I’ve learned to discover in my adult years that things are never as easy as they seem. Life is not only about making decisions that make you happy or that bring you the most success and adoration. However at times doing what is right, even when
you will be the one to suffer the repercussions. So when I read the Sports Illustrated article on Jim Tressel, I wasn’t shocked. I wasn’t appalled. I understood.
To think that any of us really knew who Jim Tressel was from a few press conferences and book signing interviews are crazy. Some will say we were fooled and duped into believing in an image that wasn’t true. Ok, if that’s the stance you want to take, then turn the mirror on yourself and think of how people would view you if they knew your most inner dark moments and mishaps of your life.
By no means should we have believed Jim Tressel was perfect in the first place. Shame on us for placing him on this pedestal that we now are trying so hard to kick him off of.
From all reports, yes it does look like Tressel is a liar, a repeated one and someone that had no intentions on stopping. Someone who knows the game very well and will play it to his advantage. Although in this most recent situation, the Tressel we believed in is what did him in. His most honorable act is what caused him to lose a $3.5 million job and leading of one of the most prestigious athletic programs in the country. Tressel wanted to protect his players from a potential investigation that would’ve damaged their reputation at the first site of their names being mentioned at all. Noble cause; but that doesn’t mean that if you break the rules fo
r being noble that there won’t be consequences to face.
Tressel was placed in a situation that he could’ve slowed down, but not prevented. Whether Tressel told on these six players shouldn’t be the big issue, but rather he started enabling too much, which gave these players the feeling of invincibility. They knew Tressel would take the fall for them. It’s like a three year old who knows mom or dad isn’t going to let them fall, so they continue to jump.
Tressel is guilty of perpetrating an image that he was the last good guy standing, that he would never do these things. When in reality, he would if his lively hood depended on it and if he saw it fit to protect others.
Death before dishonor; in this case unemployment before dishonor. Tressel will recover from this one day, but nationally his image is a wreck. People hate to feel as if they’ve been made a fool of. And that’s what Tressel has done considering how hard he sold his clean cut image and how much people bought in. Lost in this is what now will happen to Ohio State. What penalties they will face from the NCAA over their stance of ignorance in a slew of transgressions that have been described as systemic. Ohio State may receive some mercy now that Tressel is gone, but they will pay a hefty price and will be set back for a year or two.
The wrongdoings of Ohio State and Jim Tressel are nothing new, you could investigate every major sports program and find NCAA rule violations.
The NCAA needs to look hard at changing its rules to attempt to decrease the scandalous culture it has created. These latest allegations may not tell the whole story of whom or what Jim Tressel stands for, however it may be the only excerpt the critics will read.