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SEC Connections To Tressel’s Tribulations

Jim Tressel is trying to stay afloat in a shark tank.  Ohio State’s football coach has the NCAA and the press circling him in waters that have already been chummed with lies, rumors, ineligible players, and smoking-gun emails.

The chances of his survival are extremely slim.  Even Buckeye legends like Chris Spielman have said the clock is ticking on the man in the sweater vest.

Now Tressel’s situation is getting some play in SEC country.  In part because the coach’s sage is in the news and in part because of a comment made by his recently-hired attorney Gene Marsh.

In a sign that he’s not going to resign his post, Tressel hired Marsh — who has previously chaired the NCAA’s committee on infractions — to help with his August hearing before that very same body.  Marsh said before being hired by Tressel that the coach might escape severe penalties because of his past record as a coach and as a contributor in his community. 

In addition to the “he’s been a good guy” defense, Marsh also might play the “everybody does it” card.  On Friday he said: “Any program that’s big is going to have issues.  All you have to do is look at Tuscaloosa.  If you’re in this business, you’re going to have issues.”

In the end, Tressel stands accused of unethical conduct charges and a recent investigation showed that since 1989, 78 of the past 81 coaches/administrators who were found to have provided false information to the NCAA either quit or were fired.  (Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl being the latest.)  Tressel has already admitted to violating NCAA bylaw 10.1… just like those other 81 coaches/administrators. 

If history is any indication, OSU’s coach has less than a 4% chance of holding onto his post in Columbus.  And if he and The Ohio State University try to keep him onboard, they should expect the NCAA to rain punishment down upon them.

Meanwhile, the Tressel situation also came up at a Georgia booster club meeting in Greenville, South Carolina over the weekend.  When a fan asked Mark Richt and Mark Fox how they would prevent UGA “from becoming an Ohio State,” the moderator at the event said OSU has “a head coach who’s not truthful,” while the Dawgs’ don’t have that problem.  (As far as we know.)

Taking his turn at the mic, Fox said that schools need to educate their players to “think and not act, and not act and then alibi.”  But he couldn’t resist getting in this parting shot:

“I have yet to visit a tattoo parlor in Athens, and don’t plan to.”



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