Roger Goodell OK with Jim Tressel ban

Updated: September 6, 2011, 6:11 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that he would have suspended Jim Tressel if the Indianapolis Colts didn't make him sit out games to start the 2011 season.

The Colts announced Monday that they wouldn't use the former Ohio State coach as a replay consultant until the seventh game of the season. Tressel was forced out at Ohio State after an investigation into improper benefits received by his players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

"I support that decision. I think that's a wise one," Goodell said Tuesday in an interview with ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning."

"I think it was clear that if they didn't take an appropriate action, I would have taken appropriate action," Goodell said.

In Monday's statement, Colts vice chairman Bill Polian said that "questions were raised with respect to the equity of his appointment as opposed to suspensions being served this season by present and former Ohio State players."

During the weekend, Colts owner Jim Irsay, coach Jim Caldwell, Polian and Tressel discussed the situation and consulted NFL officials.

"At coach Tressel's suggestion, and with Mr. Irsay's ... support, we have decided to begin coach Tressel's employment effective with our seventh regular-season game (Oct. 23 at New Orleans)."

Pryor recently was taken by the Oakland Raiders in the NFL's supplemental draft and will sit out the first five games under NFL suspension. Pryor recently announced that he will appeal the suspension.

Goodell was asked Tuesday if he believed that it was the NFL's responsibility to enforce NCAA rules.

"The NCAA has to establish their own rules and enforce their own rules. What we have is eligibility rules. What we have to do is make sure our eligibility rules are going to be upheld," Goodell said.

Goodell said he didn't want players making the decision when they are allowed to enter the NFL.

"I don't want players coming in from the college level that are either trying to avoid a suspension, declare themselves ineligible on their own, hire an agent and decide, 'I'm going to enter into the NFL,' " Goodell said.

"We think it's important for young men to stay in college football for as long as possible and stay in the formal education system. Because they're not going to play football forever and that college education could be helpful to them," he said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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