Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Leaders and the Liars

And so it comes to a close.

The Tressel-ball era is over.

No more infuriatingly bad offensive teams, no more punting on 4th and short, no more just barely beating Navy or the MAC schools.  More importantly to me, hopefully no more constant domination of the Michigan Wolverines. Buckeye fans complained constantly when he was winning most of his games. Humility’s a trait lost on this bunch.

But there’ll be a good amount more of this:

Jim Tressel resigned early Sunday, after months of public scrutiny. He lied to the college football world, and we caught him in his lies. He was fully aware of the improper benefits his players were receiving, and not only failed to report them, but hid the truth from investigators. Worse yet, this doesn't seem to be the first time. Throughout this process, AD Gene Smith and OSU President Gordon Gee spoke their support for the embattled coach to the end.

Ohio State prides itself on being a model institution, starting with the Athletic Department’s mission statement. 
One of the core goals of OSU is:
“Integrity in all aspects of behavior - The highest sense of integrity shall characterize every aspect of policy, performance and programs in the OSUDA. All participants in the OSUDA shall exemplify impeccable integrity - be they student athletes, coaching staff, administrative professionals or support staff of the department.”
It goes without saying that Gene Smith dropped the ball here—instead of firing Tressel, he waited around for him to resign. This hypocrisy doesn’t make OSU look good, and it won’t protect them from the NCAA hammer. Now Ohio State has to pick up the pieces of their program, without one of the best coaches in their history and their respect in tatters. It’s hard to believe any top names, such as Bo Pelini, Urban Meyer, or Gary Patterson taking the job until after the NCAA’s punishment becomes known.

This golden era in Columbus is over. The Victors look to be back on track. Time will tell how much this will change the flow of college football in the next few years. The Buckeyes have a very talented roster, but they’ll be moving on with a first-time head coach. There will be no Boom Herron, Terrelle Pryor, or DeVier Posey for five games. Add in all the distractions around the program, can this team persevere? I don’t think so. The Sweater Vest has flown the coop.

By Ryan Pratt

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