‘Confidential’ Tressel Blaming ‘Unwise Counsel’?

This week longtime Ohio State football beat reporter Brandon Castel uncovered perhaps the most revealing quote from Jim Tressel since the football coach was cited ten days ago by Ohio State for covering up and lying to school investigators about his knowledge last April of NCAA violations involving Buckeye football players.

Jim Tressel contradicts earlier confidentiality claim at DSCC

Castel, a past ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sporting News and Rivals contributor, noted in a Wednesday piece on the 15-year-old, Ohio State-centric site The Ozone a curious comment Tressel made at a U.S. military installation in Columbus on Tuesday:

Tressel also made an appearance at the Defense Supply Center in Columbus on East Broad Street. There he spoke primarily about leadership and servant-hood.

Much like his first public appearance, Tressel was greeted with nothing but applause from the group, which included mostly active military, federal contractors and members of the Defense Logistics Agency.

He did not speak much on his personal situation because of the ongoing NCAA investigation, but what he did say left plenty of room for speculation.

“We are in a situation right now that I didn’t get as wise of counsel as I should have,” Tressel said Tuesday.

Tressel’s speech was seen by DSCC employees and military members in a lecture hall at the installation. I was told by a Columbus-based media source this week that streaming video of the speech was also made available to those at the facility who weren’t able to attend Tressel’s talk in-person.

Last April and June, Tressel received emails from ex-Buckeye football player Chris Cicero that detailed NCAA violations involving Ohio State football players.

During a press conference at Ohio State last week, Tressel maintained that he did not reveal those violations to anyone because Cicero had requested “confidentiality” in the matter. (Though Cicero did not request confidentiality in the first April email to Tressel and in June revealed to the coach that a federal inquiry into a matter relating to Buckeye football players had concluded.)

Following his repeated “confidentiality” defense last week, Tressel was asked by Yahoo Sports reporter Dan Wetzel during the OSU press conference if “he (Tressel) forwarded the emails to anyone?

Before Tressel could answer, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith cut off the coach - but not before a nod by Tressel seemed to indicate that the coach had affirmed that he did indeed forward an email or emails from Cicero to someone.

Tressel’s remark to DSCC personnel Tuesday - “I didn’t get as wise of counsel as I should have” -  also seems to contradict the coach’s earlier defense that he kept knowledge of NCAA violations by Ohio State football players completely confidential.

For more SbB coverage & video on Ohio State NCAA violations involving Tressel, click here.

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