November 30th, 2012 at 1:58 PM ^

I never liked Tressel, but I personally think the whole thing was overblown by the media.  Let's be real, it wasn't like he was paying players out of his own pocket to come to OSU.  They sold some stuff that belonged to them (wasn't even an NCAA rule until like 2005) and a lawyer (who happened to be friends with Tressel) tipped him off that players were hanging out with a shady tattoo parlor owner who was drug running.

If I'm Tressel, I'm probably thinking to myself, "holy shit, my players are going to get caught up in a federal drug trafficking investigation." 

I seriously doubt his first thought was about NCAA violations.  He was definitely a "players" coach and tried to be a father type figure.  If it was Nick Saban, Ann Frank wouldn't have gotten past the words "Dear Diary."

The media tried to play it out like Tressel was told explicitly of NCAA violations and then plotted to keep it secret.  That's not really what happened at all.  The e-mails (and I actually read them) focused more on the Tat parlor owner and what a scumbag he was (murder investigations, drugs, etc) and then threw in the fact the guy had OSU memorabilia in his store and players were often seen hanging out there. 

Tressel tried to handle it himself instead of involving who he should have, but the lawyer also told him to keep the info confidential...which I'm sure conflicted Tressel somewhat because the lawyer could get in trouble (which he did anyway).

Did Tressel screw up? Yep.  Can I honestly say I would have done it different than him?  Probably not.  His first instinct was to protect his players and that was his downfall.  Totally against NCAA rules, but I don't see him as some kind of "evil" person like many do.