My freshmen year was Coach Tressel's first year. He brought an energy to the program that was starting to suffer at the end of the Cooper years. That first game with Coach Tressel, the Northwestern night game which was the first home game after 9-11, and the game in Ann Arbor I will always remember. Winning in Ann Arbor, after so many tough losses in the 1990's, was outstanding.
For many of us between the ages of 20-50 who grew up in the state of Ohio, the first major sports championship for one of our favorite teams was the 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes. Jim Tressel was the leader of that group. The 2002 season......nothing will top it.
JIm Tressel was Columbus during the 2000's, a time when the city was starting to assert itself more prominently on a national level. He was a big part of that.
There are a lot of back stories to the issues, from Clarett to Pryor, that occurred during the Tressel era that we will never know about. You cannot tell me that Jim Tressel and players who were caught were the only ones who knew things were going on. Folks in university and athletic department leadership knew. I would not be surprised if folks in the Columbus media knew what was going on.
For one reason or another, there will always be haters. It is insane to hold a grudge toward Tressel for decisions that took place over 5 years ago. As it is insane for a Cleveland radio guy, and well-known Tressel critic, to label him as an underachiever. You know the third coach in school history to win a national title, go 9-1 against the arch rival, won a ton, and is going into the hall of fame is an underachiever. Get over it folks!
Jim Tressel will always be a great American and a great Buckeye in my book.