As you probably have seen, Jim Tressel resigned yesterday at Ohio State, bringing his stellar on-field career to a close. However, as the NCAA and Ohio State officials continue to uncover the truths surrounding Tressel's deception, I hardly see this as closure for the Buckeyes program. As a matter of fact, more allegations are being brought to light even as Tressel exits Columbus. I believe this is just the beginning of a very long, embarrasing process for THE Cheating University.
What I do know is this: Tressel did not resign on his own, this was forced by Ohio State administration. They have stubbornly stood behind their guy through this entire process, but in the end, I think they realized there was no way that Tressel could withstand the fallout from this scandal. Once they saw it would be impossible to keep Tressel, they asked for his resignation. This was not a decision of morality, but of CYA for the Suckeyes.
Understand the strategy being played here by Ohio State: In getting rid of Tressel, the university will try its best to distance themselves from Tressel and throw him under the bus for the corruption in Columbus. In tossing the Sweater Vest aside, Ohio State will now claim that they had no knowledge of what was happening under Tressel's watch, in an attempt to take a smaller hit from the NCAA.
I think that the violations are so plentiful at Ohio State, that there is no way they can dodge the train coming their way. If even half of the alegations are true, then they should be hammered way worse than USC. The NCAA will never give a program of this stature the death penalty, but these allegations are similar to those of SMU back in the day. I do think a huge reduction in scholarships and postseason ban will be on the way.
What is next for Ohio State? The Buckeyes will make Luke Fickell the head coach for the 2011 season. I think it's interesting that they would keep Tressel's staff moving forward. Do you really think no one else on the staff was complicit in the cover-up? Did they not know about these violations from the past years? I have a hard time believing that. I am pretty sure of this, however: Urban Meyer will be leading the Buckeyes out of the tunnel in Spetember 2012. This just makes too much sense, as this and Notre Dame are his two dream jobs.
What is next for Jim Tressel? Tressel has ruined his career as a coach and a motivational speaker. He may be able to coach somewhere small in a few years, but his star has dimmed greatly. Any school who hires him will have to show cause for hire, and big name schools will not go through that process to hire him.
Even though Tressel is out in Columbus, true justice will not be served until THE Cheating University meets with NCAA officials in August and penalties are later levied. Unlike the Auburn scandal that revolved around one player, there are too many involved here. There is no way the Buckeyes will be able to escape the falling hammer on their once way-too-proud program.