OK. I know everyone has bigger burgers to fry today than fretting about Ohio State football. But this isn’t all about football. It’s about ethics, integrity and the value that a university places on education. And Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel did the right thing today by resigning. Unfortunately, he should have done it months ago when the news first broke about how he withheld information from OSU officials about a number of players who had violated NCAA rules but were allowed to continue playing last season.
I opined about this is March.
The perception of Tressel that I have — and I’ve never met him — is that he is a decent guy, an excellent coach and recruiter, and someone who cares about his players and the university. And he beats Michigan. Let me repeat that. He beats Michigan.
And I know that as a nation we set the ethical bar so low for those in business, government, education, sports and so on that people can roll over it — no lifting of the knee even required these days. Still, at a time when there is still considerable outrage — although not many criminal indictments — about the misdeeds of bankers, mortgage lenders, business executives, government officials and other miscreants, shouldn’t high-visibility and highly paid coaches of public and taxpayer supported universities be held to a high standard of ethical conduct?
I think so. And I recognize that university officials were not/are not going to fire Tressel. Hey, he beats Michigan. But he should have resigned.
Here’s from the statement from Ohio State this morning announcing Tressel’s resignation:
Athletics Director Gene Smith said, “We look forward to refocusing the football program on doing what we do best – representing this extraordinary University and its values on the field, in the classroom, and in life…
Yep. It’s not all about beating Michigan.