I have tried to be fair in my writings on the Jim Tressel situation.
My bewilderment has been more at the NCAA than at Ohio State....But Ohio State is hardly innocent here. Having boasted about having the biggest and most complete compliance department in all of Division-1, it certainly raised questions at just what the OSU compliance team was doing in Columbus.
We have all heard about OSU's 375-plus secondary violations.
Sure, the NCAA likes that self reporting, but at what point do you ask the simple question?
Was the compliance department really doing their job?
Were they really getting the message across? The obvious answer is no, and with a new document dump today it would appear that some at tOSU might have been looking the other way....from almost the day that Jim Tressel was hired.
Tressel received a letter of reprimand from then-athletic director Andy Geiger for giving a recruit a Buckeyes jersey — a clear NCAA violation — before he had even coached his first game.
Well, I guess that is one way to get your career at your dream job started.
That officials at tOSU warned Tressel about keeping a better eye on his players shortly after the Maurice Clarett saga is troubling as well. We all know now that Clarett didn't lie when he told his side of the story.
And yet it would appear that Tressel and Ohio State hung him out to dry.
And still those type of issues continued.
This one is my particular favorite...
The heavily redacted material released Friday by Ohio State also included:— Reprimands in Tressel's file for permitting an outside person to coach kickers before a full team practice...
Didn't the NCAA hit Pete Carroll with a major violation charge for something similar to this?
The next obvious question is how does tOSU NOT get hit with an LOIC charge?
It is clear to a more than a few, that tOSU's strategy is put it all on Tressel...that he was a rogue coach who broke the rules wantonly. Fine, but it is clear that he was allowed to operate a rogue operation. Yes, there were some "formal" reprimands in Tressel's file but it wasn't like anyone really wanted to do anything about it.
With as much as has been released it is clear that there were a few above Tressel's pay grade that were fully aware of what was going on and yet those people continued to let Tressel operate as he did.
They enabled Tressel, he was hardly rogue.
I feel bad for some Ohio State fans.
They want to support "their guy" but "their guy" has left a path of destruction, from almost his first day on the job, that has put shame on their program. These types of things have to be hard to read, but they come directly from the school...these issues are not because of some outsider who has an axe to grind.
Before those out there try to sling mud back at USC, just think about this...this was the head coach who looked the other way. A head coach who lied and actively covered up said violations. Pete Carroll was never accused of ANYTHING like this, let alone found guilty of these types of charges. That is aside from the extra coach, and we all know that is a joke.
I doubt anything comes of it. Gene Smith is already making back room deals and we already know about the Gee/Emmert connection.
There are some OSU fans that are really disgusted by all of this...for them, I feel terrible. Then there are some who will rationalize it all away. Must make those fans proud that they had a coach that has put their beloved school on the map for all the wrong reasons.
For them it was win at any cost...