|Photo Credit: Marvin Fong/The Plain Dealer|
Listen to this: Jim Tressel has decided to increase his suspension from the paltry, pathetic, and laughable two games that he initially felt was fair to five—like his players.
For those of you who don’t remember the story, here’s the recap: in January, five of Ohio State’s football players were suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011 season for accepting tattoos in exchange for signed memorabilia. Tressel, at the time, feigned ignorance and said he had no knowledge of what his players were doing. He admonished them for their actions and moved on from the matter with no further commentary.
However, it was recently discovered that not only did Tressel know what was going on with said players, but he hid what he knew from the public as best he could by lying. His reasoning for doing so, he “feared” for the safety of his players.
Ohio State’s response to finding out what Tressel did was to suspend him for two-games and fine him $250,000.
Well, obviously, the NCAA isn’t looking for anymore criticism from the college football pundits of the world because they told Ohio State and Tressel to shove that two game suspension and come up with something better. Tressel’s response, get this, he’ll accept five games. The hell you say?…You’ll accept five?!? Is that a joke? Surely, Tressel has to understand that his punishment, by virtue of his stature and crime, should be worse than that of his players.
After all, he did lie to the NCAA. Quite frankly, in my humble opinion, anything less than the a season-long suspension isn’t worth talking about.
There should be no mercy for him or Ohio State because this isn’t a case of, “aw, man, I had no idea”. Tressel’s actions were committed with full-knowledge of the consequences and he should be held to the fire for his actions.
Now, before we get the folks who’ll scream, ‘Hey, Lady, you think college football is a clean sport? You think Tressel is the exception and not the rule’, let me make this clear, I don’t care about the perception of college football. Perception is not the point.
We all understand that coaches break rules, teams cheat, and players can be bought—this isn’t me living in a Utopian paradise where those kinds of things never happen. But, if the NCAA doesn’t address this situation more forcefully, then why bother having the rules in the first place?
You have to start making an example of coaches at some point and, if that lesson begins with Jim Tressel—so be it.
Tressel should be forced to sit out the season for what he did, anything less is a joke.