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A man named Tressel

March 9, 2011 - Kathleen Palumbo
Let’s not forget that before Jim Tressel was the coach of the 2002 National Championship winning Ohio State Buckeyes, and even before he led the Youngstown State University Penguins to four national championship victories, Coach Jim Tressel was a man.

In light of the issuance of a two-game suspension and $250,000 fine by OSU for failing to disclose to university officials e-mails he had received about a pair of student-athletes who sold memorabilia, Tressel’s response; "I take my responsibility for what we do at Ohio State tremendously seriously," he said. "Obviously, I plan to grow from this and I'm seriously saddened by the fact that I let people down."

What? No, “But it wasn’t my fault!” No, “I wasn’t aware of the NCAA rule?” No - just Tressel, taking it like a man.

Continuing, Tressel has said, "Admittedly, I probably did not give quite as much thought to the potential NCAA part of things as I read it. My focus was on the well-being of the young people,” he said, adding that he was worried about compromising a federal investigation by revealing any information and that by not placing the players on the field when they were eligible, he would have raised more questions and possibly compromised the investigation.

Sounds refreshingly to me like a man who, while facing the scandal head on, offers the reasons for his actions free from excuse, accepts both the responsibility and the punishment, all the while exhibiting genuine remorse.

I don’t feel let down by coach Tressel, and as far as I’m concerned, it would appear that amongst his biggest critics stand thousands of people who, rather than serve as his judge and jury, could learn a thing or two about taking responsibility, about learning from your mistakes, about being a man.


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