Coach Jim Tressel and Ohio State University: What to Make of Cover-Up and Non-Compliance

"I've seen the positives of setting a goal and pushing a team to achieve it. I've also seen the destructive force of that kind of ruthless search and what it can do to the young people and the coaches who try to win at all costs." - Excerpt from Jim Tressel's latest book The Winner's Manual: For the Game of Life.

Nicely dovetailing the college recruiting post earlier today, a blockbuster breaking news story broke yesterday by Yahoo which busted wide open a possible cover-up of NCAA rules non-compliance which culminated tonight in a mea culpa by Ohio State Buckeye head football coach Jim Tressel. Can you believe that Tressel was covering for his players? That never, ever happens. Right? The five tOSU players who were vilified for "raising a little cash," including one-time Heisman hopeful Terrell Pryor, were run through the ringer at the end of last season. Tressel coerced those players into forgoing a possible run at the NFL draft and serving out their suspension, coming back for their senior seasons -- all for an opportunity to play one BCS game at the New Orleans Sugar Bowl.

According to ESPN's Joe Shad, "With the cover up, Coach Tressel committed a cardinal sin. All coaches know withholding information could lead to an NCAA violation. Tressel received an email (a tip) and he needed to take that information to someone who could assist with the disseminating the information correctly. What has happened is it is perceived as a cover-up, a failure to monitor, and a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance."

A transcript of the Tressel press conference can be found at the mother-ship. Parsing of words not allowed.  As for the evidence, you can read copies of the April emails here.

tOSU announced self-administered sanctions for Tressel of a two-game suspension beginning the 2011 season, a $250,000 fine, and a mandatory drivers education NCAA compliance seminar.

Questions:

1. What did you think of Tressel's comments during his on-air press conference?

2. Are the self-administered punishments enough for purposefully withholding information from the NCAA? Should the school cover any of the fine?

3. What did the tOSU AD, Gene Smith, know and when? Is he also culpable in this "Memorabiliagate".

4. Once the NCAA closes in and gathers all the evidence, should evacuation of 2010 wins be on the table?

What say you, BONizens?

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