It was one year ago today that Jim Tressel resigned under pressure as Ohio State's head coach. But Tressel says he has no regrets about his tenure in Columbus, and he hopes to be welcomed back by Buckeyes fans in the near future.
In an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises, Tressel -- now a school administrator at the University of Akron -- said he thinks time will heal wounds and that maybe one day he could dot the i with the Buckeyes' band.
"I wouldn't call it a goodbye," Tressel said. "I would say, 'Hey, we'll see you soon.' Whenever it is, who knows?
"But keep cheering for those Buckeyes. I'm sure we'll have time when we have the chance to reconnect in some form. In the meantime, you've got to make sure the Buckeyes are ready. Who knows what the next 10 or 15 years of college football is going to be like? So keep loving them and keep flying that flag, and we hope one day that we get a chance to reconnect, and in the meantime we know we're still busy and we've got one another to root for."
I could actually see that happening. Tressel won six Big Ten titles and the 2002 national championship while dominating Michigan during his highly successful 10-year tenure. While he exited in disgrace under a cloud of NCAA controversy, leading to this year's bowl ban and other sanctions, Tressel did not leave the program in complete shambles. Ohio State had a losing season last year and won't go to the postseason this year, but the team looks ready to bounce back in a big way under Urban Meyer. If the Buckeyes start winning at a high level in the very near future, then I think people will start to forget the rough times and look more fondly back on the whole of Tressel's career.
That's what the 59-year-old Tressel expects to happen.
"Time has to take care of some things, but I hope to live long enough to have a great career at the University of Akron and then enjoy that recognition of every place I've been. ...
"The people I run into want to talk about the fond memories, and I'm sure that's not unlike when you lose a loved one and you think back on all those wonderful times, and that's absolutely the way I feel. I suppose it was disappointing to some. They thought we would do that forever, but it took a strange turn. But I think when you step back, at least I do, I think of all the good times and the excellent I people I worked with and got to meet."
Tressel says he doesn't feel "scarred or disappointed or mad" and that he's just focusing on moving forward. Maybe in the near future, he'll be recognized for his past achievements at Ohio State. He mentioned in the interview that it took several years for former coaches Earle Bruce and John Cooper to return.
So perhaps one day we'll see Tressel hanging around in the Horseshoe again. But it might be best if he didn't bring Terrelle Pryor along with him.