With the whirlwind of speculation going on around the resignation of Jim Tressel, what are the bigger lessons for college football programs?
Based on the SI article out yesterday, it looks like one answer is insulate your head coach. I couldn't tell you if the Vest is a control freak, but from the outside looking in, it sure seems like he is. For his new gig selling insurance...or used cars, he needs to learn to delegate.
I am not making light of those decisions or the outcomes. They are very bad on both accounts. However, it isn't hard to make the argument that had Tressel trusted an assistant coach or a director of football programs, he'd still have Gordon Gee picking up his lunch tab on a regular basis. His pleas of ignorance can only work if he has plausibility deniability. You have to have the pretense of not being in the loop to make it work.
The sin of omission is viewed very differently than the sin of commission. When you are the loop, there is no one to kick the smoking gun toward when the police show up. Gene Smith and Gordon Gee are about to prove that point pretty convincingly in front of the NCAA.
I am sure we'll see more about this in the coming days, but it isn't hard to see why blue chip players thought Columbus was such a cool place to play football. Being treated like royalty is hardly unique in a college football town. Being treated like Vince Neal on the Girls,Girls,Girls tour is something entirely different. Not to say it doesn't happen other places (it does), but when you add that context it makes those decisions more understandable.
Ed. note: After re-reading this, it appears I could be condoning these actions. I am not. I am simply saying Pat Dye and Jim Tressel got into trouble when they took matters too much into their own hands.