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Report: Tressell Resigns as OSU Head Coach Tags: NCA Ohio State U Jim Tressell

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jim Tressel, who guided Ohio State to its first national title in 34 years, resigned Monday amid NCAA violations from a tattoo-parlor scandal that sullied the image of one of the country's top football programs.

"After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach," Tressel said in a statement released by the university. "The appreciation that (wife) Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable."

Luke Fickell will be the coach for the 2011 season. He already had been selected to be the interim head coach while Tressel served a five-game suspension.

 

Ohio State spokesman Jim Lynch said he was unaware of any buyout or severance package. He added that Tressel had returned from vacation Sunday night and met with athletic director Gene Smith, who then met with staff. Tressel typed his resignation and submitted it to Smith, he said.

The resignation was first reported by The Columbus Dispatch.

Clearly, the turmoil had been building. The resignation comes nearly three months after Ohio State called a news conference to announce it has suspended Tressel for two games -- later increasing the ban to five games to coincide with the players' punishment -- and fined him $250,000 for knowing his players had received improper benefits from a local tattoo-parlor owner. The school said at the time it was "very surprised and disappointed" in Tressel. Yet, the school still managed to crack jokes.

Asked if he considered firing Tressel, Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee said then: "No, are you kidding? Let me just be very clear: I'm just hopeful the coach doesn't dismiss me."

Tressel's downfall came with public and media pressure mounting on Ohio State, its board of trustees, Gee and Smith.

"We look forward to refocusing the football program on doing what we do best -- representing this extraordinary university and its values on the field, in the classroom, and in life," Smith said in a statement Monday. "We look forward to supporting Luke Fickell in his role as our football coach. We have full confidence in his ability to lead our football program."

Tressel and Ohio State were to go before the NCAA's infractions committee Aug. 12 to answer questions about the player violations and why Tressel did not report them. He denied knowledge of improper benefits to players until confronted by investigators with emails that showed he had known since April 2010.

After several NCAA violations by him or his players over the years, Tressel's problems deepened after learning several players received cash or discounted tattoos.

 

Contrary to NCAA bylaws -- and his own contract -- Tressel received emails from a former player about this and did not tell his athletic director, university president, compliance or legal departments or the NCAA for more than nine months.

The 58-year-old Tressel had a record of 106-22-0 at Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to eight Bowl Championship Series games in his 10 years. Combined with a 135-57-2 record in 15 years at Youngstown State, where he won four Division I-AA national championships, Tressel's career mark was 241-79-2.

The author of two books about faith and integrity, he remains a scapegoat to many and a hypocrite to others. Even though he has many backers, a rising chorus of detractors had stepped forward during the ongoing NCAA investigation. There were also questions about his players and their friends and family members receiving special deals on used cars from two Columbus dealers.

But at one time his image was that of an honest, religious man who never said or did anything without thinking it through first. His nickname was "The Senator" for never having a hair out of place, praising opponents and seldom giving a clear answer to even the simplest of questions.

He'd gotten into trouble with the NCAA even before coming to Ohio State. He was the coach at Youngstown State when it received scholarship and recruiting restrictions for violations involving star quarterback Ray Isaacs.

Still, Andy Geiger, then Ohio State's athletic director, favored Tressel over Minnesota coach and former Buckeyes linebacker Glen Mason for the job after John Cooper was fired in January 2001.

 

Cooper was let go ostensibly because the program lost direction, with several off-the-field problems. But perhaps more damaging was his 2-10-1 record against rival Michigan and 3-8 mark in bowl games.

Introduced at an Ohio State basketball game in 2001, Tressel vowed that fans would "be proud of our young people, in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Mich., on the football field."

Tressel's first team went just 7-5, losing the Outback Bowl, but upset 11th-ranked Michigan 26-20. But in his second year, with a team led by freshman tailback Maurice Clarett, the Buckeyes won everything. They went 14-0, winning seven games by seven or fewer points. Ranked No. 2, they took on top-ranked Miami in the Fiesta Bowl for the BCS national title. In the second overtime, Clarett bulled over the middle for a touchdown and the Buckeyes held to clinch their first national title since 1968. After the game, Tressel held aloft the crystal football.

The following summer, Clarett reported that a used car he had borrowed from a local dealer was broken into and that he had been hit by thousands of dollars in losses. Clarett's call to police came from Tressel's office. Clarett admitted he had made up the break-in call and later took a plea deal. But the NCAA began looking into Clarett and the team. Soon after, he was declared ineligible. He would never play another college game.

The Buckeyes went 11-2 in 2003 and followed that with an 8-4 mark in Tressel's fourth season. There had been a stream of players getting in trouble, but in December 2004 backup quarterback Troy Smith was suspended for the bowl game and the 2005 regular-season opener for accepting $500 from a booster.

Smith would go on to win the 2006 Heisman Trophy, leading the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record and a season-long No. 1 ranking. Despite being a heavy favorite in the national title game, the Buckeyes were routed by Florida 41-14.

A year later, Tressel guided the Buckeyes to the national championship game but lost again -- 38-24 to underdog LSU.

 

The Buckeyes were national contenders each of Tressel's next three seasons, with off-the-field problems mixed in. In 2005 offensive coordinator coach Jim Bollman was reprimanded for trying to arrange for a car and a loan for a recruit. Several other Buckeyes players were arrested on a variety of charges.

But the Buckeyes continued to win and play in rich bowl games. That was enough until his latest brush with the NCAA.

Ohio State announced in December during what would be a 12-1 season and a top-five national ranking that it would suggest to the NCAA that five players -- most of them top players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor -- would sit out the first five games of the 2011 season after they admitted they had received improper benefits.

They had sold memorabilia such as championship rings, uniforms and in the case of Pryor, a Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award, for cash or discounted tattoos at a Columbus parlor. The violations came to light in a U.S. Attorney investigation into drug trafficking involving the owner of the parlor, Edward Rife. When federal agents raided his home and the parlor, they came across hundreds of signed Ohio State items.

"It's fair. He would have been fired anyway," said Aaron Kniffin, a car salesman who sold about 50 cars to Ohio State players and their relatives, transactions that are under scrutiny by a state agency and school officials. "You had a coach who knew about and covered up a scandal about memorabilia and tattoos."

A 10-day investigation by Ohio State resulted in the self-imposed five-game penalties and the players repaying the money they gained to charity. The NCAA allowed the players to play in the Sugar Bowl, a move many observers said showed the national governing body put the money interests of the bowl ahead of routine punishment in other similar cases.

Tressel had learned that Pryor and wide receiver DeVier Posey were involved in the memorabilia deals when he received an email from lawyer Christopher Cicero, a former Ohio State walk-on and letterman in the 1980s, back in April 2010.

It was not until Ohio State began to work on an appeal of the five-game suspensions for the players that investigators came across the emails between Cicero and Tressel. The coach then finally admitted that he knew of what has been called Tattoo-Gate by local media.

At a March 8 news conference, Tressel said he chose not to tell anyone because he was bound by confidentiality to not expose the federal drug trafficking investigation. Yet he had forwarded the very first email he received from Cicero to Ted Sarniak, a businessman and "mentor" of Pryor. Sarniak knew about the NCAA violations -- and of Tressel's coverup -- for almost nine months before Smith and Gee found out.

"As I think back to what I could have done differently ... I've learned that I probably needed to go to the top legal counsel person at the university and get some help," Tressel said.

He said he hadn't given a thought to what the rest of the country thought of Ohio State's program and that he was not beating himself up over the violation.

"I don't think less of myself at this moment," he said. "I felt at the time as if I was doing the right thing for the safety of young people."

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN's Tom Farrey was used in this report.

 
Monday Moaning 5-30-11
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Memorial Day NHL The Beeze America Soldiers

  Today we celebrate Memorial Day...A day we honor men and women, who are much braver than I'll ever be...We honor them for their service to our country...It's because of them, that I can write a blog, that begins with a lovely lady teasing us with a bit of side-boob!

God Bless America!

So far my Memorial Day weekend hasn't been very exciting...Saturday I knocked out a double at The Fish House...Then I knocked back a few Sam Adams...Then I had to deal with a 5 month old who didn't want to sleep...Luckily, the wife let me get a few extra hours of sleep Sunday morning...

Thank God, because then I had to rush around to get yard work done, before it started to rain again...Yes, the weathermen in the Cleve promised perfect weather for the weekend...So just after the grass was cut, and the hedges and bushes were trimmed, the rain started again...

So, I'm expecting nothing but solid rain for Monday's big parade that the kids are in...Can't wait!

I have to say, I'm having trouble coming up with any sports shit to write about...Wednesday I gave ESPN a bit of a BEATING...Then, Friday I made my stand for all BLOGGERS...

Then of course there is the Stanley Cup Finals...The matchup is set...Boston vs. Vancouver...I'm rooting for the Bruins, but this is gonna be a tough battle...Vancouver has plenty of firepower, and a strong blueline...Yes Luongo is a good goalie...But I'll always thing he's overrated, and I'm still waiting for him to choke...

The Bruins have to grind out every point they get...Tim Thomas has proven all year, that he can win games on his own, but he'll need help from his defensemen in this series...The Bruins are a better team when they are playing with a lead, so their offense has to get out to good starts...I expect to see 7 games in this series...Sadly, thanks to the NHL and NBC, we have to wait until Wednesday for the puck to drop...Too much time between games!

Now before I go...When you're at your local parade, or watching the ballgame, while the grill is fired up...Be sure to remember why we have the day off...And what was given up so that we can do what we do...

Happy Memorial Day...Here are some lucky folks who made it home...




Later, The Beeze.

 

Thoughts From the Couch -- 05.30.11
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

America's fighting men and women sacrifice much to ensure that our great nation stays free. We owe a debt of gratitude to the soldiers that have paid the ultimate price for this cause, as well as for those who are blessed enough to return from the battlefield unscathed. ~Allen Boyd

If you're looking for a column about sports, then you've come to the wrong place, because today's post will not be about sports (at least not in the typical sense). Today's post will be about something vastly more important, as today is the day that we pause to reflect on the sacrifices that our brave men and women of the military have made to protect the freedoms that we have each and every day of our lives that we all too often take for granted.

One of those freedoms that we have is the freedom to enjoy the things that make us happy, such as being sports fans. Like all of you reading this, I love sports. I love the freedom that I have to sit on my couch and watch sports on tv, and without the sacrifices of our military I wouldn't be able to sit on my couch and bitch at the Braves for not hitting for shit, or the Panthers for getting their asses handed to them. I wouldn't be able to complain about LeBron James and Kobe Bryant getting preferential treatment. I wouldn't be able to call out Bud Selig for being the douchebag that he is. I wouldn't be able to rant and rave on this sports blog.

The list goes on and on...

To me, Memorial Day goes beyond the scope of sports. Sports, in the grand scheme of things, really doesn't mean that much. They're utterly worthless when you compare them to the lives that are being laid on the line every single day in a land where the people would just as soon put a bullet in your skull as they would give you the time of day. I've never been in a war zone (and I never plan to either), but I have family members who have been, and I know others who have been as well.

If not for those sacrifices, I wouldn't be doing this right now. I wouldn't be sitting here, typing these words to fill out this column, and I wouldn't be watching ESPN on my tv. If not for those who have gone on before us, none of this would matter, because we would all be trapped in our own misery and would be enslaved by a dictatorship like many unfortunate souls across the globe. 

We may complain about our nation from time to time, and we like to gripe, bitch, and moan about politics and the criminals that we have elected into office, but at the end of the day America is still the best deal out there. I wouldn't trade my freedom and my American citizenship for anything, and I owe everything that I have to all the brave men and women who have ever served in our military. Without them, none of this shit that we do from day to day matters.

If you know someone who has served (or is currently serving) in our military, I encourage you to thank them for their service, for without them none of us would enjoy the simple freedom of logging on to the Gab and talking shit each and every day. They deserve all the thanks that we could ever give them (and more), so I strongly encourage you to thank a veteran today -- they'll appreciate hearing your gratitude.

To all our active and retired military, and to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much it means to me what you do to protect our freedoms. God bless the USA, and God bless the military!

Please take a moment and reflect on what this day really means, and let sports take a backseat for a moment. You'll be glad you did.

Until next Monday...

A Memorial Day MUST! Tags: Taking Chance

Currently HBO for the Memorial Day Weekend is showing Kevin Bacon In "Taking Chance", a true story about a Marine who volunteers to be the private escort for the journey home of a KIA one Chance Phelps. If you have never seen this movie, I highly suggest that you spend the time to watch this film and it will undoubtedly put into perspective that a soldier Killed In Action affects just more than a family. This will undoubtedly put a modern war in perspective for those of you who have never served, but it will also show you that when one of our men or women have fallen they are not a number, they are and should be treated with the utmost respect for their ultimate sacrifice! I promise in the end you'll have a whole new appreciation for what it is we reap from our men and woman of the Armed Forces, both living and deceased!

 

On a scale of 1-10 this movie is a 12!!!
 

Special K's FEARLESS TOP 10 PREDICTIONS--CHARLOTTE
Category: Racing
Tags: RACING NFL NCAA NEWS FEATURED

Welcome to this weeks edition of Special K's FEARLESS TOP 10 PREDICTIONS. This week both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series are at home in Charlotte for the 12th race of the season for the Cup series the Coca-Cola 600 the longest race of the 2011 season. Yesterday Matt Kenseth subbing for Trevor Bayne won the Nationwide race over teammate Carl Edwards. With track being repaved a couple of years ago there aren't as many cautions so the handling on your car is essential. And pit strategy will be a major factor as crew cheifs will probably try two-tires for track position. If your car is not handling properly you could find yourself down a lap early on. Fuel milage will also be important and with 600 miles of racing your engine needs to be durable as well. As always there were one-lap-wonders in qualifing on Thursday and some of those include Brad KeseClownski-pole, AJ Allmendinger-2nd, David Crash Reutimann-7th, David Ragan-8th, Ricky Stenhouse Jr-9th (he is subbing for Trevor Bayne), Paul Menard 16th whose early season hot start has ended and the medicore driver is finally back in his usual average form and Regan Smith 20th. He is also very medicore and is usually back in the back of the filed with all the aforementioned drivers. Last week yoursw truly had 5 drivers finish in the Top 10 and had 3 others in the Top 20. Here are this weeks picks.

1.---Denny Hamlin is finally running better after the slow start to the season. His pit crew became the first to repeat as winners of the pit crew crew challenge. My favoite drivers starts 4th and was fast in practice.

2.---Kyle Busch starts 21st and is always fast here. He dominates in the other series(s) here and shpould be up front early.

3.---Carl Edwards was the best car at the All-Star race and won over Kyle Busch. he should be up front today.

4.---Jimmie Johnson usually dominates here and is the active leader in wins. He struggled last week but should be up front all-night.

5.---Matt Kenseth was fast last week and is fast this weekend as well. Look for a solid finish.

6.---Jeff Burton is a former winner here and is starting up front which is a good sign for him and the team..

7---Greg Biffle was also fast last week and should be up front all day.

8.---Joey Lagano was fast last weekend and is at one of his best tracks. Look for a solid run.

9.---Martin Truex Jr has been fast all year and has two straight Top 10's. He is my surprise pick of the week.

10.--Jeff Gordon has won this race 3 times and will be a factor before the race is over.

Other drivers to watch include Klassless Harvick, Dale Jr  Crybaby Bowyer and Kurt Busch. These drivers usually run in the back all day and get to the front through after all the attriton. It should be a great race. Please remember all of our Veterans and soldiers this weekend. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Special K


 

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