Thursday, February 2, 2012

Weighing Tressel's hall of fame status

With the announcement of Jim Tressel's hiring as vice president of strategic engagement by the University of Akron, it appears the former Ohio State football coach's days on the gridiron are likely over.

The biggest stumbling block for Tressel landing a job as a college football coach is the five-year show cause penalty he received from the NCAA from the fallout of the Ohio State scandal. It's basically the scarlet letter for college coaches. If an institution wants to hire Tressel, it likely faces the same penalties OSU received from the NCAA.

That's the final stain left on Tresel's impressive coaching resume, one built on victories, and, before the OSU scandal, doing the right thing - at least in the eyes of the NCAA.

What about the eyes of the College Football Hall of Fame? Before the NCAA mess at Ohio State, Tressel was a shoe-in for enshrinement. Now, it's anyone's guess.

The college football hall of fame is located in South Bend, Ind., but will reportedly move its location to Atlanta in September 2013. By then, Tressel will be nearing eligibility for hall consideration.

According to the hall's rules on its website, a nominee must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach; won at least 60 percent of his games, and be retired from coaching for at least three years.

With well over 200 victories and five national championships (four at Youngstown State and one at Ohio State), Tressel easily meets those criteria.

The question is will his exit from OSU and fall from grace be a factor in making the hall one day? Under its criteria section, the hall states a nominee, "must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man with love of his country." A bit over the top, don't you think?

Still, the meaning I take from that statement is don't embarrass yourself, your university or college and the sport of college football. Depending on your point of view, it's worth a debate whether Tressel is a college football hall of famer.

Off strictly his coaching resume, Tressel is a slam-dunk hall-of-famer. The off-the-field NCAA mess he left behind is an entirely different matter.

No doubt, Tressel will make the hall, but it will take longer than he probably originally thought.

To read the College Football Hall of Fame's eligibility, screening and procedure for nominees, click here:

- Mark Podolski | @mpodo


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home