Interesting Debate on "Mike & Mike"

Submitted by Ron_Lippitt on April 11th, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Was listening to Mike & Mike on the way in to work this morning.  They were having an interesting debate on which I'd love to hear the board's opinion.

If one day in the future, your son were being recruited by both Bobby Petrino and Jim Tressel  who, for the sake of argument, were both head coaches at two big-time programs ---which program would you be more likely to counsel your son to attend?

Personally, it goes against everything I am to say this, but I think I'd rather have my son be a part of a Tressel-run program.  Tressel made huge mistakes to be sure, and had the hubris to actually believe he acted in his players best interest - which we now know, of course, was hilariously self-serving.  But his failure to act appropriately only violated NCAA rules -- which are complicated at best.  Whereas Petrino, we're not sure how deep the rabbit hole goes on this one, but it seems to violate every moral barometer you'd expect of a head coach.  Both coaches are superior tacticians.  Both coaches have nearly fanatic support from their respective players/alumni.  Both coaches send players regularly to the next level.

Petrino and Tressel will likely land on their feet (eventually).  So the question stands.



Michigan Arrogance

April 11th, 2012 at 9:34 AM ^

Petrino. He banged a girl he hired and lied about it to his wife & everyone else. I'd like to think that my influence over my son's personal character would trump that of a head football coach.


The Tressel thing is limited to football, but within that realm the HC would have more influence on my kids than I would.


April 11th, 2012 at 9:45 AM ^

I see your point.  However, wouldn't you consider Tressel to be the superior coach with a higher ability to be successful from a team performance standpoint?  Additionally, do you consider Petrino's track record of entertaining/bolting for a new job in the middle of the night to be of concern?  Could you even be sure Petrino would be the coach 5 weeks later?  In my opinion, at least Tressel was loyal and wasn't going to go anywhere.


April 11th, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

The vacating doesn't really mean anything though.  The fans will still count the wins as will the media.  You go to the Sugar Bowl's website.  They have the score/stats/MVP and the whole write-up on the game.  Then at the very bottom it says "Ohio (State)'s participation was later vacated".  Same with wikipedia.  Coming into The Game this year, all the announcers talked about how they beat us 7 straight and have won the last 6 BIG Titles(or a share of).  Not saying that's right or wrong, but it is what it is.  You can put an asterisk next to all their wins and awards to say they were vacated, but then I think you also have to put an asterisk next to "punishment".  We still count the Fab Fives accomplishment's don't we?  And people are fighting for the banners to be hung again.


April 11th, 2012 at 12:37 PM ^

But you have to deal with the scandal forever when wins are vacated.  We can't bring up the Fab Five anymore without someone mentioning Ed Martin.  And those banners are never going back up.

OSU will forever have to hear how Tressel was a cheater.  His legacy is forever tarnished.  If you played for Tressel, your own legacy, by extension, is tarnished.


April 11th, 2012 at 12:22 PM ^

What do you and your son get for every year those wins stay un-vacated? 

What do you get for every year after they've been vacated?

Sure, if your kid was the key Clarett/Pryor figure in the investigation and downfall, a lot of goodwill (which could be helpful; Craig Krenzel still seems to be making money selling lawn tractors here in Columbus) might go away.  But I think most of the players involved in vacated wins are still remembered as contributing to wins/great seasons, and if anything they're victims of the big names who screwed up and got the wins vacated/program investigated.


April 11th, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

Tressel lied and cheated to gain an competitive advantage for ten years.  His teams intentionally hurt other teams' best players.  I think that counts as "morally imparied."

Also, why is everyone assuming Tressel never cheated on his wife?  People who cheat in as many aspects of his profession as Tressel did usually don't have a lot of integrity in their personal lives, either.

It's like we're still falling for Tressel's "The Senator" image in his personal life, even though it was pretty-well trashed in his professional one.


April 11th, 2012 at 11:23 AM ^

We can't make judgments based on what we don't know.  I can't say definitively that Tressel never cheated on his wife, but Petrino certainly seems to have done so.

You could sit here and suggest that every FBS coach has cheated on his wife, and none of us would be able to disagree with 100% certainty.  It goes back to the theme of Craig James killed 5 hookers, etc.


April 11th, 2012 at 11:57 AM ^

I have to admit, though, that I've always been sympathetic to the fact that there was an ongoing federal investigation and that Tressel presumably didn't think he could trust the NCAA not to leak that information or muck things up in some way that might hurt his players in a real life way, so to speak.  I can imagine myself thinking, "I'm going to let the big-boy police handle this, at least for now." 

I don't mean to say that Tressel handled the situation well, but it's so hard for me to take the NCAA seriously that I have to cut him some slack given the circumstances.


April 11th, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

And I'm not saying you would disagree, but I would definitely go to whatever lawyer handled legal matters for the AD. He would at least have had a case that he hadn't breached his contract and would have gotten expert advice on how to proceed.

In other words, he'd be taking responsibility and passing the buck all at once, which sounds exactly like something Tressel would want.


April 11th, 2012 at 12:25 PM ^

I don't think he wanted to pass the buck, though, maybe to a fault.  He wrote in one of his books about not letting rules get in the way of doing the right thing.  It's easy to be cynical about that, but I think he was talking about the NCAA, which I think we all have to agree is a dubious body when it comes to decision making.


April 11th, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

I actually agree with most of this.  The Tressel stuff got blown up a bit because 1) it was the off-season, 2) it was Ohio State and 3) we didn't know about things like Miami and Penn State yet.  That being said, he still had a couple chances to come clean after the federal investigation ended and he didn't do it.

People seem to forget that Ohio State didn't really get in trouble for Tressel and the tattoo stuff.  They got in trouble for the booster in Cleveland paying players for no show jobs and the like.


April 11th, 2012 at 9:41 AM ^

He covered up the Tatgate incidents and who knows if there was anything else, but Petrino has shown a consistent pattern of just being an ass everywhere he's gone.   If he treats his employers like dirt, I can only imagine how he treats the 17-21 year olds whose futures completely depend on him.


April 11th, 2012 at 9:49 AM ^

I wouldn't want my son to play for eaither of those guys but I assume that the premise is you have to choose one.  If so, that would depend on the position my son played.

Offense... send him to Petrino.

Defense... send him to Tressel.


Neither would be in the mix if there were other good options, but if the premise of the question requires choosing one you'd have to make it pragmatically based on the side of the ball your son plays on.

Mr. Rager

April 11th, 2012 at 9:49 AM ^

Since my 4 years at Michigan were during the Carr-Tressel era, I could never, ever send my kid to play for Tressel.  

Also, I don't even have A kid, let alone enough kids to start thinking about D-1 ball.  By the time he would be old enough to play, I think both of these guys will be dead.


April 11th, 2012 at 9:53 AM ^

Tressel is a good guy who handled a situation poorly.  He's done a lot of good things for a lot of people.  This is a guy who could have cashed in in the football world in some way and who instead took an academic advisory position at Akron. 


April 11th, 2012 at 10:02 AM ^

Tressel did indeed handle Tatgate poorly and showed significant hubris.  However,  at the end of the day, I would want my son to have a head coach that he model his life outside of football after.  Tressel is known for some great work within the community and you are spot on that he could be making a ton more money in the NFL if he wanted but instead took a low profile position in Akron.  Petrino, for the most part, has shown an inability to act tasteful in any position yet and I believe would not exactly be the mentor I would want my son to have during college. 


All that said - I can't stand Ohio.


April 11th, 2012 at 9:57 AM ^

As much as it pains me, the answer is Tressel for sure. While Tressel screwed up bad, and put winning before honesty, he always seemed to have the best interest of the players in mind. (Although you can definitely argue that he put winning in front of the long term growth of his players as human beings--see Clarrett, Pryor, etc.). This is in contrast to Petrino who, if you look at his entire career, has always put himself and his best interest before the players and even the team.


April 11th, 2012 at 10:01 AM ^

2 years with Tressel....get a new car and some sweet ink, then transfer to where Petrino coaches.

Find Petrino's young, hot girlfriend, take her out in my safe car and get some know Bobby ain't hittin' that right.  

Wait...that seemed funnier in my head.


April 11th, 2012 at 10:08 AM ^

I read an article about how many US leaders have had affairs, and it's incredible.

I guess the point was that cheating on your wife is just one character trait of many that make a person a good leader, trustworthy.

That said, I'd take Petrino. as I fully believe that Tressel was dirty from his time at YSU and therefore it's a systematic problem as opposed to covering up a motorcycle accident (which was a 1 time thing).


April 11th, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

I guess I have my own bias like anyone else...I'm really surprised to see the comments 'defending' tressel as a "good guy." To me personally..the dude is as filthy as a pair of undershorts on their fifth straight day, no means of flipping to the clean side...there were similar circumstances at Youngstown...there were things at ohio that lead me to believe it TOO is a rabbit's hole we may never know the depth of...I personally guarantee the tats and money issues were just a surface of a WHOLE lot of things going on way deeper...he just pressed himself as a clean virgin looking out for the best interest of his boys...bullshit...he's scum. He violated NCAA regs and did so with near criminal intent and coverup...he and Geno Smith are both culpable villains...the money they made and the power they held is far more than a guy who inadvertently sent a buddy an email he shouldn't have..

To me we are all 'mortal' judging men who live as immortals...with the salary and public life they lead guiding young men...both screwed up. I guess to me what Petrino did was more of a personal choice that technically had less impact on his PLAYERS...however in the end it cost him his job Tressel turned a blind eye to protect his chosen one..both of them are tarnished...if it came down to my son being offered by those two programs...I'd tell him to consider walking on somewhere or a career in the military...