Jim Tressel Resigns from Ohio State

The big news in college football yesterday was the resignation of Ohio State’s head football coach, Jim Tressel.

According to Sports Illustrated, the memorobillia-for-tattoos scandal was much more widespread than first reported by the university and Tressel was asked to resign for the good of the program.

Most distressing in this report to me is not the added number of players involved, but that players were selling memorabilia with Tressel’s signature. Tressel’s not a dumb guy and if he didn’t know that the players were having him sign items to use as currency in the community, well, he probably deserves what happened to him.

But this doesn’t clear the behavior of the players. For example, star quarterback Terrelle Pryor actions yesterday are more than idiotic:

The Columbus Dispatch reports QB Terrelle Pryor, who’d already been suspended for almost half the 2011 season, is now the subject of investigations by both the NCAA and the school into whether he’s been involved in the Columbus cars scandal — a separate issue than the tattoos-for-memorabilia story, though this report also cites “extra benefits” that may have come into play.

With all that going on, let’s all hope Pryor has a very good explanation as to how he just pulled up at Ohio State’s Woody Hayes Athletic Center in a recently-purchased Nissan 350z.

Pryor arrived in WHAC in Nissan 350z with temp tags from May 24. He waved to the cameras.

Good luck in the NFL, Terrelle. May you go to Oakland in the supplemental draft to get the punishment you so richly deserve.

One last item about Tressel if I may. It’s obvious he’s done some bad things, some stupid things, but at his core his a good man who earns the continuing respect of many of his former players.

As for the new head coach of the ‘Bucks, meet Luke Fickell:

Luke Fickell is in his ninth year on the Ohio State coaching staff. He coaches the Buckeyes linebackers and is co-defensive coordinator. He was named to the latter position in April, 2005. In that role, he is actively involved in game planning and strategy.

Fickell is a Columbus native (DeSales High School, where he was a state wrestling champion) and a 1997 graduate of Ohio State, where he was a four-year starter at nose guard. Post-graduation, Fickell spent a year on the injured reserve list with the New Orleans Saints before beginning his coaching career.

During his first two years at Ohio State, Fickell was in charge of the special teams and assisted with the defensive front. In his role as special teams coordinator, Fickell had specific responsibility for the punting team. Under his tutelage, that unit has excelled, leading the Big Ten in net punting in three of the past five years.

Fickell played for the Buckeyes from 1992-96, redshirting the first year and then starting the next four seasons at nose guard. He started a school-record 50 consecutive games between 1993 and 1996.

Fickell concluded his Ohio State career with 212 total tackles, including 26 tackles-for-loss and six sacks. During his four years in the starting lineup, the Buckeyes posted a combined record of 41-8-1 overall and were 26-5-1 in Big Ten play with a pair of Big Ten co-championships to their credit. With the win over Arizona State in the Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes finished the 1996 season with a sparkling 11-1 record and were second in both major polls in the final rankings.

Luke and his wife, Amy (an Ohio State physical therapy graduate), have four children: Landon, Luca ,and twins Aydon and Ashton.

There’s some chatter from fans calling for Urban Meyer, Florida’s former coach. Yes, Meyer is a successful coach but nobody in the Columbus community seems to mind the 30 or so players arrested under his watch. And, if you ask me, he’s a head case.

Players bending debatable NCAA rules for a little extra cash is one thing, but felony arrests is something else. Here’s hoping Fickell, who will be give the entire season for his job interview, does well enough to keep overpriced and over-hyped Meyer out of Columbus.

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