- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Jim Tressel has resigned as Ohio State's coach, the school announced Monday morning.
Luke Fickell will serve as Ohio State's interim coach for the 2011 season. Ohio State says it won't begin its search for a new coach until after the season.
"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,” Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee said in a prepared statement. "The university’s enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions."
Tressel's resignation comes after nearly three months of intense scrutiny that began after he admitted he had received information about players selling memorabilia items but didn't turn it over to anyone in the Ohio State athletic department. Since the infamous March 8 news conference, Tressel's track record in Columbus has been closely scrutinized.
It's unknown whether there's another layer coming to Ohio State's recent troubles under Tressel, but don't be surprised. The school was trying to hold on with The Vest in charge, but ultimately the two parties had to part ways.
Tressel finishes with a 106-22 record at Ohio State (66-14 Big Ten). He won a national championship in 2002 and seven Big Ten championships, including the past six, and posted a 9-1 record against Michigan.
"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. "The appreciation that [my wife] Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable."
Tressel said on March 8 that he never entertained the thought of resigning, even though most coaches who committed the same violation didn't survive in their positions.
"That wouldn't be something that would jump in my mind unless there came that point in time where I said, 'You know what? The best thing to do for those kids [OSU players] is if I do,' and I don't feel that way," he said.
Tressel self-imposed a five-game suspension and continued to coach the team through spring practice. He was preparing to present his case before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions in August. Tressel attended the Big Ten spring meetings this month in Chicago and received full support from athletic director Gene Smith.
And now the Tressel era is over. One of the Big Ten's most successful coaches has stepped down.
We'll have much more on the story throughout the day, so don't go anywhere.