In case you've been living under a rock, Jim Tressel resigned yesterday as Ohio State coach amid myriad NCAA violations. This result was inevitable for the embattled Sweatervest, who was a dead man walking after getting caught lying to the NCAA in April. A few thoughts on the whole debacle:
- Sports Illustrated is hilariously taking the credit for Tressel's resignation. SI.com's George Dohrmann, who wrote a story for this week's issue, claimed yesterday morning while teasing his story that "timing of [Tressel decision] will make sense when you read it.", and when an Ohio State spokesman denied that the media was a factor, Dohrmann called bullshit. But when the story finally dropped on Monday night, it wasn't exactly full of new revelations. Given how much the story had been hyped, I was expecting something ridiculous; maybe blatant Clem Haskins-style academic fraud, or perhaps a point shaving scandal. But sadly, the only new revelations were that the tattoo parlor violations "involved at least 28 players -- 22 more than the university has acknowledged" and that Tressel rigged raffles for top recruits during high school football camps while an assistant at Ohio State in the 1980s.
The tattoo-related news was only building on something that was already known, and while the raffle rigging was unquestionably a dick move by Tressel, it happened more than 20 years ago and would certainly qualify as a minor NCAA violation. The whole situation reminded me of Scott Templeton and his weaselly editors claiming that their coverage of the homeless murders led to the governor of Maryland making changes to help the homeless. It must be Pulitzer season.
- The best part of the entire saga came last night, when Terrelle Pryor, who is reportedly the subject of an NCAA investigation for accepting improper benefits (most notably free cars from various dealerships), drove to a team meeting in a brand new Nissan 350z with dealer plates. Pryor's never been mistaken for a MENSA member (he once defended Michael Vick by saying "everybody kill people, murder people"), but this is incredibly stupid even by his standards. It's the equivalent of O.J. Simpson rolling up to his murder trial in a white Bronco blasting The Dead Weather's "I Cut Like A Buffalo".
- From a Northwestern perspective, this mess hasn't come at the most opportune time. Ohio State football is unlikely to ever be weaker than they will be in 2011 and 2012, and NU doesn't play the Buckeyes again until 2013, by which time their NCAA sanctions may have expired and they'll have hired Urban Meyer or some other A-list coach. Sigh.
- Congrats to NU alum Luke Donald, who is now the world's number one ranked golfer after defeating previous number one Lee Westwood in a playoff to win the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship. These rankings can fluctuate quickly though, hopefully Donald lasts longer in the top spot than the NU basketball team did in the top 25. A good showing at the US Open at Congressional in a couple weeks (on a course that suits Donald's game well) would help him solidify his hold on number one.
- And finally, NU has made it official: Nikola Cerina has transferred from TCU to Northwestern, and will be eligible to play basketball in 2012-13. The only new development here is that his last name is pronounced CHUR-nuh, awfully similar to Shurna. Dave Eanet is thanking his lucky stars the two will never play together.