Ohio State Football Coach Quits Amid Scandal Jim Tressel, one of college football's most successful coaches, resigned following public and media pressure as the NCAA investigates the Buckeyes for possible rules violations.
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Ohio State Football Coach Quits Amid NCAA Scandal

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Ohio State Football Coach Quits Amid NCAA Scandal

Ohio State Football Coach Quits Amid NCAA Scandal

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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Tim Rudell, of member station WKSU, has the story.

TIM RUDELL: Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto has known Tressel for 25 years. He says it was the cover-up that led Tressel to finally give in to pressure to resign.

BLOCK: As a coaching friend said, it's knucklehead cheating. That's what it is, Terry, knucklehead cheating. And what he meant was, we're not talking academic fraud or systematic payments. You're talking about kids selling gold pants or whatever, for tattoos and for a few bucks. But unfortunately, that's really not what got Jim fired. What got Jim fired was - the lie is the big deal. It's the old thing: The cover-up is worse than the crime.

RUDELL: Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith talked about the resignation shortly after Tressel announced it to a morning meeting of his team.

BLOCK: Coach Tressel did what we all knew he would do. He did an eloquent job of explaining to the young men what transition really means, and what they needed to focus on. So he met with the team, and exited.

RUDELL: John Rogers and Tony Visconti(ph) are Ohio State fans out planting petunias today, as part of a Memorial Day spruce-up project in West Akron. When Rogers hears the news about Tressel from Visconti, he stands up, wipes his forehead, and says he thinks Jim Tressel was just keeping things going for his team and trying to keep the Buckeyes on top.

BLOCK: You want to have a winning team because it gives you an up attitude. And that's what everybody needs to have. So do I think he should have resigned? No, I don't think so. I think maybe the rules are a little bit too stringent.

RUDELL: Visconti kneels and begins popping the little, plastic flower pots from a tray. He says that while Tressel was just protecting his boys, he still broke the rules.

BLOCK: It's against regulations. It's against regulations. I mean, you can't - where does it stop then? So I understand where he had to come up to - with a decision to resign to protect the rest of the Ohio State program. So my hat's off to him for that. I'm sorry that it, you know, that it happened in the first place.

RUDELL: For NPR News, I'm Tim Rudell.

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