Tressel Truth Irony

seafus26's picture
December 14, 2013 at 10:25p

CWatching this 30 for 30 and much of this is very entertains but not the way I remember it, at the time. It's funny how time changes perception. I remember the allegations against Clarret, him calling out Geiger while we were in Arizona, him already saying he should play both ways the next year, etc. I remember the NCAA investigation beginning after his car incident. But I thought I remember him calling out the school about providing test ahead of time, answers, not even having to take required tests in some classes. I was furious at the time of him speaking out about the school. I've not heard any of thus, so far. I don't remember us being infuriated with him about possible NFL speculation, like they are saying. But rather trying to throw the school under the bus. That's not mentioned. I guess the strange thing while watching this is I no longer believe a word Tressel says when I hear his words. I can totally remember when that was not the case and I was totally against this kid calling out The Ohio State University. Tressel even tells Maurice in this documentary "that the best defense is the truth," and not to worry about him and tell the truth. Wow, what irony. Or maybe worse hypocrisy. Very interesting the stuff they've chosen to cover, and how my perception has been swayed by later events

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AlphaMaleBettor's picture

This is a very misguided blog post.

AndyVance's picture

Wow, I had a totally different reaction. Listening to Tressel, I'm reminded of why I still love that man, and while I'll believe until my dying day that he did what he did in the Pryor situation because he wanted to look out for the boys - his paternal, teacher-minded instinct said handling it in-house was the right thing to do.
And he's paid the consequences more than any man in his position should have had to, given everything that's happened in NCAA football since.

BuckeyeEd's picture

Well said, JT felt like he turned his back on Maurice.....he did wrong by him as well as the establishment, the NCAA and of course us fans via the media craze (we bought right in to it), and he was not going to do that again to one of his family. He promised he would treat these young men as his own and he kept that promise after Maurice and because of Maurice.
The greatest lesson I took from it has been JTs mantra all along.
"Character is judged by how you stand up after a hard fall and what you take from the experience."
In closing, If I had a son there is no one i would pick over JT to coach him, mentor him and Love him.
Urban is a great coach......but I would pick James Tressel.

Joebobb's picture

Tressel did not necessarily turn his back on MC, he was in a tough situation himself. He had only been there 2 years and did not have the cred and power that he would have by 2009/2010. THings would have been different if Tress had a longer tenure at OSU.

amk1616's picture

i agree with you 100%.  He is/was a special person and we should all feel blessed and proud to call him a member of Buckeye Nation.
None of us will ever know the full truth, but i choose to think that he was acting in a way that he thought was best for the lives of those young men, not what was best for himself or for the program.

allbucksallthetime's picture

I couldn't agree more about JT.  I always loved him and though was not crazy about his "O" philosophy, how could anyone argue with the results?  
JT absolutely did pay a huge price.  Not only did he lose the job he probably wanted all of his life, he lost at least 4 milliong per year, too.
JT will always have my greatest respect as an educator and man.  Go Bucks!

Nutbuck1959's picture

Well said AV. Tressel never gave up on Clarett. Same can't be said for many of us "fans".

Brutenley69's picture

I agree......
GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whoa Nellie's picture

I came out of this hating only one guy:  Andy Geiger.

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

BuckeyeVet's picture

I felt after watching it that it was kind of like this:
Winners - Clarett, Tressel, Clarett's mother, good OSU fans
Losers - Andy Geiger, the NCAA, over-the-top, rabid OSU fans
Tie - OSU the university (maybe?)

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

AlphaMaleBettor's picture

you're stupid.

IGotAWoody's picture

Pot, meet Kettle!

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

seafus26's picture

I admit, Andy, by the end of the show I really appreciated some of the things Tress began to say when they brought up his downfall. For example, I remember hearing him give that speech saying he'd contacted that FBI rep about the situation at hand because he had had a player incarcerated, had seen a player lose it to drugs (was he talking Bout the TE Izzy or Mo?) and contracted the rep, because he was scared. Maybe he truly was. I was so furious with him at the time, I certainly thought it sounded weak and a cop out. We can all play critic on this site, everyday. I have done that, but I think I actually learned or was reminded how much time can can change perception.  Anyway, Go Bucks and michigan STILL sucks!

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

It reminded why Tressel will always be my favorite coach in any sport.

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

buckskin's picture

It is absolutely amazing how someone could watch that whole episode and still take such a cynical, hateful stance on Jim Tressel.  I don't think I have ever seen a big time college coach care and stand by his players like JT.  In the end, Tress is right there for MC, showing him "patience, kindness, understanding and ultimately love."  What more could any of us want for our sons from a coach?

Gametime's picture

The goodness of Jim Tressel was a huge part of the reason why people hated Ohio State throughout the BCS era. He won a championship and ruined the "best team of all time" narrative they had going with Miami (Media hate), he owned Michigan (Rival hate), he owned the B1G (conference hate), he owned the BCS (national hate), and even when we lost marquee games, we were still perfectly content. We weren't flashy, but Tressel was more about substance rather than style points. 
We weren't devastated nor did we fall off a cliff like most other programs do. Nope, we just kept reloading and kept winning. They used him when it suited their interests (the Sugar Bowl against Ark), then they bled him dry in a desert the moment they got the chance...
He was in essence, the anti-thesis of the change spreading throughout college football and he didn't have to REALLY cheat to do it. ($EC)...He always seemed to just be "too good" and people who are insecure always want to see the best of us fall so they can point and say "SEE, WE KNEW THEY WEREN'T THAT GOOD!"
May the good Lord bless James Patrick Tressel.

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

buckifishr's picture

Could not have said it better.
Tressel was at the same time an example of the right way to do things and too good to be true. The media took every opportunity to tell both stories.

rightfield's picture

Dead on. I will always believe in and love coach Tress. Any one who has had to coach 16-22 yr old young men will understand the difficulty of working with this age group.  To not just go for wins but to mentor them to be winners in life as Tress has is a very rare breed.

Its good to be the king

buckskin's picture

100% agree.  We forgot the part where Tressel would take 3 star players and coach them up (Jenkins, Hawk, Laurinitis to name a few) and still kick ass.  Man, I love the underdog role.  Hate it when a Tress disciple (Dantonio) uses the same formula to kick our butts.  That's why that loss hurt so bad; it was our secret to success for so long.

AlphaMaleBettor's picture

anybody that watched this and is like "I think Tressel and Geiger and villains now" is just dumb.

sb97's picture

Oh I totally disagree.  I am about an hour through the show right now and so far it is complete character assassination on Geiger.  

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Then please tell us why we shouldn't be hard on Geiger for, what we think, is throwing Clarett under the bus and then backing up over him again.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

d gordon a's picture

Is Tressel blocked by the Ncaa from  being considered for Texas

TMac's picture

No, his "show cause" penalty is to sit out the first 5 games I think.  That's pretty much it. 

ONE Not Done!

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

...and the bowl game if they go to one his first year.

buckeyerose's picture

Jim Tressel in Texas!  Scarey thought!  

First ever undisputed National Champions! OH! 

BuckeyeEd's picture

The smartest thing UT could ever do is give JT a call. All of Texas and the media would be nearly in flames if it happened.......until he started winning then at least the Texans would come around. He is a better coach and person than Saban and they could get him for a lot less $$. It would stink losing recruits from Ohio too......JT has a lot of pull here as we all know.
My worst dream is JT coaching anyone that is playing tOSU......I could not root against JT, and I could not root against my beloved Buckeyes......catch 22 I guess.

fanfarris's picture

On your last point.Sorry my man.If there was Paul Brown,Woody,Bruce,Tress,and Urban combined on one team that is playing against the Buckeyes, I will still root for the bucks.OSU is bigger than any person.Its an institution that teaches  and develop young minds.


Bucks43201's picture

With all due respect to the original poster, I wholeheartedly disagree. As a former player for Coach Tressel, I am pretty sure that the overwhelming majority of us love that guy to death. He is very loyal, in fact, maybe loyal to a fault. A lot of guys would run through a wall for Coach Tressel.

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

chicago12's picture

People need to get a grip on life. How can anyone possible hate and find fault with Tressel is just beyond me. I just really can't understand the thinking process though. He genuinely cared and still seem to care about his athletes/people. In my opinion, he paid heavy price for being too loyal to his players or people he cared for.

btalbert25's picture

I absolutely love Tressel, but I still don't buy that he had some noble reason protecting innocent kids for covering up the tatgate stuff.  To be a coach at that level, you have to get your hands dirty to be a success.  If not actually doing the dirty work yourself you have to play the, "Oh Gosh, I had no idea any of that was going on".  
You can be a great man and do what you gotta do to survive in Major Division 1 college football.  You can still love Tressel, look up to him, and believe he knowingly covered up his players actions so he could win football games. 

AndyVance's picture

Gee, Brian, I thought I was the most cynical bastard around these parts... Glad to know I'm in good company :)

ExpatBuckeye's picture

Nothing in the documentary struck me as "new news", nor did I find it biased.  I did think they should have covered the smear campaign by Clarett after he was kicked out and also thought they should have pushed more on Gene Wojciechowski on his reasons to slant his story toward the "one and done" angle.  How does he feel now about his role in turning a lot of OSU fans against Clarett?  I think the documentary also didn't reveal that Clarett lied on the police report about how much was stolen from his loaner car.
I felt then and I feel now that Geiger was unnecessarily vindictive in his "prosecution" of MoC's violations.  Anyone that saw his presser where he berated the reporter for asking for the details of Clarett's transgressions saw an angry, vengeful man. 
Reading the reactions from OSU fans and others is particularly interesting.  Just as everyone judged Clarett in 2002-3 through their own particular bias -- I think everyone still judges this documentary with that same bias.  It's amazing to me how many people felt that "Clarett blamed everyone else" in it.  I might have to go back and watch and count how many times he said "It was my fault, I screwed up."  
It was also particularly interesting to me to watch the documentary and think about how much Tressel must have been shaped by those events when it came to the mistakes he made in the Tatgate scandal.  If MoC never gets ostracized and goes to jail, I wonder if JT goes to such great lengths to protect his guys (particularly TP) after the FBI notice and Cicero email.

AndyVance's picture

What a great post, Expat. I had some of the same thoughts after reading others' reactions to the documentary, and some of the same additional questions for the producers. Wojo's story certainly set the tone "against" Clarett, as it were, and Geiger clearly screwed the pooch on how he handled just about everything in the Clarett story.
My ultimate reaction was, "Wow, Ohio State - and many, many others - failed that young man in a big way." Now everything that Clarett took responsibility for - his alcohol and drug abuse, etc., - would like have been prevented had Geiger not essentially picked apart this young man's life, piece by piece.
I think Maurice's brother said it best: Jim Brown probably caused more damage than anyone, because he burned any semblance of a bridge that Clarett might have walked across to come back to Ohio State.
What really frosts me, on top of everything, is how petty Ohio State's administration looked in handling MoC in contrast to all of the other BS that has happened since, from Tatgate to the Miami mess (that they are completely getting away with), and the many, many scandals at North Carolina. What happened with Maurice during his time at Ohio State sure seems like small potatoes in comparison, doesn't it?

FitzBuck's picture

This post should follow the documentary because it fills in important gaps that need to be kept in mind while forming an opinion on this situation.
Truly great post.  Thanks Expat.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

mb5599's picture

Alot of people failed in this situation. Clarrett, Tressell, Geiger, etc.  The thing that makes me sick is how Wojciechowski tried to make the university and the fans out as the bad people in this.  he acted "surprised" at how once the article came out, many fans became angry at clarrett.  what did he think was going to happen when the article was called one and done and the picture showed clarrett throwing his jersey in the trash??  he knew exactly the kind of reaction that photo and the article would cause.  these "reporters" do articles on how universities exploit these athletes, yet in doing so they exploit them as much if not more. they get their article, cause a stir, sell more magazines, then move on to the next athlete. they are just as guilty as anyone.

Big B

Kernfan's picture

I remember hating the NCAA for not letting Clarett or Williams play college after the NFL had stiffed them after they the first court case and they had agents.  The NCAA concern over students usually strikes me as complete BS.  Living out in MD I didn't hear a lot of details, but watching the show made me want to get a bus and run over Geiger.  I still wonder why anyone thought bringing Jim Brown to a negotiation was a good idea, kinda like starting off with a live grenade.

Larryp713's picture

The takeaway I got from this documentary is that the NCAA, or fear of them, and maybe Geiger's ego, took a manageable problem and blew it completely up. In the process of "playing it safe", they betrayed a troubled kid with a good heart but no moral foundation. The speech Tress was giving in which he says: "how do you turn your back on someone you love?"
I was very angry with Clarrett after the national championship for two reasons. First, I completely bought the media's narrative and failed to give Reece the benefit of at least considering his side of the story. Had I done that, I would not have been offended by his desire to challenge the NFL's eligibility rules, which he had good reasons for above the huge athletic ego. Second, like most people, I associated the honor of the Ohio State directly with NCAA violations. Since this incident, the NCAA has been exposed for hypocrisy on a biblical scale. 
Hindsight being what it is, I wish Tress would have been able to risk his position and publically stand up for Clarrett. He obviously had a lot of other obligations, and probably could not imagine the journey Clarrett was about to take, but I am sure he wshes he could have done more. 
I am glad this story is out, because it really seems Maurice is a great example of why we all need to mentor those kids who might be in a bad place but desire to do better.