrudge his mentor of a few more years at the helm, especially considering that he knows that Tressel will continue to groom him as a future head coach.

5)  This is by far your strongest, most persuasive point, in my opinion.  The mentor-mentee relationship that I talked about in #4 works both ways.  Just as Fickell would not begrudge Tressel of returning to his old post, Tressel probably *would* be reluctant to take back the reins if that means supplanting his protege.  Tressel is clearly a man of honor, and he may very well step aside so as not to inhibit the rise of Fickell, his protege.  Now, if Fickell were not a candidate, I think Tressel would take the job back.  But I don't think Tressel would want to compete for the job with Fickell.  So you have me there.  And if Fickell's team wins out this year and Fickell is in serious contention to be retained as head coach, I think this could very well be a good reason to think that Tressel won't put his hat in the ring.

Again, well done Hoody!  I think this is the first argument I've read that has actually made me think about things in a new way.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

William's picture

Menexnus you still haven't explained to me why Tressel didn't report the violations after he was informed by Cicero that his players were not involved in drug trafficking. He lied to the NCAA that's a pretty plausible reason for why he shouldn't be rehired. You have yet to address this.

Menexenus's picture

I can't explain Tressel's reasoning to you.  I am not Jim Tressel, so I can't tell you what he was thinking at any given time.  I could try to make something up, I suppose.  But I'm not sure how useful that would be.  As I've done in the past, I will invite you to listen to the audio of his NCAA testimony.  Certainly he can explain his motivations much better than I can.

You seem to be confusing me with someone who is claiming that he deserves no punishment.  He screwed up and violated NCAA rules.  The NCAA will impose a penalty, and he will serve it.  But when he's done serving it, I think he should return as head coach.  I think he deserves the support of the university and all of its fans for all the good he has done for the program, for the players, and for the community.  I have never said he didn't make a mistake.  He did.  But when he's done paying for it, I think he deserves to finish his career as a Buckeye.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

William's picture

Thanks for the response. You and I will have to just disagree on this topic.

BucksfanXC's picture

I read the article and yes I understood that Hoody was on my side. He was addressing it to the "Bring JT back" crowd, so I piggy backed that with my rant. I did make it a little personal and lash-out-esque, for which I apologize. I just get riled up. I do think bringing back JT is a stupid idea. I understand loving JT and all that he did for us over the past 10yrs. I understand not wanting that to end or wanting more of it. But you are in denial guys. You have to accept that JT is gone, the era is over, and we have to move forward.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Bucksfan's picture

Menexenus and William, please for the sake of all that is Woody, GIVE IT A REST!  Your bickering is approaching Bayless-arguing-about-Cowboys/Tebow range.

William's picture

Bucksfan we remained civil and never bickered. Thanks for the mediation though.