Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 May 2011

Ohio State's Jim Tressel Resigns

In the wake of tattoo-gate and a string of other revelations related to the Ohio State football program, head coach Jim Tressel has resigned from his position. Assistant coach Luke Fickell, who had been named to coach the first five games of the season while Tressel served his suspension, will reportedly serve as interim coach for the 2011 season.

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 30 May 2011

32 comments, Last at 02 Jun 2011, 8:49pm by ASmitty


by TrueBlue (not verified) :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 10:49am


by Will :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 1:30pm

Trending on Twitter - #tressel, Ohio State, Urban Meyer. This might be the worst kept secret of all time.

There are only two* coaches in college football who I feel are clearly superior to Tressel - Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. He will be very tough to replace as he is essentially the last cold weather school coach to consistently recruit the entire country.

* - I would also have put Pete Carroll in this group until he took his talents to Seattle.


by Southern Philly :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 1:47pm

"This might be the worst kept secret of all time."

Or more likely rampant fanboyism.

by Will :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 5:04pm

Fanboyism that's not without merit though. I personally think they'll offer the job to Urban first, and if he turns them down, they'll go for Mark Dantonio.


by Southern Philly :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 10:46pm

What merit? The only mentions of Meyer I've seen are by OSU alum. Show me something. Because Meyers has already said the following:

"I am committed to ESPN and will not pursue any coaching opportunities this fall."

And let's not forget that Urban Meyer is no saint when it comes to the behavior of his players.

by Will :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 8:37pm

2011 will definitely be Luke Fickell, and if the team plays well (unlikely without Pryor), he will keep the job. Urban specifically said "this fall" - that didn't happen by accident.

Reasons it's not without merit:

- He's a native of Ohio
- He coached at Ohio State under Earl Bruce
- His contract with Utah allowed him to leave without penalty to coach at Ohio State, Notre Dame, or Michigan
- ESPN's twitter feed said - "The reality is his (Urban Meyer) dream job has always been and will continue to be the head coach at Ohio State" -Kirk Herbstreit
- He recently bought a house in Upper Arlington, a suburb of Columbus (this is rumor)

Of course none of this means he for sure will, but does show that the rumor has plenty of merit. If tOSU gets smacked hard with a ban hammer, he'll stay far away. If they get less hard than USC did (which I expect), then the job is still enticing.


by ASmitty :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 8:49pm

Didn't he say Notre Dame was his dream job? How many dream jobs does this guy have?

by lionsbob :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 11:44pm

Bo Pelini is another name that is going to be linked to the Ohio State job after this season.

No one is going to take this job for this coming up season. Nothing good will come of it.

by Southern Philly :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 8:42am

Exactly. No big name coach is going to OSU knowing full well it's about to get severely punished by the NCAA.

by mrh :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 3:39pm

I'm shocked to learn there is cheating going on in major college football.

Pete Carroll is too.

by Dennis :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 5:11pm

The big question is will he wear the sweater vests when he is working for ESPN this fall.

by Will :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 6:03pm

Sources are saying Terrelle Pryor is also done at Ohio State. Hat tip to the Eleven Warriors blog.


by Spielman :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 7:39pm

Supplemental draft?

by Dean :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 9:06am

If there is one. Not sure if that's covered under the old CBA or not.

Anyone who claims to be surprise when Prior leaves is either a liar or a fool.

by An Onimous (not verified) :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 6:28am

It is covered under the old CBA, and there will be one. Janoris Jenkins from Florida will already be drawing strong interest in the supplemental draft. It'll be interesting to see which, if any, Ohio State players join him.

by lionsbob :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 7:42pm

Janoris Jenkins has enrolled at North Alabama already. I don't think a supplemental draft is likely.

by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 7:49am

The supplemental draft requires any team that picks a player to forfeit that pick in the following years draft. As the most recent CBA has expired, there is currently no draft next year. Until they come to an agreement on a new CBA, there's no way to have a supplemental draft.

by Dean :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 9:06am

There isn't currently a draft next year, but I don't think it's unrealistic to think that the draft will still exist when this mess finally gets sorted out.

by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 7:40pm

I find it very interesting that a majority of college football fans think the players should be payed. And a majority of them think that the infractions at Ohio State are minor in the grand scheme of things.

Yet 3/4s of them think that Tressel deserves a suspension at his next job. The schadenfreude filled world of CFB always amazes me.

I think a lot of people follow it to root for bad things happening to their rival tribe as much as they root for things happening to their tribe.

In any case the sociology of college football remains far more interesting than the product (who on earth likes to watch a sport where it is a complete mismatch in 3/4s of the games?).

by ab (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 4:40am

Believing that the rules are flawed should be changed for everybody is not the same as believing that individual coaches/teams should be entitled to disobey the flawed rules with impunity.

by GlennW :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:18am

And then lie about it. This part of the affair was Tressel's undoing.

by speedegg :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 7:10pm

So would the NCAA consider Ohio State "guilty" of lack of institutional control?

by Dennis :: Mon, 05/30/2011 - 11:47pm
by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 7:22am

It is. I have an easier time understanding the players doing it, because they have more excuses for it - lack of money etc. But Tressel has to know better. I can kind of understand why he didn't, because telling NCAA about it hurts him and his players, because the team will undoubtably be poorer without them. But still, when he doesn't he is deliberately playing outside of the rules, regardless of how ridiculous the rules are.

I've been thinking about the NCAA rules though. They are patently ridiculous, but I can also see why they are in place, because without them teams could just recruit players based on how much money their boosters will be able to pay them. I still think punishing the players so harshly is wrong though. IMO, maybe they should review it so that players are banned for far fewer games (I would have thought trading memorabilia for tattoos would probably be worth a ban of about a quarter of a game), but the programme should probably be punished either financially or by losing a number of how many scholarships its allowed to offer in a year or something.

Or just pay college players a fair college job wage. Most people work through university, either during the summer or evenings/weekends during uni, but most people don't do *that* much. I assume football players have less time to work, what with the commitments that football brings, so why not just give them whatever is a fair wage that a college student might otherwise be able to earn?

I'm English, so my figures (and projected job) are probably a bit off, but I would guess the typical student probably works about 10 hours a week in a bar, at about £6 per hour, getting about £60 (or $100). If its a flat amount that all college players are paid (is the time commitment the same for all players, or are freshmen 4th stringers expected to give less time?) then it wouldn't pay top college players more, but would probably stop kids being unfairly punished for essentially not having any money, and would help them pay for all the stuff that other college students work for. You can't really argue they aren't working for that wage can you?

It is still somewhat ridiculous that he is forced to resign in disgrace because a bunch of his players got free tattoos though.

*Where do American students work with a drinking age of 21?

by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 7:24am

Tl;dr: Tressel should have known better. Pay players a little bit. NCAA rules remain pretty stupid.

by Yesimadolphinsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 8:47am

While I'd be fine with players getting paid a salary - after all, students get hired all the time on campus to work in the administrative buildings, libraries, etc. and football players are bringing in significantly more cash to a university than most other students - I don't think it would stop any of what is going on. The players that are trading memorabilia and/or simply receiving cars, tattoos, etc. are going to continue to do that. They aren't going to say "I'll save up my salary to buy a Ford Fiesta" when a wealthy booster is going to give them a fully loaded Tahoe for nothing.

At best it might come along with much stiffer penalties for the ones that do commit the violations since they can't hide behind the guise of just doing it to have extra cash they wouldn't otherwise have and a normal student can earn. But again, most of the guys doing it aren't doing it to get by. They are doing it for luxuries the average college student can't afford anyway. But policing it is still just as difficult. I don't know how you'd make that any easier.

by Scott P. (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:07am

"*Where do American students work with a drinking age of 21?"


by GlennW :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:24am

I don't know about all states, but in some (like NH) you can even work as a bartender at age 18.

by tuluse :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:42pm

Where I went to school and live now it's 19 I believe. However, there are ways to get around that anyways. You can have a waitress take money from a table of customers to a bartender and bring the drinks the bartender poured to the table, and she hasn't sold any alcohol.

by tuluse :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:47pm

Players with full ride scholarships are given a stipend of spending money, so they don't have exactly "no money."

Also, your salary number is a bit high, 5 pounds would be closer, and for tip based jobs (bartending, waitressing, delivery driving), it's even lower, around 3 pounds per hour. Now of course they make more than that because of the tips, but that's their salary.

by thewedge :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:52pm

It's kind of funny to look back on comments here:


by NorthLeft (not verified) :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 7:49am

Is it just me or is the nickname for Mr. Tressel, The Senator, strangely prescient?

Considering the number of Senators that have been shown to be hypocritical cheats and two faced liars.