When word first broke that former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was hired by the Indianapolis Colts as a game day assistant, there was a bit of outrage from fans and media. Here the NFL had just suspended Terrelle Pryor for five weeks due to NCAA violations that yielded the same discipline at the college level.
Tressel had to leave Ohio State because of his own violations, so why shouldn’t the NFL treat him similarly? It turns out, the Colts hired him without league approval and have since had conversations both internally and with the NFL to see what the best course of action was.
And they’ve decided that Tressel can sit until Week 7.
“After the announcement of Coach Jim Tressel’s agreement to join the Colts as a game day consultant, 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,” Colts Vice Chairman Bill Polian said in a statement.
“Over the weekend Coach Tressel, Mr. Irsay, Coach Caldwell and I had a discussion of the issue,” Polian continued. “In addition, we had a conversation with league officials to apprise them of the details of Coach Tressel’s employment and the issues we were reviewing.”
So, you admit that you didn’t tell the NFL that you hired him? Is that bad? Does that happen a lot? We really aren’t sure what the rule is on that.
“At Coach Tressel’s suggestion, and with Mr. Irsay’s concurrence and support, we have decided to begin Coach Tressel’s employment effective with our seventh regular season game,” Polian said. “We have informed the league office of our decision and expect that they will be supportive of it.”
Really? It was Tressel’s idea? If it was, we have to give him some credit (that’s if we really believe it was his idea and we kind of doubt it) for being the bigger guy and volunteering to take the bullet.
But, regardless of whose idea it was, it was the right thing to do. These NCAA coaches are traditionally allowed to do whatever they want and when they get caught, they just go somewhere else without any repercussions. Meanwhile, the kid and the school are usually vilified. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of that trend.