Jim Tressel Resigns as Head Coach of Ohio State
Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel resigned today amid controversy surrounding the team. At least six OSU players were found to have been selling memorabilia for cash or discounts on tattoos. Tressel didn't tell the school or NCAA officials, although he knew about it for months before the media brought the issues to light. Earlier this year, Tressel was suspended by the school for five games and fined $250,000 based on the violations.
Ohio State players Mike Adams, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor and Solomon Thomas were each suspended for five games of the 2011 season after selling items such as their 2008 gold pants, 2008 Conference Championship ring, 2008 Big Ten title ring, football cleats, and a football jersey. Discounted services were also accepted. In addition, Pryor sold his 2009 Sportsmanship Award from the Fiesta Bowl. Another player, Jordan Whiting, was suspended for one game in 2011 for accepting discounted services.
The problems for Tressel arose when he received an email in April, 2010 from lawyer Christopher Cicero. Cicero alerted the coach that Pryor and Posey were involved in memorabilia sales. Tressel failed to pass along this information and when these emails were discovered by OSU during preparation of the school's appeal of the suspensions by the NCAA, it became clear that he had not followed protocol.
Tressel coached the Buckeyes for ten years and led them to a Bowl game every season, including six consecutive BCS appearances from 2005-10 (eight overall) and a National Championship in 2002.
Luke Fickell, who was already picked to assume coaching duties during Tressel's five-game suspension, will now coach the team for the entire 2011 season. Fickell was previously the linebacker's coach and co-defensive coordinator before his promotion.