The legendary coach known as “The Vest” has resigned amid allegations of NCAA infractions.
Embattled coach Jim Tressel, two months after publicly apologizing for fallout that resulted in suspensions for him and several of his players, has resigned from Ohio State.
“After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach,” Tressel said in a statement Monday morning. “The appreciation that Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable.”
Assistant coach Luke Fickell, who had been named to fill in for Tressel during the first five games of the 2011 season in which he was to be suspended, will take over as the interim head coach, Ohio State said in the news release.
Tressel was entering his 11th season as head coach for the Buckeyes. He finishes with a 106-22 record at Ohio State (66-14 in the Big Ten). He won a national championship in 2002, seven Big Ten championships, including the past six, and had a 9-1 record against Michigan.
Ohio State spokesman Jim Lynch said he was unaware of any buyout or severance package.
He added that Tressel had returned from vacation Sunday night and met with athletic director Gene Smith, who then met with staff. Tressel typed his resignation and submitted it to Smith, he said.
Athletic Director Gene Smith had this to say about the scandal:
At the Big Ten spring meetings earlier this month, Smith — while declining to discuss any details of an ongoing NCAA investigation of Tressel — said his outlook toward the coach’s position hadn’t wavered.
“Oh, definitely, no question,” Smith had said. “I haven’t changed, I haven’t changed. But I’m not talking about the case beyond that.”
Smith noted last month in an interview with The Associated Press that Tressel should have apologized at a March 8 news conference, where Tressel first acknowledged he failed to notify Ohio State officials of emails he received about some of his players receiving improper benefits.
Smith has also talked about the high legal costs Ohio State is dealing with, calling the ongoing NCAA situation “a nightmare.”
Even the guy the sold Ohio State players the cars that stirred up this controversy threw Tressel under a speeding bus:
“It’s fair. He would have been fired anyway,” said Aaron Kniffin, the car salesman who sold about 50 cars to Ohio State players and their relatives, transactions that are under scrutiny by a state agency and school officials. “You had a coach who knew about and covered up a scandal about memorabilia and tattoos.”
Not to say that Coach Tressel shouldn’t be punished, but let’s keep it funky as gym socks. More than likely, every college program in the NCAA is dirty in one way or another. But when the heat is turned up, the coach has to respond and maintain some type of order.