Move over Charlie and Muhammar – Here comes Coach Sweater Vest and there goes the last dollop of integrity left in Big Time college athletics. Machete-wielding ?? ….. Jim Tressel unceremoniously dots The Ohio State “I” as in “I knew” and reverberations are felt on Franklin Street?
The parallels between Tressel and UNC’s sainted Pale Rider are obvious …. with one very significant difference. Jim Tressel is 9-1 versus tOSU’s primary rival. Butch is 0-4 versus UNC’s primary FB rival. The shred of credibility left for The NCAA is up for grabs in The Shoe …. Deal’em.
….. “Machete-wielding” ?? America is currently in the iron-fisted grip of Sheen-o-mania. The hourly flatulations of Charlie Sheen has the entire planet transfixed. Even Jennifer Aniston’s new hair-do can’t get traction. Earlier this week the following headline appeared – Machete-wielding Sheen Screams From LA Rooftop.
I realized that the phrase “machete-wielding” is a guaranteed eyeball magnet in any headline. Just imagine:
Machete-wielding Dewey Beats Truman
Machete-wielding Armstrong Sets Foot On Moon
Machete-wielding Jordan Hits Jumper Gives Dean A Ring
Ergo I decided that Jim Tressel should be machete-wielding.
There are only a handful of big-time coach personas. There is the rough-hewn former lineman in a sweatshirt-type. There is the brash quote-machine Spurrier/Bowden daggone-it-type …. and there’s the Chamber of Commerce Guy-type. Tressel and BOTBob’s buddy Butch fit the latter.
- Get a haircut once a week ….
- Memorize a couple of Bible verses for quick recall when needed.
- Pick a non-political local charity and do a few meet-greets for it.
- Make sure your roster always includes 2-3 Eagle Scout-types to balance the skill position thug-aletes.
- Have a Donna Reed-ish wife a son named Trey or a daughter named Ashley or something close.
- Cultivate sycophants among the Fat Cats with shiny “I’m Coach’s special friend” crap that plays to their nerdy egos.
- Be sure the Admin flunkies never forget you pay more in taxes than they gross a year. Intimidate them with your self-confidence and celebrity status.
- Win a lot or have 3-4 ever-revolving excuses why you can’t right now but will pretty soon.
- Always have your agent in prospecting mode.
I’m not saying any of the above is bad or illegal. Success in any high profile position involves posturing and image manipulation.
Is Jim Tressel any more a scoundrel than 20-30 others who do what he does at the level he does it? Nope. Does that excuse him being a scoundrel? Nope. Will there be a lot of righteous indignation from partisans of other schools ignoring the 500 lbs scoundrel in their own tent. Sure.
That Tressel or Butch were clueless of what was going on within their micro-managed bubbles would require they be convincing deceivers (?) or fools. “Fools” don’t get to their levels.
Tressel could have ‘fessed up in April. He could have ‘fessed up again in December. He figured his best play was to dummy up. Looks like he figured incorrectly. Where would he be today if he HAD ‘fessed up”? Where would Paul Hoolahan’s Sugar Bowl ratings be?
Where would Butch be today if he had ‘fessed up when Marv first hit SEND on his little Tweeter?
Would BOTBob Winston have run interference as Butch’s human shield if Butch had simply admitted “I’ve been “institutionally sloppy” but I promise to clean up my act.”?
(Does this look familiar?)
Could / would Butch have considered the ‘fess up ploy re: Agent-gate if Tutor-gate had not exploded on him? Was a double-barreled scandal too much to risk throwing himself on the mercy of the BOT? Was Sgt Schultz the smart play …. or the only play Butch really had?
Will The Tressel Verdict bring down college football? Did Eliot Spitzer and Slick Willy getting caught bring down prostitution and philandering? No. Lying, cheating and situational ethics are as much a part of human existence as the hydrogen atom.
Buckeye board monkeys will rally for Tressel just like UNC board monkeys rallied for Butch. All that matters to that mentality is winning. “Everybody’s doing it …. it’s no big deal …. our rivals are so jealous they make this stuff up …. they should pay the players …. it’s the NCAA fault …. “We Love Jim” t-shirts …. blah blah blah blah ….. yawn.
When a fecal-firestorm like this hits, look for the Mega-Stoopid Comment. It comes in the first 24 hours. The Bruce Poulton / Joe Biden Lifetime Achievement In Administrative Stoopity goes to tOSU President E. Gordon Gee.
President E. G. Gee addressed the media mob on Tuesday in Columbus. In response to “is dismissing Jim Tressel a consideration?”
Prez Gee: “No. Are you kidding me? I just hope the coach doesn’t dismiss me.” …. True Quote!
At SEC HQ in Birmingham Al, Commissioner Mike Slive asked his secretary “Are we really sure this one doesn’t involve us?”
In the background a lonely bugler plays taps as the rotting carcass of college sports is summarily dumped into the swirling waters of The Olentangy.
So how many of you read about Tressel and immediately thought BobLee ain’t never running out of column fodder? That was my first thought.