Jim Tressel steps down. Terelle Pryor announces that he will not return for the 2011-12 season. Ohio State is in a moment of true turmoil, but they did the one thing they could do to heal the program’s wounds regarding improper benefits.
Athletic Director Gene Smith and School President E. Gordon Gee decided that this was a way to create a reason for the NCAA to come down with less harsh sanctions against
the program in the future.
Their choice was much more than that, though. It was also an act a true character. Throughout the past year in college sports, the sanctions and scandals have been piling up. From USC to Bruce Pearl to Cam Newton to Ohio State, this has been the year of lying, cheating, and unjust behavior in the world of college sports. Ohio State did the right thing in this situation, and the decision can only help them in the future, near and far. They proved to us all one thing today: that sometimes doing the right thing is always doing the best thing.
Amidst all of this trouble of college sports, Ohio State become one of the extremely rare schools to actually do something about it themselves. They didn’t just wait for the NCAA to bring down a harsh punishment. They took action themselves.
On the football field next season, though, there will be troubles for the Buckeyes. They will be without former star quarterback Terelle Pryor, and former coach Jim Tressel. For the first 5 games, they will be without stars Dan Herron, Devier Posey, Mike Adams, and Soloman Thomas. They will be competing in one of the toughest conferences in the country, the Big Ten, and they will be fighting against powerhouses such as Nebraska, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. Interim head coach Luke Fickell will coach the Buckeyes next season.
No matter what happens on the football field for Ohio State next season, they took a big step today in repairing their image from what this whole process has done to the program and its reputation.
They’ll just have to keep rebuilding themselves, piece by piece by piece.
By Sam Brief