Memorial Day 2011 brings an announcement from Ohio State University that head football coach Jim Tressel has resigned his position.
In a statement Tressel announced, “after meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach.”
Even given the recent scandal surrounding the football program at Ohio State, many supporters found the news of the resignation surprising considering the coach’s winning record. Amid the controversy, university officials have continued to show support of Tressel and though he faced suspension there had been no indication of his job being in jeopardy.
The scandal erupted in December when it was learned that OSU players had been receiving benefits from a local tattoo parlor in exchange for Ohio State merchandise. This violation earned the players a five game suspension beginning in the 2011 season. However, later it was determined that Tressel violated NCAA rules by not reporting the activities when he had known about them. He was also suspended for the upcoming season’s opening games.
Tressel’s record of 106-22 in ten seasons seemed to secure his position regardless of the accusations. However, on Monday Ohio State President Gordon Gee accepted his resignation.
Assistant coach Luke Fickell will serve as interim coach during the 2011-2012 season while a permanent replacement is found.