This week the COLUMBUS DISPATCH published various musings from Gene Marsh, the attorney who will personally represent Jim Tressel at his appearance before the NCAA Committee on Infractions on August 12 in Indianapolis.
(Marsh armed with quill pen, powdered wig?)
Marsh served on the NCAA infractions committee for nine years and also represented Alabama in “several major infraction cases” as the school’s “faculty representative.”
In his recent comments to the Dispatch, Marsh came off as a remarkably insular soul who highlights just how rotten to the core the NCAA investigatory and penalty phase process has become. Below are some of Marsh’s incoherent and borderline bewildering rantings about facing the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions:
Marsh: “This is a serious matter with serious people involved. They are not going to get all jazzed up or get their head turned by some dot-com writer somewhere.”
Me: Apparently Marsh hasn’t heard of Yahoo Sports, the “dot-com” that singlehandedly took down the USC football program, the UConn basketball program and is the only reason Jim Tressel needed a lawyer to answer to his NCAA violations in the first place. Yahoo Sports also broke the news that Oregon had paid a street agent $25,000 for his “recruiting services” in a case now being investigated by the NCAA. And then there’s the sordid NCAA tale of Cam and Cecil Newton, which was broken by ESPN.com.
Marsh: “‘ The exchanges that matter most when it comes to coaches who are the subject of a serious inquiry like this are the ones that come directly between the committee and the coach, not the exchanges from the committee to the coach’s lawyer. What were you thinking? What motivated you to do this?’ If that didn’t matter, you wouldn’t have a hearing. … The body language, and how sincere the individual is, it matters a great deal. It is the show.”
Me: So Tressel’s body language and a superficial show of sincerity “matters a great deal“?
Didn’t Marsh just say, “This is a serious matter with serious people involved”?
Okay, I concede to Gene that Fortune tellers can indeed be serious people.
Marsh: “This case has had no small amount of incredible piling on by media who otherwise - their sole credential is blankety-blank dot-com.”
Me: As I’m not trained in the ancient art of mindreading and making important decisions based on the body language of an individual, I guess I should hang up my laptop now?
Marsh: “All is fair in love and war, and people are free to write what they want. But it’s almost as if some people think if they write one more article, it will be the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Me: So how’d that go for ex-USC athletic director Mike Garrett, whose career is now in permanent traction thanks to the exhaustive work of Yahoo Sports reporters Jason Cole and Charles Robinson?
Marsh: “What really matters to committee members is to try to get an understanding for the coach, their ethic, their lifelong work, their reputation, and whether their institution believes in them.”
Marsh: “But the institution (in not firing Tressel) also has a bigger picture in mind, and that’s the lifelong work of Tressel.”
Me: And I was just about to forget former Youngstown State coach Tressel’s introduction of former Youngstown State football star Ray Isaac to disgraced YSU booster Mickey Monus in 1988! The same Isaac who testified in federal court under oath that Monus gave him $10,000 and free cars during his playing days under Tressel. (Along with 13 then-current YSU players being on Monus’ company payroll during the season.)
Marsh on if his prior, decade-long experience with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions contributed to his hire by Tressel: “That is just complete baloney.”
Me: Now it all makes sense.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to your NCAA.