Vest Under Fire- Time To Sack Jim Tressel?

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It won’t happen to my school. We’re a respectable program.

Amidst devastating sanctions from the NCAA, this statement couldn’t be any further from the truth for my dear Ohio State Buckeyes. It’s not an easy time to be an Ohio State fan right now. All the news, reports, comments from bitter players like Ray Small… It’s ALL bad. But the most disappointing news out of all this for me is that it’s JIM TRESSEL’s program that is being effected.

Tressel, who many in the state of Ohio consider a college football god, has brought shame to the program with a swarm of violations. But what makes it even worse; the man who preaches to his players the importance of honor and integrity has been doing the complete opposite, lying about the violations committed and trying to cover up the actions of his players. Everything he preached, everything he believed, every core value he built his sterling reputation on, was summarily thrown away. And for what? A quarterback with one year left on scholarship? A running-back who would be lucky to be 3rd string on an NFL roster?

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“The Vest” is responsible for committing college football’s equivalent of the watergate scandal. If sanctions are executed as expected, OSU will receive a post-season bowl ban, a myriad of fines, and a loss of scholarships. Yet, President E. Gordon Gee and Athletic Director Gene Smith are firmly standing by their man. When OSU President E. Gordon Gee was asked whether he had given any thought to firing Jim Tressel for the scandal that erupted, his response was nothing less than despicable. “I’m just hoping that the coach doesn’t dismiss me,” Gee joked of Tressel.

Do these guys have a point? Would it be a little drastic to fire Jim Tressel? Given his record, it’s understandable why they would think so. Tress is arguably the most successful coach in the history of Ohio State Football. The Ohio-born coach won a national championship in 2003, achieving the first undefeated season in College Football at the time since Penn in 1897. With an outstanding overall record of 106-22, Tressel’s teams have won at least a share of seven straight Big Ten conference championships. The Vest also posts a 6-4 bowl record and a 9-1 record against hated rival Michigan. He’s the only Buckeye coach ever to win 7 straight against the wolverines. Tressel also led Youngstown State to 4 Division I-AA national titles.

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Despite these remarkable numbers, no entity is bigger than the university. Gee and Smith need to push aside all the accolades and grandeur that the Vest has brought to Ohio State and consider the embarrassment and shame he’s brought to one of the richest, most successful athletic programs in NCAA history. I never thought I’d be saying this, but it’s time for Tressel to go. It’s time for the athletic department to say enough is enough or else further dig itself in a hole challenging to come out of.

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