Jim Tressel apologized to many Ohio State supporters for lying to the NCAA and breaking NCAA rules about team infractions. The apology came at a public speaking engagement that was sponsored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and may go a long way toward cleaning up an image that has been severely tarnished over the past week. Tressel might be one of the best college football coaches on the field, but the infractions that his team committed and he was made aware of might end up leading to some pretty substantial punishments soon.
According to ESPN, about 400 fans attended the luncheon where Tressel stated, “I sincerely apologize for what we’ve been through.” It’s certainly a start, but it probably isn’t enough to make everyone forget about what he has done. Some might feel this is a situation where a harsh punishment isn’t needed, and many Ohio State fans might be able to quickly forgive him for his infractions.
The problem, though, is that the punishment from the university could just be the start to what takes place in this story. The NCAA still hasn’t given its final recommendation based on what Tressel is accused of doing, but that could come quite soon.
The “case” against Tressel is that he was made aware that players on the Ohio State football team were involved in questionable activities that related to the selling of memorabilia. He was notified about this back in April, but is accused of never reporting it to OSU or the NCAA.
When the NCAA started their investigation and found that players had indeed sold some memorabilia, Tressel stated that he had no prior knowledge of what took place. Now his story has changed, mostly because a lawyer came forward to reveal that he had told Tressel about it months before the NCAA reported finding out about it. That is where the biggest issue could come in to play, as Tressel basically lied to the NCAA.
Ohio State fined Tressel $250,000 and suspended him for the first two games of the 2011 college football season for not alerting the school to his knowledge of what took place. Now the NCAA will look at all of the factors and make a decision about what Tressel has done. Two scenarios exist here, in that they could find that the university has punished Tressel enough and go with them, or the NCAA could bring much harsher punishments against Ohio State and their football coach.
This is a situation that is far from being resolved, and Tressel has to hope that the NCAA decides to treat him differently than Dez Bryant. When Bryant admitted to lying to the NCAA, his college career was ended by the governing board. Will Tressel fall victim to the same scenario?