Jim Tressel resigns as Ohio State football coach
May 30th, 2011
10:05 AM ET

Jim Tressel resigns as Ohio State football coach

Jim Tressel, head coach of The Ohio State University football program, has resigned, the school said in a press release.

“After meeting with University officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach," Tressel said in a statement.

Assistant coach Luke Fickell will serve as interim coach next season, the school said. The search for a new head coach won't begin until after the 2011-2012 season ends.

The school fined Tressel $250,000 in March and suspended him after learning he failed to acknowledge that some of his players may have violated NCAA rules.

SI.com: Tressel tries to take brunt of NCAA wrath with resignation

“In consultation with the senior leadership of the Board of Trustees, I have been actively reviewing matters attendant to our football program, and I have accepted Coach Tressel’s resignation,” President E. Gordon Gee said in a statement. “The University’s enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions.”

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said the school had been investigating Tressel since January.

"Obviously I'm disappointed that this happened at all," Tressel said in a press conference in March. "I take responsibility for what we do at Ohio State tremendously seriously ... and obviously I plan to grow from this. I'm sincerely saddened by the fact that I let some people down, and that I didn't do some things as well as I could possibly do."

Smith on Monday said he was looking forward to a new chapter in Buckeye history.

“We look forward to refocusing the football program on doing what we do best – representing this extraordinary university and its values on the field, in the classroom, and in life,” he said. “We look forward to supporting Luke Fickell in his role as our football coach.  We have full confidence in his ability to lead our football program.”

SI.com’s Stewart Mandel said after Tressel’s fine that it would be hard to imagine Ohio State firing a coach who boasts a national championship and seven Big Ten titles in 10 years.

But as is the case with most big-time college football coaches, Tressel's contract includes a clause stating he could be terminated for failing to speedily report NCAA violations.

Under Tressel’s leadership, Ohio State won a national championship in 2003 and played two other national title games. The team has had at least a share of the Big Ten title in all of the past six seasons. The Buckeyes finished last season with a 12-1 record and a Sugar Bowl victory.

soundoff (354 Responses)
  1. Catrice coleman

    Leave tressler alone.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
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