I Admit that I will Miss Jim Tressel

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Tough times at OSU are not good times for the Big Ten.

Tough times at OSU are not good times for the Big Ten.

The last couple days have been rather tumultuous in the Big Ten Conference. The Big Ten’s superpower has come under direct fire from the media as Gordon Gee (OSU president) accepted Jim Tressel’s resignation. 

Newspapers all over the country have shown the deacon-like image of Tressel and painted a picture that is all too inconsistent with the man that put Ohio State back into national prominence.

I don’t care if you’re a Spartan, a Hawkeye, a Badger or a Wolverine. Jim Tressel’s resignation at Ohio State is a sad day for the Big Ten. As I sift through all of the public information, as far as I can tell, he made one mistake. He tried to cover some tracks hoping it might very well go away. I am not sure I wouldn’t have done the same. 

The early stages of Tressel’s vacancy could help a number of schools in recruiting. Michigan State and Michigan will likely benefit in the short term from Tressel’s departure for non-Ohio kids. A young man who grew up a Buckeye fan still will probably pledge to Columbus no matter who is running the storied program.

Celebrating this would be extremely premature and it could hurt our recruiting in the long run. The Tressel / Dantonio brotherhood has sent a number of kids to East Lansing when Ohio State didn’t have room for all of the home grown talent. Ohio has been good to MSU since Dantonio arrived. Jim Tressel and his staff have been good to Michigan State as well. We need not forget it.

Oh, the Wolverines are crowing about this turmoil. They couldn’t be happier. They no sooner usher a new coach into “The Outhouse” and OSU (their self proclaimed biggest rival) sends their arch nemesis down the road. Tressel destroyed Michigan during his ten years at OSU. It was hard for me to root against Ohio State just because of the way they hammered Michigan every year under Jim Tressel’s watch. Even during the JLS years when Michigan was routinely handing us a good old fashioned beat down, you could always count on Jim Tressel to rearrange the furniture and expectations in Ann Arbor. I am going to miss that.

It is hard for me to believe that Jim Tressel is a bad man or an out and out cheat. I was always proud to say that our MSU program descended from the Tressel coaching tree. We will never know all of the details surrounding Tressel’s dismissal at OSU. Frankly speaking, we don’t need too. There is far more to this story than the Ohio State camp is letting on. Did Tressel let some things get away from him? Probably. Did he know more than he let on? It is hard to tell. Did Ohio State let Tressel take the fall for an incompetent compliance department? We’ll never know. What we do know is that this thing smoldered for a very long time. A lot longer than it should have.

Tressel is good for college football. He is guilty of putting his kids ahead of the program and himself. He has stood for discipline. He has stood for toughness and responsibility. He has been a friend and ally of Michigan State while his friend Mark has gone through a tough rebuilding process. I am going to miss Jim Tressel on the OSU sideline. I am going to miss his common sense, matter of fact responses to stupid media questions. I am going to miss the unflappable composure.  And yes… I will miss the sweater vest.