Maybe we're a tad biased on the subject, but it seems the character of Ohio State's football program was significantly diminished last week by the university's president and athletic director.
"Wherever we end up, Jim Tressel is our football coach," Gene Smith said after acknowledging that Tressel knew of NCAA violations but didn't report them. "He is our coach and we trust him implicitly." And OSU President Gordon Gee, asked if he had considered dismissing Tressel, said, "No, are you kidding? I'm just hoping the coach doesn't dismiss me."
Translation: Rack up a 106-22 record, and the university will look the other way.
Tressel reportedly knew in April that some of his players sold memorabilia in violation of NCAA rules. According to reports, Tressel didn't tell his superiors. After a federal investigation, five players were suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season - but were allowed to play in the bowl game last year.
OSU suspended Tressel for the first two games and fined him $250,000.
That's not pocket change.
The NCAA is conducting an investigation into the incident, and Tressel could face further penalties.
It would seem that at the very least Ohio State should have imposed the same game suspension penalty on the coach as the players.
Unfortunately, OSU is handling this matter with kid gloves; that's too bad because it does student-athletes at OSU a disservice and wrongly taints the image of the entire Big Ten.
REPRINTED FROM THE DETROIT NEWS