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Chickens Roostin’

by C. Ross Jam on May 30, 2011

A grouchy NCAA football fan said earlier this year:

Guessing Tressel didn’t get a fine.

Well, today the floor fell out from under Jim Tressel as he had to resign from his head coaching position at The Ohio State University. Half shoved, half jumped. An impending front page story in Sports Illustrated seems to have triggered the event.

While I’m definitely not in the The Cult of Coach, Jalen Rose, of all people put a little nuance on this story. Tressel might have been covering up to protect his players, who could have been struggling financially. Although trading goods for tats doesn’t strike me as indicative of severe economic hardship, I might buy Rose’s thrust as consistent with the devotion Tressel seemed to generate from his players. A coach who averts his gaze when guys are in a tight spot and really need to make a fast buck seems completely plausible. This time the guys pushed the envelope and things blew up fast.

Still, the massive (and increasing) financial asymmetry between the schools/NCAA and the players will continue to expose the intense hypocrisy of the whole enterprise. I’m not saying we’ll see an increase in eruptions like this, but the NCAA does seem to be taking on a little water these days.

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