Jim Tressel out as Ohio State Head Coach

Earlier today, Jim Tressel, head coach at Ohio State, tendered his resignation to the athletic director and school president (ESPN Link). Tressel had been previously suspended five games by the school in relation to player misconduct with a local tattoo parlor owner and a car dealership, and was under investigation by the NCAA for further violations.

In March, Tressel had issued an apology for not being forthcoming with all the evidence he had against some of his players, including the team’s starting quarterback Tyrelle Pryor. In 10 seasons as the Buckeyes head coach, Tressel posted a 106-22 record that included seven Big Ten championships, the 2002 National Championship and a 9-1 record against arch-rival Michigan. Prior to Ohio State, Tressel was a four-time Division 1-AA champion at Youngstown State.

The announcement this sudden was indeed a surprise, but the storms had been picking up in the direction of Tressel eventually getting fired. Tressel failed to report on any of his players misconducts and reportedly went as far to warn the handler for Pryor about a potential NCAA investigation and how to handle it. The five-game suspension for a head coach was enormous, especially considering the sanctions the NCAA had placed on another huge national program, University of Southern California, a year ago. But, it didn’t seem that the NCAA was going to stop with the sanctions there. They were prepared and, as we saw with USC, will probably continue to pile on the penalties regardless of who is the head coach next year.

For now, the head coaching duties will go to assistant coach Luke Fickell, who was going to coach Ohio State through the first five games this year anyway. As for who will be the long-term answer in Columbus, that is yet to be known. Regardless of the penalties that will be dulled out, Ohio State remains one of the premier coaching positions in the country. The long list of names is bound to include the likes of former NFL coach Jon Gruden and former Florida head coach Urban Meyer, among others.

However, as far as this year’s team goes, it’s going to be hard to predict. Ohio State is the six-time defending Big Ten regular season champion. Coming into this year, the conference has already added Nebraska to bring the total number of teams in the conference to 12, allowing them to host a championship game. With Pryor and five other starting players suspended for the first five games, another conference title seemed to be unlikely. Now with the coaching situation and the looming NCAA investigation hovering overhead like a dark, ominous cloud, it’s anyone’s guess to how well the Buckeyes will do this year.

Personally speaking, I figured Wisconsin to be the conference favorite entering the season. This news further backs up that assumption. Ohio State is in for a world of mess, a mess that I wouldn’t be surprised to be bigger than what transpired at USC. There, the school was given strict recruiting sanctions along with a two-year post-season ban. Ohio State, a school that appeared in eight BCS games in Jim Tressel’s 10 years as coach, is in a lot of trouble.

Unfortunately for them, this is only the beginning.

Greg Kaplan is a writer and co-founder of Home Field Advantage

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About Home Field Advantage
We are two senior Sports Communication majors at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. We have launched this blog as part of our senior year capping project, with the goal of creating a comparative analysis and multimedia approach to the differing sports cultures in America.

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