It will be interesting to see what Buckeye football fans think of Ohio State University's decision to pay former head coach Jim Tressel $52,250, seemingly backtracking from their vow to have Tressel pay a $250,000 fine which stemmed from the discovery that he was aware of buckeye football players selling memorabilia and trading items for tattoos.
Last month, E. Gordon Gee, president of OSU asserted that Tressel would have no choice but to pay the $250,000 fine. It is unknown why university officials have changed their minds. OSU was bound by a requirement to respond to the allegations made formally by the NCAA.
Tressel, 58, claims that when he first became aware of the infractions, which took place in April, 2010, he ought to have reported the athletes. Also, he should not have signed a compliance certificate on the 13th of September, 2010. Tressel states that he was fearful of his players' safety since the owner of the tattoo-parlor was targeted in a federal investigation involving drugs.
Tressel was made aware of tattoo-parlor memorabilia sales by a former walk-on linebacker. The former player, Christopher T. Cicero sent the coach an email informing him of the details of the transactions. The parlor's owner, Edward Rife paid Buckeye footballers with nearly $9500.00 cash and over $500.00 worth of tattoos, either discounted or free, in exchange for items including game-worn gear.
Coach Tressel indicated in a press release that he will continue to support Ohio State University, despite the negative reaction to his troubles. If he had stayed, the coach would have been able to collect over 3.5 million dollars for the upcoming season. As it stands, Tressel will still be able to collect unpaid vacation and sick time, and his decision to officially retire will allow him to continue to use health insurance. His insurance plan is the standard plan available to each one of the state's retirees. School officials have indicated that the embattled coach will likely not return to accept a faculty position, while also asserting that Tressel's history of NCAA compliance should not be ignored.
While serving as Buckeye Football coach, Jim Tressel was known for wearing a sweater vest during games, and also for his strong moral character and his powerful faith, often showing a strong sense of responsibility when presented with life's many challenges.