Faith shaken - Cleveland Plain Dealer OSU Beat Reporter's article today

Submitted by mGrowOld on May 29th, 2011 at 10:07 AM

In this morning's Plain Dealer, Doug Lesmerses's story on OSU hints that Tressel may not be able to survive "tatgate".  For those of you who aren't familar with Lesmerses, he is an unapologetic OSU homer who believes the Vest is as close to an earthly deity that we'll ever see.  For him to begin to doubt is nothing short of amazing.

in the piece he traces communication between the OSU public relations and the athletic departments post Tressel news conference.  He also includes an OSU version of the timeline "the other Brian" so brilliantly exposed in his blog "Genuinely Sarcastic" on Friday. It's interesting to see people down here view events versus up in Michigan.

He closes with the following:

That mistake, however, has defined this story. On the other side are fans and analysts who think Tressel's violations demand that he lose his job. And that point is repeated every time a new piece of the story emerges.

Ohio State, as a large entity in the public eye, obviously knows exactly what is being written and said about it. As the stories and opinions increase, is there any point when the pile could grow too high?

When the true believers start to have doubt is there any question the end is near?




Dark Blue

May 29th, 2011 at 10:11 AM ^

You know I should be really happy about all this, but the more I think about it the madder I get. Those cheating fucks to the South of us beat us with ineligible players. All that sanctimonious Jim Tressel holier than thou bullshit. Throwing Maurice Clarrett under a bus, Jesus it makes me sick.


May 29th, 2011 at 11:00 AM ^

the kool-aid sippers that are Ohio and that university are some of the most hypocritical, asinine fans across any sport and I agree that I can't wait for some of their chickens to come home to roost.   But on the flip, lets not get crazy, they have had our number the last few years.  11 on 11 we were beat on the field.   If it comes to fruition that players were indeed ineligible for receiving improper benefits then they should get punished to the fullest extent.   But cmon, lets not be that kind of fan base who use the "ineligible players" scapegoat with our struggles against them.   I see this as motivation to assume control once again as the peak of the Big Ten and their dirty laundry is finally being exposed.   


May 29th, 2011 at 11:19 AM ^

They beat us because they were better on the field.  What they players did were stupic and what Tressel did was,a fireable offense for which he should be let go, but they were the better team.  If the wins from last season get overturned, do you want to claim a victory that wasn't earned?  I don't want to win that way.  My eyes didn't lie.

I have no love for tOSU, but I find this whole debacle bad for college football and particularly bad for the B1G. Their program is out of control and needs to be cleaned up, but I really don't find Tresselgate  a reason for great celebration.


May 29th, 2011 at 4:46 PM ^

I know they were better, but come on, many teams in the country would  (and have had) struggle outrecruiting cheaters, MoClarett visited UM (on UM's dime) to cheer for tsio, Sarniak met with the vest the night before Pryor's visit to UM (thank God for that).

I'm sick of hearing tsio fans claiming that tattoos doesn't make players better, I couldn't agree more, but all those powerfull teams they have built this past decade are founded on cheating and not playing on an even playground. If as a recruit I have hostesses, cash handshakes, etc, and I discover that I would be able to have cars, cash, jewelry, free tattoos, a loooong leash etc, it would be hard to turn that that school down, its imposible to think that they've stockpiled all that talent without those kind of things being a part of it.

I still rather lose on the field than win doing such things.


May 29th, 2011 at 3:53 PM ^

Iowa n WI had success against them. My point is there were many other reasons their teams succeeded against us, we can't hinge on their scandalous practices n forget how we looked on the field. Don't get me wrong I'm salivating at the thought of the consequences they will face, but I'm not ringing the "ineligible players" bell as loudly as others are. I'm ready to see our squad demolish them between the white lines.


May 29th, 2011 at 4:05 PM ^

How did they beat US with ineligible players? Say Tressel did the right thing and reported this to compliance, who reported it to the NCAA. We now know the NCAA considers that a violation worthy of five games. The tatefive would of been in midseason form vs. Michigan last season. Even if they were gone for the whole season, I still don't know if we would have won in the snakepit.

Tressel is dirty. We know this. But the ways in which he is dirty do not excuse Michigan's extreme futility, which started in his first season at OSU, against his teams. You and others may want to rewrite history, but it simply comes off as a loser's lament to all those thinking logically.



May 29th, 2011 at 8:15 PM ^

How many of their great players would have gone there if they were not cheating to get them in the first place?
Fucking open your brains. I don't care if they should have been ineligible for the Michigan game, would they fucking been there in the first place if they hadn't been payed to be?

coastal blue

May 30th, 2011 at 1:21 AM ^

Is that both Rivals and Scout have us outrecruiting Ohio State from 2002-07.

So it's not like they were raking in amazing recruiting classes due to these infractions.

Tressel is a cheating, lying hypocrite, but he's a cheating, lying hypocrite who had Michigan's number when it came down to playing football. 


May 29th, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

Thanks for sharing the link.  Cracks me up when Tyler Moeller says Tressel made "one mistake".  I lost count already but there are many more than one.  It has been documented that he lied repeatedly.  I hope the young man eventually learns that blindly following someone is a dangerous way to live life.


May 29th, 2011 at 12:17 PM ^

"He has been the model of integrity and how to do it the right way and made one mistake."

I know why Tressel is revered. He has won. He has beaten the hated rival 9 out of 10 times and won a national  championship. He also appeals to those who see him as "old school" with his sweatervest, appreciation of OSU history and conservative coaching philosophy.

However, even without the rumblings from his time at YSU, the Mo C. fiasco, the Troy Smith booster thing and the previous concerns of automobile shenanegans, how is he any more of a model of integrity and "doing it the right way" any more than 90% of the coaches in college football?

Sure, he wrote a book about it. I'm sure he is involved in charity work. What major college coach isn't? (This is not a "I don't care about the charity work of rich people" jab.) I'm just saying that when you are the de facto king of Ohio and are paid that kind of money, some giving back is expected.

Can we just cut the bs OSU fans and change the theme to "He has won a lot and beats Michigan so we should cut him some slack on this"?


May 29th, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

Honestly, I really really don't understand how Buckeye fans don't recognize that this is about more than a single instance of poor judgment.  It absolutely baffles me when they say "oh, he made a mistake, to err is human, etc."  He made a mistake... and just never stopped making it from his tenure at Youngstown State until now?  This single mistake seems to manifest itself in new and exciting ways all the time, from discounted cars and housing, to pay-for-play rumors, to all sorts of goodies.  I don't understand the perception that this is all just some sort of calculated media smear campaign designed to bring down tOSU in all it's "glory".  The only reasonable explanation is that OSU fans are plain crazy.


May 29th, 2011 at 10:45 AM ^

I politely disagree.  The "only reasonable explanation" I see is that they have a deep hatred of Michigan and Tressel's 9-1 record against us blinds them to anything that will take that away.  IMO they will literally follow him into Hell rather than give up the one true leader that has been able to consistently beat us.

Michigan fans don't truly understand the difference between how we view them and they view us.  We want to beat them in football.  They want us not to exist.


May 29th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

I spend a lot of time in the Columbus area and have many friends who are OSU alums.  I have yet to meet one alum who doesn't want to see Tressel gone.  They feel, as they should, that they went to OSU for an education and what is happening now compromises the entire university.  I know not everyone in Ohio is in agreement with this, but you need to differentiate between those fans who are OSU alums and those who aren't.  From what I can see, there is a very different set of opionions between the two.

Abe Froman

May 29th, 2011 at 10:41 AM ^

frankly i hope they keep him.  every osu fan i know wants it, and i hope they get their wish.  


isnt it safe to assume the NCAA sanctions will be greater if he stays?  that's excellent.  tressel and the prez made this bed, time to nap in it.  we shall see how they rally around him when their team is getting punished by indiana and purdue two years from now due to the NCAA fallout.

Section 1

May 29th, 2011 at 10:49 AM ^

I don't think that Doug Lesmerises (who as you know is really a columnist, and who therefore -- properly -- hasn't gotten himself involved in investigative attacks on any side; cf. Rosenberg) has been such a partisan.  Do you have any examples of Lesmirises crossing any lines of columnist-propriety to support Tressel?

I think another good example of how a good paper works a story like this is the Dispatch.  Ken Gordon's a good writer; a better college football writer than anyone in this area.  And the Dispatch has done things properly for the most part.  The Dispatch certainly hasn't gone after Tressel the way that the Free Press illegitimately went after Rodriguez.  The Dispatch has done its own investigation, as on the cars, that has added to the story in a measured way.  The Dispatch did make one mistake (an understandable one, I think) when they looked at a title for one car that showed something like a zero sales price, without realizing that there was another title that they didn't have.  To the Dispatch's credit, they owned up to the mistake and explained it.  Which is another difference between the Dispatch and the Freep.

No newspaper is perfect, but I tend to think that the Ohio papers have done a very good job on the OSU story.  Far better than what we saw in Michigan.  And we've been through the many specifics on that subject.  The innumerable depredations of the Free Press.  Are there really any comparable examples in Ohio?  Either covering for, or attacking, Tressel and the OSU program; any specific examples?

King Douche Ornery

May 29th, 2011 at 12:21 PM ^

Just became a whole lot more interesting to me with his revelation about doing his own FOIA.

I didn't like the job Rodriguez did, but was fascinated by the outcry the Freep articles generated (the ones against Michigan). Like him or not, Rodriguez was the victim of three years' worth of witch hunting by the Detroit media, and the crap going on in the UM athletic admin. I'd like to have the info Section 1 says he does.

And NOW it's time for OSU to go down (or is it "up"?) in flames, expecially since they were among the fan bases laughing at Michigan's punishments for stretching a bit too much.

Section 1

May 29th, 2011 at 4:11 PM ^

It was, I think, the same as what Deadspin did with OSU recently.  (No idea if they got the idea from me.)  I asked Pat Sellinger, who is Michigan's FOIA coordinator for all of the Freep FOIAs.  I specifically told her; don't worry about sending me what you sent the Freep in response to their FOIAs.  That might be a mountain of stuff.  I didn't want to put Pat's office and the Athletic Department to the trouble of duplicating the responses to the Freep FOIAs.

I wanted to check up on the Freep, not harass the University.

And as these things go, I imagine it was one of the easier FOIA-compliance tasks that Pat has had to deal with.  I told her to take as much time as shee needed.  I wouldn't hold her to the statutory time limit.

So, among the goodies:

  • Jim Schaefer's request to Michigan for a vast array -- perhaps a roomful -- of documents for everything "regarding the football team produced by anyone in Judy Van Horn's office from Jan. 1, 2006 to present..."  Dated September 1, 2009.  The Monday after the Freep ran its Sunday story.  And then another one, later the same day, looking for all emails sent by or two a vast array of people "between 3 p.m. Friday, August 28, 2009 and 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 1."  (This was sent at 7:57:48 on the evening of September 1.)  Wherein the Freep had, as we know, dropped its "story" on Bruce Madej at 3:00 on the Friday afternoon before the last week of football practice leading up to the season opener against Western the next Saturday.  They wanted all of the emails of MSC, Martin, Coleman, Rodriguez and the whole football staff, by name.  They wanted all the texts (any communications), etc.  This was obviously an attempt by the Freep to get the private reactions of all of those people, after Rosenberg and Snyder walked into Madej's office on that Friday and said that they were going to press in less than 24 hours and oh by the way does the University have a response?
  • They did a six-part FOIA about team GPA after Rodriguez's remark about "the highest team GPA" which was later traced back to information given to Rodriguez by the Athletic Deaprtment.
  • Snyder (this is interesting to me) did a mid-August '09 FOIA for the number of football's self-reported "primary and secondary" [sic] violations in the past 12 months, since August of 2008.  (Snyder wanted to pile onto Rodriguez as a rule breaker that was somehow wholly different from Carr, I presume.  He and Rosenberg were looking for support to be able to say that Michgan had never before had any major violations in football.  And at that time, Snyder knew so little about NCAA self-reporting, he thought that if there were "secondary" violations, there must also be "primary" violations.  In fact, the NCAA nomenclature is "major/secondary," not "primary/secondary.")
  • They asked for airplane manifests, as to whether that ex-booster from Clemson Clegg Lamar Greene had ever been on a Michigan team plane.  That fishing expedition went nowhere, it seems.  You just know that if Snyder had gotten what he wanted, there would have been a front-page story of Greene being perp-walked, and linking his name to Rodriguez.  Whom Greene defrauded before he died.

This task could probably be done again; my FOIA was a long time ago (October, 2009).

Section 1

May 29th, 2011 at 11:01 AM ^

Those aren't examples of what is at issue.  Doug Lesmerises has an opinion, as a columnist.  And his opinion is (pretty reasonably, I think) is that at this early stage of an investigation that hasn't even gotten to the hearing stage, there isn't a good case for forcing Tressel's resignation.

You can disagree with that.  Lots of people disagree with columnists.  But that isn't what I was talking about, nor what I thought you were talking about. 


May 29th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear.  IMO Doug has been a staunch supporter of Tressel throughout this mess.  Until today.  This morning, for the first time that I can recall, he is openly questioning if JT can survive tatgate.  And to me that's quite a sea-change given his past allegiance to the cause.

I know he is a collumnist and therefore, entitled to his opinion without regard to facts.  It seemed to me that his opinion has begun to shift and was that was, in itself, newsworthy.

Section 1

May 29th, 2011 at 11:38 AM ^

It might indeed have some significance if Doug Lesmerises had turned, from absolutely devoted to Tressel, to conclusively demanding his firing.

But even that is a grand reach.  He hasn't done either of those things.  Lesmerises started addressingTresselgate by suggesting that the investigation has a long way to go, and that termination of Tressel would appear to be an extreme and unwarranted reaction under the circumstances as they existed two months ago.

And now, Lesmerises is saying that the pile of evidence might -- might -- reach the height that a Tressel resignation is what the program will require.

FWIW, I think that Lesmerises' columns have been pretty well written, and fact-based.  That's in answer to your comment about writing "without regard to facts."

I really don't blame you, if you think that in the carefully-couched phraseology of coaches and columnists and commentators, that this could reflect a change of opinion for Lesmerises.  Maybe, Lesmerises wants to use his Sunday column to get out ahead of Sports Illustrated on Tuesday.

But I come back to what I originally asked, which is what is the worst example of Lesmerises, or any Ohio newsapaper reporter covering for Tressel, as you suggested?  Or, conversely, is there any example of a paper attacking Tressel in a way that came close to what the Freep did to Rodriguez?  I say no, and I defy anybody to come up with an example.  I just think that the Plain Dealer and Dispatch do a better job of covering OSU than the Freep does with Michigan.  Hell, Michigan's Athletic Director appears to not even be speaking with the Freep's Michigan beat-writer.


May 29th, 2011 at 11:40 AM ^ that we are communicating can you please help me to understand two of your points that I don't understand.

1. Where do i insinuate or imply that Doug "covered" for Tressel?  I state that he was a homer and a apologist (which I stand by) and that he seemed to be changing his opinion publically today for the first time. 

2. What in the Hell does the Freep Jihad have to do with my arguement?  I dont even tangentially discuss Detroit media coverage versus Ohio's and while I 100% agree with you on the difference between the two, it has nothing to do with point I was trying to make.

Section 1

May 29th, 2011 at 11:51 AM ^

I like being in 100% agreement.  I just took this statement of yours:

For those of you who aren't familar with Lesmerses [sic], he is an unapologetic OSU homer who believes the Vest is as close to an earthly deity that we'll ever see.   

and I thereby presumed that you thought Lesmerises had been "covering" for Tressel in the past.  And fwiw, my own point was that notwithstanding any of their columnists, who are better writers than most of the people in Detroit, the Ohio papers have been pretty good and pretty balanced in covering this story.  Unlike the coverage of Michigan by the Freep.


Section 1

May 29th, 2011 at 11:12 AM ^

And, I gather, that you know that I did FOIA the University of Michigan, asking them for copies of all of the FOIAs that they had gotten from the Free Press.

It was easy for me, if you know how to do FOIAs.  One letter, one email.

And what I got was pretty interesting.  I don't think that there is another blogger, another writer anywhere, who had the proof that the Rosenberg and Snyder had FOIA'ed zero documents before they wrote their 2009 story, and that immediately after the furst publication, the Freep's (real) investigative reporter Jim Schaefer did do a FOIA, looking for all of the documents that would have been relevant to the story that Rosenberg and Snyder had already published.  (Rosenberg and Snyder didn't need any stinkin' documents; they had the story they wanted, and didn't want to let any facts get in the way.)

From my FOIA, I also learned about all of the other fishing expeditions that the Free Press had been pursuing; who was riding on the team plane; who was getting home and away tickets; etc., etc.  (None of it produced anything usable for the Freep, obviously.)

And, this strategy of mine was just recently copied, by the guys at Deadspin, who did the same thing to Ohio State's FOIA coordinator just a few weeks ago.

So, there you go;  a much better answer than your shiteating little comment deserved.

Section 1

May 29th, 2011 at 11:31 AM ^

No; the FOIA under which the University of Michigan responds is the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, MCLA 15.231(2).              It is not a federal statue.

No; FERPA (which is a federal satatute and part of the U.S. Code) would prevent the FOIA production of a personal, student-specific document.

No; there is nothing about Mike Valenti that is interesting.


May 29th, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

that the homer papers timeline of Tressgressions begins in May of this year. In hindsight, on the full list it looks like Tressel (at some point as an assistant coach) decided that illegal benefits was just a part of football. You see him personally instigating the connections between new players or even recruits and boosters. The fans still think he only made 1 little mistake but if that was the case a simple apology would have been easy, right? Wrong. Because it wasn't one little harmless mistake, it was one instance of a culture of cheating and he's not sorry.


May 29th, 2011 at 4:16 PM ^

I really have trouble with the idea often touted by Ohio fans that Tressel's cover-up of the Cicero email is a single mistake and the only "mistake" he's made in an otherwise honorable life.

Bernard Ducamp

May 29th, 2011 at 5:18 PM ^

Haven't we all noticed how a vacuum attracts dirt and debris?

JT and OSU live in a moral vacuum, and they reap as they have sowed.

Even Kirk Herbstreit can't surivive it.


The Denarding

May 29th, 2011 at 6:23 PM ^

Does anyone know how many recruits from Ohio, that Michigan and Ohio had both offered, ended up going to osu during the tressel era? Or how that number compares historically?

One of the things (and admittedly this is anecdotal) I have noticed over the last decade is the number of recruiting battles with osu prior to Carr retiring that we would lose to osu. Part of this could be the relationships that tressel had but historical comparison may weed that out.

It's the only way we can make a "he cheated and that explains it" argument I think.



May 29th, 2011 at 6:57 PM ^

The tables HAVE to have turned, right? I mean, it is really hard to imagine aOSU not falling into a hole that could take years to get out of, not to mention Michigan finally (or hopefully?) Finding some positive stability.