No One To Defend Tressel? I Will

Today's firestorm of condemnation has been withering, but it's likely Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel will be much harder on himself than even his harshest critic.

I have a question for all you holier-than-thou types, you ax-grinders. All of you claiming to have a corner on the integrity market. What exactly would you have done had you been in Jim Tressel's shoes last April? What would your course of action have been when e-mails began crossing your desk regarding your players and a federal drug trafficking investigation?

Would you choose to try and protect your players – as well as yourself and your program – or would you immediately inform your athletic director and compliance office knowing full well that by doing so you expose those players and that federal investigation to unwanted (and perhaps illegal) publicity?

I know the easy (and somewhat lazy) answer. In a nuanced world filled with shades of gray, maybe you would have informed Gene Smith and the compliance office and maybe you wouldn't have. Maybe, just maybe, you would have met with the players in question and held an investigation of your own. Maybe the answers you received were satisfactory and maybe they weren't. Maybe you would have meted out some form of punishment of your own at that time. Maybe you wouldn't have.

We now know Tressel's decision on how he thought best to handle the situation. We also know that decision will forever provide a blemish on his impressive coaching résumé. But did it really have to turn out this way?

Read the rest by clicking on this link: Rea's Day Blog: March 9.

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