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June 1, 2011 - Seth Staskey
As I've been predicting for months, Jim Tressel is out as the head coach at The Ohio State University.
While, I don't buy the conspiracy theory, totally, that Tressel was some sort of fall guy for other higher-ups at the OSU, I do buy that others knew something like this was going on.
And that, to me, is enough that Gordon Gee and Gene Smith should both be cut loose. While I know Gee is in the midst of a huge fundraising campaign for the university and is as well-respected a collegiate president as there is in the country, additional shoes need to fall. As for Smith, his dismissal should be a no-brainer. In March, this guy is sitting atop one of the most respected committees in the NCAA (The Men's Basketball Selection Committee) and now his athletic department -- with each passing day -- has more and more stink coming out. If anyone thinks the media is going to stop digging for this stuff, you're living on Cloud 9.
As for the players, Terrelle Pryor should just pack his bags, jump in one of his cars with his supposedly suspended license and drive as far away from Columbus as he can. I am not sure there's a fan out there who would root for this guy again. What am I talking about? I know how fans are, if Pryor is eventually cleared (which I don't believe he will be) and returns after his five-game suspension and immediately makes an impact, all will be forgotten and he'll be adored once again. It's just how fans are.
As for fans, I am tired of hearing, "well, everyone is doing it." That's a lame excuse with no factual backing. Just make a blanket statement because you're looking at the world with scarlet and gray glasses on. Regardless of what's going on at other universities across the country, the NCAA has rules and if a school is a member, it's to abide by those rules, whatever they may be. Jim Tressel didn't and when you break rules, you get punished. That doesn't change from the time you're 2 years old until you die. Tressel should have had his punishment long ago, not when the university was feeling the pad PR was taking an effect on recruiting, donors, alumni, etc. Gee and Smith should have dropped the hammer in March. They would have saved themselves a lot, including public and media scrutiny, embarrassment, heavy, heavy NCAA punishment and maybe their jobs.
This won't end for a while. If you think it will, you're back on Cloud 9.
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