Tressel Ouster: Ohio St. Changes Story To NCAA

On June 12, 2011, Ohio State President Gordon Gee described the exact nature of Jim Tressel’s May 30 departure from the school to the COLUMBUS DISPATCH:

Ohio State President Gordon Gee: Jim Tressel Was Not Forced To Resign

Tressel was not told he would be fired if he didn’t quit, Gee said.

“He was not given an ultimatum.”

Gee said Tressel originally was supposed to meet with Smith about the growing scandal after Memorial Day, but mounting public pressure, including the knowledge that a number of media outlets were working on stories about other potential violations, pushed up the timing.

On May 30, 2011, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith concurred with Gee’s version of Tressel’s OSU ouster:

“Jim Tressel decided to resign.”

In the school’s July 7, 2011, response to the NCAA’s April 25, 2011, Notice of Allegation (NOA), on four different occasions Ohio State reported to the intercollegiate governing body that Tressel had not voluntarily resigned.

In its “introductory statement“, Ohio State reported on the opening page of its response to the NCAA:

As a result, the institution has imposed significant corrective and punitive actions upon itself and sought and received the resignation of Tressel. 

On pages I-9 and 4-2 of its response, Ohio State reported the following “punitive action” to the NCAA:

Sought and accepted the resignation of Tressel on May 30, 2011.

On page I-10 of its response to the NCAA’s April NOA in a section titled, “Reasons These Actions Are Appropriate”, Ohio State gave its official justifiction for the penalties it had previously assessed on itself:

Regarding Tressel’s penalties, the institution’s analysis was that Tressel’s penalties should reflect the seriousness of the position in which he placed both himself and the University. One of his penalties was suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season, which was the same as the student-athletes’ penalties.

The University also intended to prohibit all of his off-campus recruiting activities for one year, which reflected the seriousness of Tressel’s failure to report. The University eventually determined that it was in the best interest of the University and Tressel for Tressel to resign, and he agreed to do so.

Of that justification:

1) On March 8, Ohio State initially announced a two-game suspension for Tressel. Of the exact number of games Tressel was suspended, OSU AD Smith said at the time:

“[The number of games was] kind of a sweet spot based upon this particular case. .. We just felt like the combination of a two-game suspension and the financial fine was kind of in line with cases that we were familiar with.”

Ohio State has since announced that Tressel will not have to pay the $250,000 “fine” Smith referred to on March 8.

On July 8, the Columbus Dispatch reported of Tressel’s exit settlement with Ohio State:

Instead, the university will pay him $52,250 - the equivalent of the salary and benefits he would have earned through the end of June 30th.

OSU’s decision to drop the fine goes against an assertion by Gee last month that Tressel would be required to pay no matter what the other terms of his departure were.

We’ve levied a $250,000 fine against the coach, and he will pay that,” Gee told The Dispatch on June 11th.

Gee could not be reached this afternoon

Tressel also will collect his unpaid sick and vacation time up to 250 hours and will be eligible for health-insurance coverage for himself and his family under the plan available to all state retirees, according to the settlement.

2) OSU never publicly indicated Tressel would be suspended for “all of his off-campus recruiting activities for one year.” Read more…