It Is the Head Coach, And Not the Star Player, That Has Most Tainted The Buckeyes Football Program

The person taking the most heat in Columbus for the mess at Ohio State right now is Terrelle Pryor. But the one that should be getting torched is his head coach, Jim Tressel.

Had Pryor gone off on his own – the Reggie Bush Rampage – then Tressel would have a little more of an excuse for trying to script the Ohio script. But apparently, more than half the team was involved in getting some type of benefits for being a Buckeye and that’s not dotting the “i” but turning a blind eye to what’s happening within his own program.


Plus, Tressel proved to me more of a duel threat off the field than Pryor ever was on it by hiding information from his bosses and lying to the NCAA about what he knew prior to the Sugar Bowl.

He should have been fired right way but apparently Athletic Director Gene Smith went to the Mike Hamilton School for Athletic Director Screw-ups (Hamilton is Tennessee’s AD who first slapped Bruce Pearl on his hand after the coach lied to the NCAA, then wound up firing him) and came up with a small suspension of his own.

Tressel came to Ohio State with baggage from Youngstown State (his QB added a car and $10,000 to his pocket while there) and he was fortunate the NCAA didn’t nail him for questionable benefit issues relating to Maurice Clarett. Who knows what else this guy is hiding under his sweater vest.

Yet Ohio State fans (and at least one player) and blaming Pryor for their current predicament.

Pryor is no saint himself and he’s likely hiding even more stories than Tressel. Driving to a team meeting the day after the coach resigned in a new sports car shows he either doesn’t care about his coach and university (only himself) or that he’s just oblivious to the seriousness of the situation. Certainly, such a move would result in an F in Public Relations 101 were he taking that class.

Tressel has the advantage of being the stoic-looking coach in the sweater vest and small round glasses. He looks old school with old-fashioned values. Pryor is being looked at as another spoiled athlete, and for fans it’s easy to keep liking one while disliking the other.

When this is over, the biggest pain for Buckeye fans will not be what has happened to their program and the sure-to-come NCAA probation but the realization that their beloved coach, 9-1 against Michigan, was a fraud.

 

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