I'm with the anti-Tress crowd. Intentionaly cheating and engaging in cover-ups are not the hallmarks of someone morally upright enough to write a book preaching to others about the right way to win. He won a bunch of games for us, and I don't hate the man or think his infractions nullify his contributions, but people should be exactly as angry with and disappointed in Jim Tressel as they are with the athletes who committed the infractions. Many people are clearly reserving their ire for kids while continuing to rever an adult who knew better. Also, I'd have traded Tress for Meyer at any point during the last five years, so good riddance.
I don't think Tress did more harm than good to this program (and even if he did, it won't be possible to reach that conclusion until more time passes). However, I am surprised by the unwavering support he receives on these boards. I'm not going to go on a rant, but he DID harm the program (even if that harm is outweighed by his positive contributions), and many of the people on here act like that isn't the case. He gets far less blowback for the major issues that led to his firing than he got for Purdue Harbor. It's ridiculous.
All this talk of ESPN coverage, and little discussion of Tressel's conduct? I don't particularly care about how media outlets have spun this controversy. I do care about Jim Tressel's malfeasance and the response of fans to it. Brushing it off as a "mistake" is absurd. The man knowingly cheated, and people are rightfully coming down on him for it.
Jim Tressel has crafted the public image of a person for whom integrity is more important than winning, and reality has now been shown to contradict that persona. If I saw some fans saying that his victories over Michigan, his BCS success, and his Big Ten championships matter more than the methods he has utilized to accomplish these things, I'd at least respect the honesty. Instead, I find a bunch of apologists who want to pretend that this is not an example of intentional wrongdoing in furtherance of competitive success.
I've been spending Saturday afternoons in the 'Shoe for most of my life, and have been a strident supporter of Tressel ever since he replaced Cooper. I can no longer stand by that position, however. I find it troubling that people call for his head after a loss to Purdue but talk about how upstanding he is in the face of massive evidence to the contrary.
I think Herbie is a traitor, and I've said so many times. In light of that, how can one find it hard to believe that fellow Buckeye fans have habitually told him so when they've seen him? He shouldn't BE a traitor, but he also shouldn't be expected to relish being called out on it. Half of Columbusites are fans of Ohio State? I don't know which part of Columbus you inhabit, but clearly I've never been there. Not every resident bleeds Scarlet and Grey, but it's a hell of a lot more than half.
As for Tress, there isn't an asterisk next to his cheating. He cheated, he knew it, and then he lied about it. He needs to be fired. One of my fondest memories in my years of cheering for Ohio State happened in January in the Superdome as the Buckeye faithful chanted "S-E-C" at the outgoing Razorback fans. Tressel's malfeasance now imperils the legitimacy of that victory and taints everything he does going forward.