Until the NCAA dispenses with the case of Ohio State coach Jim Tressel’s cover-up, Tressel’s reputation and his career remain, yes, suspended. UConn men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun can sympathize. On Wednesday, the same day that his Huskies defeated Georgetown 79-62 in a Big East Conference tournament quarterfinal, Calhoun let expire the 15-day appeal window for the three-game suspension he received from the NCAA last month because of improper recruiting by two former members of his staff.
Calhoun will miss the Huskies’ first three Big East games next season. He accepted the suspension. He doesn’t like it. But he thinks an appeal would have prolonged his agony. Speaking quietly after the game Wednesday, Calhoun suggested that Tressel adopt the same strategy. Any explanation, Calhoun said, paraphrasing Hamlet, would mean that Tressel “does protest too much.”
“I know who I am. I know what I’ve done for 39 years,” Calhoun said. “... Have people around you who understand who you are. You don’t want people to think that [the NCAA violation] is who you are. Whatever it does to a reputation, a legacy, he’s been one heck of a coach.”
Unlike Calhoun, Tressel measures every word out of his mouth. That advice won’t be difficult for him to follow. However, unlike Calhoun, whose case is closed, Tressel still must explain his behavior to the NCAA. That’s at least one defense of himself that the Buckeye coach will have to make.