Wednesday, June 1, 2011
More Ohio State/Pryor/Tressel reaction
By Adam Rittenberg
It feels like I've done this post 50 times in the past few days, but the Ohio State situation continues to dominate the national sports headlines. Pretty much everyone -- even LeBron James -- is weighing in on Jim Tressel, Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeyes.
Here are some of the reactionary nuggets that caught my eye:
- Former Ohio State coach John Cooper told WBNS-TV in Columbus: "Compliance is not doing their job when this kind of stuff happens and they act like they don't know about it. When I was coaching over there, compliance was around everywhere. It's almost like they were trying to find us violating a rule."
- An Ohio State offensive starter told colleague Joe Schad: "I haven't spoken with Terrelle and I don't care to. It really sucks coach Tress had to take the fall for a couple idiots' mistakes."
- Pryor's grandmother also told Schad of her grandson: "He'd be better if people would leave him alone. Pray for him."
- Michigan coach Brady Hoke issued the following statement: "I have great respect for Jim Tressel and what he has accomplished during his coaching career. We enjoy competing in 'The Game' and have great respect for our rivals in Ohio. Our program looks forward to the last weekend of November."
- Golfer Jack Nicklaus had this to say at The Memorial tournament: "Obviously, the cover-up was far worse than the act. And once you got the cover-up, it became a situation where Jim had to say some things that weren't exactly truthful. That's where he got himself in trouble. I feel very bad for Jim. He's a nice man."
- LeBron James on Tressel: "It's unfortunate. He's done some great things for the university. It's unfortunate what allegations and things have come out in the past year, not only with the players. Everyone in Columbus and Ohio knows how important, how great he was for the university. … The university will come back. It's one of the greatest universities we have in America. They will figure something out."
- Former Ohio State star Eddie George on Pryor: "Now that Tressel is gone and Luke Fickell takes over, you've got to ask yourself the questions, do you really want [Pryor] to come back with all the baggage with him when you're trying to move on from that? So I don't think he'll be back with the Buckeyes this season, and I don't think he'll be remembered by the Buckeye faithful the same way."
- Several SEC coaches weighed in on Tressel at the league's spring meetings, including Alabama's Nick Saban: "I guess if you were in the military you would say we lost a fine comrade in this whole thing. He's a good friend. He's been somebody I've had a tremendous amount of respect for, for a very, very good number of years in terms of the job he did at Youngstown State. ... I don't know the details of this whole circumstance and the situation there and certainly don't want to comment on that, but obviously there were mistakes made and there are going to be consequences for it."
- Also here's Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt: "I went to Iraq with him and spent nine days [with him for the second annual Coaches Tour to the Middle East]. He's one of the finest men I know. I don't know everything that happened at Ohio State, I'm just now reading it, but I just know his core, what he's about, and I think he's a good man."
- Former Youngstown State quarterback Ray Isaac: "Jim Tressel is as good a man as you’ll ever meet. It’s almost to the point where it’s hokey; you would think he is phony. Jim Tressel is like the person you want to be when you grow up. … He's always treated me like a son, always got on my case. I'm just appalled by the lack of facts in the article concerning me and him. … It almost looked like he read 50 articles of the Jim Tressel/Ray Isaac situation and mixed them all together and then wrote a paragraph because he could not get any words out of my mouth."
- Former Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk on ESPN's "First Take": "He was trying to protect his guys, and I think what people always say, he was loyal to a fault. He wanted what was best for his players and for his team and in the end, he’s being the fall guy when in truth, at some point, you’ve got to put some of this on the players. They have to take responsibility for their actions, and obviously they are with the guys that are suspended."
A lot of interesting comments, and more to come.