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.




April 11th, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

Hitler vs Stalin

Incurable cancer vs heart disease

Natty Light vs Bud Light

Snookie vs Roseann Barr

Pop Evil vs Neil Diamond

Crabs vs head lice

Jay Bilas vs Dick Vitale


April 11th, 2012 at 11:12 AM ^

Bud light >>> Natty light.

Natty is more on par with Keystone (Gibbon's Favorite), Red Dog or Busch Light.

Bud light is a step up from that, more on par with Miller Lite and Blue light (Blue Light > Miller > Bud. Bud is last because they decided "let's adveritse with Pitbull!" I now actively choose against them because of it.)

The next tier up involves real beer.

Blue in Yarmouth

April 11th, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

To answer this question I would have to have the "real" story behind what has gone on at both OSU and Arkansas, which I don't. For the purpose of answering your question though, I will just make a few assumptions and give you my response.

First, my main problems with Tressel are simple; He beat my favorite team a lot and he attempted to cover something up that could have potentially hurt the program he built. Other than that I really have no issue with the man himself. I am going to assume that in the end he was telling the truth and that he didn't have knowledge of a lot of what was going on. I will also assume that deep down he really believes he was acting in the players best interest.

With Petrino I have major issues. First of all I would like my sons to be around men that they can look up to and emulate. Neither of these two really fit that bill, but Petrino falls further short than Tressel IMHE. Because of my upbringing and my own persoanl moral compass I take marriage very seriously and can't think of many things a spouse could do that I would find more disgusting than cheating. If you like someone else, get a divorce and move on. 

Another issue with Petrino is his lack of staying power. I would never know when he was going to bolt for the next big thing. I wouldn't want my kids to have to deal with that hanging over their heads every day. 

He also actively tried to cover up what happened as a result of his misdeeds. I know Tressel did something similar, but his was more an act of ommision whereas Petrino's was an act of commision. Tressel simply kept quite while Petrino actively tried to coverup what had happened. To then try and blame it on the fact that he didn't want to hurt his wife and kids made it even worse. This after he cheated on his family....

Anyway, that is my response with assupmtions. Again, my assupmtions could be wrong and if they are I would be forced to revisit my decision, but that is how I see it. I think in the end, for all his faults, Jim Tressel is probably a decent guy who made some mistakes. I have a hard time believing that a guy who looks as straight laced as he does is as bad as we all want him to be. He would be my pick given the options here and it wouldn't even be close.

A poster above mentioned that where the child played should make a difference in where you sent your kid, but given this is the HC and not the OC or DC I am going to leave that out of the debate.


April 11th, 2012 at 10:14 AM ^

as a former NCAA athlete...I respected all my coaches...but my father was the man I looked up to as a moral compass...even to this day. Even my HS coaches...some I had little respect for because of their personal choices and if anything, it directed me to do things differently when I started coaching HS sports...

Blue in Yarmouth

April 11th, 2012 at 10:54 AM ^

I hope my boy's do the same. I also looked up to my father more than anyone else and as I aged he became my best friend on top of being my father. The thing is, he isn't the only one who influenced my life.

I surrounded myself with some pretty poor influences in my early years and regardless of the fact that I looked up to my father and wanted to emulate him, it resulted in me making a lot of very poor decisions. Now, many of those poor decisions took place during my time in the CHL when I was livining away from home and my parents. That isn't to say I would have done things a whole lot differently had I been home, but that is just how it was.

I think it is nieve to believe that just because a person isn't another's role model that they can't influence their lives for good or bad...


April 11th, 2012 at 10:22 AM ^

Tressel.  Easily.  Heck, I'd rather have him play for Tressel than Saban or Meyer.

Here's the test:  explain to a person who doesn't follow college football what Tressel got in trouble for.  They'll think you're talking in parseltongue.  Then try explaining Petrino and I'm sure they'll think he's a jerk.

I speak from experience.  Try explaining most NCAA rules to a random neighbor lady.


April 11th, 2012 at 10:33 AM ^

Petrino is s serial liar and job-hopper. Tressel lied in a self serving way, and did cheat, but in all other apsects everyone that knows him is an admirerer of his. Not so for Petrino.


April 11th, 2012 at 10:50 AM ^

1, The direct accusation that he fixed raffles at camps to give star players the prizes.....that is simply flat out misleading to the 500 kids that paid big bucks to attend....$500 for a camp and you had no shot to win the random prizes and it went to the kids invited to camp who got in for free......

2,  Tressel lied several times and covered up what was happening at both youngstown st and ohio....   if the coverup is worse then the crime...ummm tressel did it multiple times and this leads many times in the past......

3,  Tats, Cars, and other perks................I would be afriad my kid would be left hanging in his mess 2 or 3yrs in if I let him play for Tressel.

4  Would I have to worry he would allow felon drug trafficing thugs on the team around my kid?  Would I have to worry about bringing in the lowest of the low just to win? 


In answer, I would let my kid play for petrino long before I would Tressel.  Petrino would have cause for concern but essentially adultry he is hurting himself and family and he has to face that as well and the public side is nobody else's business.  Lets not get high and mighty on this board about that when this country has over a 50% divorce rate and the majority of children are now born out of wedlock.  Relationships are screwed up anymore and it's become acceptable for people to do this unless they are a public figure and the public needs a reason to bag on them.

Adultry, if it's the moral high ground here, don't talk on this unless you have never had premarital sex, never commited adultry  and live according to the standards you are holding Bobby Petrino to.  Lying to his employer and on police reports.....the coverup....I get that and I get all of it regarding adultry.............huge huge issues......


April 11th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

As I mentioned. If he didn't do anything else, leaving the Falcons in the 13th game for another job, in his first season, is a dishonorable move that hurt that team and he left a note in their lockers to say goodbye. Look around and see if Petrino gets nearly the praise that Tressel did from former players and employers--it's not even close.


April 11th, 2012 at 10:52 AM ^

his only fault was being a normal man loving snatch. it's what we do. can't be helped and not sure it should. certainly shouldn't judge a man if he goes after pussy.

cheating to win at all costs, and lying and all the while claiming a direct line to god-now that is dispicible, loathsome and no way i would want my son anywhere near the son of a bitch.

Blue in Yarmouth

April 11th, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

I can say it isn't "what we do". It might be what some scum bags do, but don't lump all men into that lump of cheating dirtbags. Some men can actually control their impulses and look on pretty women like they look at a nice car. I don't need to ride every nice car I see, but can appreciate it from a distance. It is guys who think like you who give the majority of men a bad name. If you want to run around banging everything that walks just don't get married, or get divorced. Why do you have to cheat?

Mr. Robot

April 11th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

Tressel's main crimes involved NCAA rules, and his lack of morality is in his lack of ethics and poor decisions and blind-eye surrounding his program. At the end of the day though, I consider the possibility of willingly letting my kid take cash and free suff that could jeopardize his eligibility to be far less a potential problem than the character issues that would come with a guy who hires his mistress, lies about it, and all the other stuff that comes with the territory at SEC schools. Tressel has other character issues, such as those brought up in the SI article, but it is a lot more tame than Petrino's, and frankly a lot more tame than those with Ohio's current coach as well.

My opinion on this additionally assumes that playing for either coach would occur at a potential future destination. In other words, playing for Tressel means playing for him at a school that isn't Ohio and Petrino for a school that isn't Arkansas. Petrino I would be concerned with running his program like an SEC program no matter where he went, where with Tressel I would assume there would be less to worry about at Nowhere State University. I also feel that Tressel would be more likely to clean up his act for his next job than Petrino would.


April 11th, 2012 at 11:05 AM ^

The true answer is we have no idea because we have such limited info to make a decision on.   How do we know if Tressel cheats on his wife?   Is Petrino hiding NCAA violations?  No idea.   Both guys are perceived as the devil, but maybe they just made mistakes that got caught and blown up.   Many players are loyal to them and they have had great success so they must be doing something right.  My answer would be to meet both men ask them some questions and do my best to determine which you man you trusted more.

Best you can do.



April 11th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^

Can I just take Satan and cut out the middle man?

Seriously, I'd probably still take Tressel.  Petrino seems like a scummy guy who has screwed over people everywhere he's been (no pun intended).  He quit on the Falcons during his first season, burned bridges at Louisville and Arkansas (at least in terms of being able to return as a conquering hero-type), and seems to run dirty programs.  With Tressel, he's a jerk and maybe a sociopath, but he at least wins and his trangressions were more of omission than commission.  Again, this is a lesser-of-two-evils argument, but the Sweatervest seems like a marginally better human being.


April 11th, 2012 at 11:25 AM ^

No way either of them are coaching when my currently fictional child comes of age.
Also, with my genetics, I have a better chance of creating a jockey then creating a football player.


April 11th, 2012 at 11:42 AM ^

Petrino quit on the Falcons and let everybody know by leaving a fucking note in the locker room.

Vest is a giant hypocrite, but Petrino is a coward, and a straight up piece of shit.


April 11th, 2012 at 12:24 PM ^

Which one greater affects my kid 5yrs from now? 


5yrs from now Petrino's issue is an after thought, correct?  5yrs from now Jim Tressel will just be able to be hired by an ncaa institution after a 5yr show cause limitation has expired.


So, your son is being recruited and Petrino shows up and leaves his recruiting pitch.  The next day Tressel shows up and gives his recruiting pitch.  Which one talks about being a good christian first?  Because both commited grave sins according to the most basic christian teachings.  Both lied and covered over a matter, both violated laws of christianity so tell me again which is worse? 

Petrino's sins are obvious...adultry, lying, covering over a lie. 

Tressel harder to answer but lying, covering over a lie and having never come clean about the entire lie constitutes him as still lying! 


April 11th, 2012 at 12:30 PM ^

If my son is good enough to get into a big-time program coached by either Tressel or Petrino, then why wouldn't he be able to get into Michigan?!  How have I raised my hypothetical son so poorly that he wouldn't choose Michigan over a Tressel or Petrino coached team?!

No but seriously, if its based soley on coaching talent and what's best for my son's future, then Tressel is hands down a better coach and more stable.  But at the same time, it would be harder to root for a Tressel coached team.  It would also depend on what big time program they were at I suppose.


April 11th, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^

This pains me to say it, but I'd rather have my hypothetical spawn play for Tressel and it's not even a debate.  Only on a Michigan board would this even be a question.  Don't get me wrong, approximately 65% of OSU fans are mouth-breathing cretins spawned from Satan's tainted sphincter and Tressel is a demonstrably sanctimonious hypocrite.

But look at Petrino's track record even before he came to Arkansas.  I'd have to start delving through names like Craig James (#rememberthefive) or Sandusky before finding CFB people with a lower moral character than Petrino.  For people who said they'd pick Petrino over Tressel, do you seriously think Petrino would bat an eyelash about doing any of the legion bad things that Tressel did, given the opportunity?


April 11th, 2012 at 12:51 PM ^

In my opinion, Tressel's issues were more of a team based issue and a lack of control.  He basically let the players do what they wanted and turned a blind eye.  From the very superficial knowledge I have of the Petrino situation, it seems like his problems are more of a personal thing than a team thing.  While this sets a bad example for the players, his guys werent working themselves into legal and NCAA trouble.  I think that Arkansas is a squeaky clean program compared to Ohio during the tressel years.  Again, this is superficial knowledge and I could be way way off.  Feel free to neg me into the ground.


April 11th, 2012 at 12:55 PM ^

Wait, are we assuming Tressel @ OSU or Tressel in some hypothetical future job?

If my kid wanted to go to OSU I'd probably have to go all Chris Spielman's Dad on him:

"You can go play football at whatever school you want.  But if you go to OSU then don't come home.  Ever."


April 11th, 2012 at 10:38 PM ^

to make it a logical debate. Have to say this has been an interesting look at it. 99% Of the responses have been directed at either coach and their flaws instead of at each other for our points of view. Most statements are pretty well supported either way...I like it.


April 11th, 2012 at 1:01 PM ^

Petrino. I think by 18 my son's moral compass with regard to relationships will be affected more by his peers and past experiences than what he sees from the adults around him. If I was 18 and this sort of stuff came out about my coach I would be more likely to lose respect for the coach than to want to be like him. By this point he would have spent 18 years seeing how I treat his mother with tenacious respect and fidelity, and that should have way more influence on him than anything his coach does. This is morality, and his morality should be set before he goes off to college.

Also Petrino's stuff was not done in full view of the players. That he hid it from his wards isn't something he should be praised for, but the fact that a coach would keep seedy infidelities and whatnot secret until the week he was fired for it makes me think my kid would be more immune from learning bad morals.

On the other hand, as much as I'd like him to learn it from me, he's not going to be as immersed while growing up in the ethical conduct of my business practices. I mean, he's just not going to see all of it because I can't be taking him to work or having him sit in on meetings with printers for HTTV or phone calls with prospective advertisers for the blog, or understand what all of the extra searching and emailing and linking etc. that I do to make sure I'm journalistically sound. These are ethics, and I think you need to understand the fundamentals of organizations to start being able to see and apply with ethics. So I could see this as something he is going to be very much influenced by his mentors in college; if he joins a fraternity the seniors in the fraternity and alumni who stay involved; if it's the school newspaper it's the senior editors; and if he joins the football team it's the coaches.

Tressel's interpersonal morals are sound but his organizational ethics are awful. He ran Ohio State like a secret society where doing right by the organization was more important than the organization doing right. This team-first approach is something a lot of people believe in--it is at the core of many of our biggest institutions--but I find it repugnant. This, by the way, is different than Bo-style loyalty, ie loyalty to an ideal of which the institution is meant to embody, because the absolutes of right and wrong are not altered based on what's better for the institution. Tressel-style loyalty is not loyalty to an ideal; it's loyalty to the organization, and thus whatever is best for the organization redefines right and wrong. I'd rather my kid play for Petrino and disrespect his coach than play for Tressel and have his barometer of right and wrong subsumbed by replacement of his objectivity for Tressel's concept of loyalty.

I'm not saying Petrino is any less digusting than Tressel. I'm saying that an 18-year-old is better equipped to ward off Petrino evil than Tressel evil.


April 11th, 2012 at 1:20 PM ^

I agree with you in general about the issue of learning morality vs. ethics from a head football coach.  The one point I'd make is that the Arkansas players may have known something was up when that cute blonde was hired by Petrino.  Maybe not, but the news stories appear to imply that her hiring was pretty clearly out of the ordinary (obviously done because Petrino was "hanging out" with her.  On the other hand, the OSU players HAD to know things were not kosher with the way Tressel was handling the affairs of the program.  That would be much more detrimental to a young man's development than just thinking his coach is cheating on his wife with a girl he just hired.


April 11th, 2012 at 4:05 PM ^

Just out of pure hate for Tressel, I'd send him to Petrino. The fact of the matter is, they are both snakes, I wouldn't trust either of them with my son. 


April 11th, 2012 at 4:05 PM ^

Just out of pure hate for Tressel, I'd send him to Petrino. The fact of the matter is, they are both snakes, I wouldn't trust either of them with my son.