College Football Hall of Fame Fails to Elect Jim Tressel

By DJ Byrnes on May 22, 2014 at 12:53p

Between his coaching days at Youngstown State and Ohio State, Jim Tressel amassed five national titles.

In ten seasons at Ohio State, Jim Tressel amassed five BCS bowl wins, coached ten consensus All-Americans, a Heisman Trophy winner and a record of 106-22. (94-21 and four BCS bowls if you let the NCAA tell it.) He also posted a sterling 9-1 record against a certain school up north.

In the end, it appears Tatgate sunk Tressel's nomination, which was sponsored by Youngstown State, not Ohio State. Oregon's Mike Bellotti and Appalachian State's Jerry Moore were inducted over him. Here's the whole 2014 class:

LaDainian Tomlinson RB Texas Christian
Sterling Sharpe WR South Carolina
Willie Roaf OL Louisiana Tech
Tony Boselli OL Southern Cal
Shane Conlan LB Penn State
Darrin Nelson RB/KR Stanford
Derrick Thomas LB Alabama
Dré Bly CB North Carolina
Joe Hamilton QB Georgia Tech
Wesley Walls TE Ole Miss
Dave Butz DL Purdue
John Sciarra QB UCLA
John Huard LB Maine
Bryan Smith LB McNeese State
Mike Bellotti Coach Oregon
Jerry Moore Coach Appalachian State

If the College Football Hall of Fame is inducting people like Mike Bellotti, it must be assumed they're punishing Tressel due to his show-clause from the Tatgate fallout. (And here I thought we had progressed as a society since those simple times in 2010.)

It's now a matter of when Tressel gets into the Hall of Fame, not if. Oklahoma's Barry Switzer — a person not unfamiliar with NCAA scandal — took 11 ballots to earn his election; Auburn's Pat Dye took 15. 

Still, it's disappointing one bad decision cost Tressel the rare honor his career dictates he deserves. 



AngryWoody's picture

Damn shame. Wonder how many former klansmen and extreme segregationists from the south are in there...But, you know, tattoos and whatnot...

Our Honor Defend!

+5 HS
CarolinaBuck's picture

Just because Tress didn't get in doesn't mean you have to smear and slander the people who did.

-2 HS
d5k's picture

I think he was referring to previous classes of inductees from yesteryear, not the current crop.  There's little doubt in my mind some of the people of the Bear Bryant era (i.e. the segregationists he was up against) that won a lot of football games are in there.

+8 HS
CC's picture

Contrary to popular beleif, not everyone below the Mason Dixon line dawns a hood at night...

+6 HS
OSU_1992_UFM's picture

Wells that's just simply not true

Spring football is like non-alcoholic beer.  It looks like what you want, but only intensifies your desire for the real thing--Earle

+4 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Well sure, if you count the 1/3 or so of the population that isn't white.

+3 HS
Jabba the Hoke's picture

It seems that the racist coaches coached for a certain team in the north, not the south.

Barnsey69's picture

He should have been a deadlock first ballot entry. Tattoos and video games did not give OSU a competitive advantage. To quote Coach Boone in Remember the Titans

"Coach, you're a hall-of-famer in my book."

Thank you Coach Tressel.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

+13 HS
sb97's picture

Imagine the media outrage if/when Tressel ever gets in.  The whining may be enough to sink the Internet.

+4 HS
millertime2011's picture

The fact that Tressel's scandal is mentioned in the same breath as switzer's is a joke (not a dig at you DJ, everyone is doing it). And even with tatgate, it's embarrassing that bellotti got in over tress.

Lost in this, how did Otis not get in?

+6 HS
BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

What a load of bullshit.

To whoever voted no, I hope they all burn the shit out of the roofs of their mouths the next time they drink coffee.

+13 HS
sb97's picture

Hah!  You have earned an upvote from me for your curse of the scalding coffee!

+1 HS
HilltopHustle's picture

Makes you wonder if Paterno would have ever got in had the scandal happened before he was eligible. Still, like Paterno deserved to be inducted based on his career, Tressel will one day get this honor. That guy has a character of gold.

+8 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Disappointing for sure, but not at all unexpected.

I'm sure President Tressel is plenty focused on other matters.

+12 HS
Oyster's picture

I'm sure President Tressel is plenty focused on other matters.

That certainly does have a nice ring to it.

When you reach for that ball under a pine tree, do you ever think about who just peed there a little while ago?

+6 HS
Unky Buck's picture


If you jiggle your monitor, does that make a jiggly gif?

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture
+9 HS
Oyster's picture

You are probably right. Nikita Khrushchev did claim he would destroy us from the inside.

When you reach for that ball under a pine tree, do you ever think about who just peed there a little while ago?

+9 HS
Danify's picture

Mike Bellotti got in over Tressel? Yeah... that makes sense.

+4 HS
RedStorm45's picture

Mike Bellotti?  Have some dignity, CFB HOF.

+2 HS
RedStorm45's picture

Also, Tom Cousineau got left out.  What a disgrace.

+7 HS
Jason Priestas's picture

The Hall has this unwritten (maybe I'm wrong and it's written somewhere) rule that prevents players from the same team going in consecutive years. Pace got in last year, so Tom had zero chance this year.

Tressel, if he had enough support, would not have been denied entry because of that rule, however.

Michael Citro's picture

In which those with a vote are the punter below, tasked with a simple job.



pcg396's picture

It's not about the number of bad decisions you make; it's about the type and magnitude of those decisions.  Lying to your superiors and the NCAA is bit more than merely a poor decision.  It was premeditated and, in Tressel's case, breathtakingly hypocritical.  Good decision, HOF.

Scottsdale Buckeye

-6 HS
buckeyestu's picture

I could not have said that any better. I do think highly of coach Tressel, but he did not have to lie, that was a choice, a bad choice.

-8 HS
sb97's picture

My take is he lost his job for lying.  He has paid his debt and there is no need to forever shame and shun him.  Based on his over all record, and I am NOT referring to wins/losses on the field here, he deserves the hall.

+6 HS
sb97's picture

By the way.... While I disagree with pcg396 and Buckeyestu, I do respect their views.  I was not one of the folks that downvoted them.

-2 HS
andretolstoy's picture

Yup. You're right. He should have told the truth, compromised the FBI investigation and, put his boys at-risk to get inducted! It would have been well worth it!

+3 HS
Ethos's picture

Im not defending the decision and I still think the whole punishment was bullshit, but you do realize that whole FBI thing was bullshit right?

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

andretolstoy's picture

In hindsight it perhaps is. But at that time I'm sure he really didn't have too much time to analyze how serious it actually was. Putting myself in his place, I hear "FBI investigation" plus "my players", plus a "slimy character" I react and err on the side of caution to protect my players being open to the possibility that it's nothing. Should he have told Gene Smith about it? Heck, I don't know in this instance. The rules say you do, but is Gene Smith going to take care of the boys like I am? Are there any indicators (past work or present) that show me that Smith would do anything to protect anyone and not look out for himself?

jamesrbrown322's picture


Hold on, this deserves 2...



"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+7 HS
Earle's picture

College Football Hall of Fame, you are dead to me.

The revolution will not be moderated.

+8 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

The College Football HOF has been dead to me since it moved out of Ohio.

+6 HS
kmp10's picture

What Earl said… at least until they come to their senses and induct Tressel. Absolute travesty.

+3 HS
MAVBuck's picture

So they took a guy who regularly played in the Holiday Bowl as opposed to a 5 time National Champion?!? Hall of Fame huh?

+6 HS
Crumb's picture

If Paterno can be in and not get kicked out for what he did, they have no business not admitting anyone.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+3 HS
Buckabroad's picture

Most of us will agree that Tressel's dedication to his players, moral integrity, respect for tradition and coaching skill is beyond reproach and among the very elite of college football. What annoys me is that the Tatgate scandal seems to have precluded his inclusion. The punishment incurred by B1G and SEC teams appears arbitrary at best and horribly bias at worst. The NCAA intended to cripple the OSU and PSU programs, while Alabama, Auburn and Florida have suffered almost not at all. Miami U (I know, not an SEC team) did not suffer nearly as much as it should have, considering the gravity of the imfractions compared to OSU. I hate to see Tressel, a man who has earned high respect, a victim of this.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

+3 HS