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Podcast Episode 043 – Jim Tressel’s Tarnished Image

Sean Jackson of Examiner returns to talk Buckeyes troubles

Earlier this week Ohio State announced that head coach Jim Tressel will be suspended for two games in the 2011 regular season, fined $250,000 and will be instructed to attend a compliance seminar. Still, some people want to see more time added to the suspension by the NCAA.

On a radio interview I did in Pennsylvania (audio unavailable due to technical glitch – apologies) on Wednesday I said that I felt that what punishment the school handed to Tressel was fair, although I certainly would not argue against a case for the NCAA to add time to the suspension as he did commit a terminable offense according to his contract by intentionally withholding information from the NCAA. What Tressel did was wrong, there is no denying that, but unless somebody can prove to me that this is a habit of his by providing concrete evidence I will stand by my opinion that there is no need to increase the punishment to Tressel.

Should Tressel have been fired? Photo: Getty Images

Should Tressel have been fired? I don’t think so, even though he went against part of his contractual obligations and failed to comply with university and NCAA guidelines and rules by hiding important information. Tressel was e-mailed by a former Ohio State player, Christopher T. Cicero (confirmed by The Columbus Dispatch), informing him that some of his football players were involved with a tattoo shop owner linked to a federal investigation for drug-trafficking. Simply put, Tressel panicked and I honestly don’t blame him. Should Tressel have informed his superiors in the athletic department and at the university? Of course, nobody can argue against that. But Tressel was a deer caught in headlights, fearing for the safety of his players. Can anyone honestly say that the man should be fired because he had a heavy heart?

Tressel knew what he did was wrong and anybody watching the press conference clip above (full video here) should agree that he had trouble speaking about the situation. Was he choked up because of the severity of what he did or because he got caught? That is the question that I want to know the answer to moving forward.

To get a view point from Columbus I invited Sean Jackson to return to the podcast to offer his opinions on the developments at Ohio State. Jackson covers the Buckeyes (football and basketball) for Examiner and has been on the podcast multiple times since the start of the show. Jackson shared some thoughts I expected to hear from him regarding Tressel’s job security, the press conference and how the Buckeyes will move on from everything that has gone down since December (or April if you prefer). One thing is for sure, Jackson and Ohio State fans are ready for the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament to get underway on Thursday.

Jackson will be the first guest I have on the College Football Examiner Radio Show, which debuts on Monday, March 14 at 3 p.m. On the show we will get caught up on the latest developments on this situation with Tressel and the Buckeyes as well as take a look around the rest of the Big Ten this spring.

Stay tuned for more information regarding the debut episode of the College Football Examiner Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio.

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
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