Gene Smith Talks Tressel Resignation

Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith has released a video statement commenting on the resignation of football coach Jim Tressel today. This story contains a link to the video as well as the full text of Smith's remarks.

A link to Smith's speech on YouTube can be found here. The full text of the Ohio State AD's release follows.

Buckeye Nation, by now you have the news that our head football coach, Jim Tressel, has decided to resign. We announced it this morning. I want you to know that last night, Sunday night, when Jim returned from his vacation, he and I sat down for a while and talked about the state of our program, and it was at that time that he decided to resign. We met again this morning in his office and chatted some more and he submitted his formal letter of resignation.

We did meet with part of the team this morning and those who were not there, they were contacted by their position coaches, but Coach Tressel did what we all knew what he would do. He did an eloquent job of explaining to the young men what transition relay means and what they need to focus on. We met with the team and exited.

Prior to the team meeting we did meet with the coaching staff and the support staff around our football program and shared with them that Jim had decided to resign. But prior to that I met with Luke Fickell and asked him to be our interim head football coach through the 2011 season, which he agreed to do. When we met with the team, Luke had an opportunity to share some things with the team and he did an excellent job talking about the things that are important.

This happens to be finals week and they obviously need to focus on finishing their classes which is really what we're all about – making sure that they get their education and their degrees. We are coming of a timeframe where our football program achieved its highest academic rating ever. We're proud of the accomplishment of those young men and we want to stay on that trajectory, and Luke and his staff are committed to surrounding them with the support that they need to stay focused in that regard.

As you all know, we are under NCAA investigation. We will not discuss any of the matters around that case, any further accusations that may emerge. We will do what we always do. We will respond to them, we will collaborate with the NCAA and try to find the truth.

I do want to thank Coach Tressel for his long service to our university. There were a lot of people that he touched in a highly positive way. We were very thankful for his leadership during the years that we had great success on the field and off the field but more importantly in the classroom.

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