Yes, this has to be said. Memes have been made. Articles have been written (including on this site). Arguments and rumors have broke out on social media — all suggesting Jim Tressel receive serious consideration to be the next head coach at Nebraska should Bo Pelini be fired.
First, understand I’m not in favor of firing Pelini. His track record, though not enough to satisfy the wants of half of the Nebraska fan base, is strong enough to keep a job at 99% of all other programs around the country. It should be good enough to keep his job at Nebraska.
Back to Tressel. As most football fans are aware, Tressel is in the middle of serving a five year “show-cause” penalty/sentence levied by the NCAA in connection with lying about known violations during an investigation while he was the head coach at Ohio State.
What this means is that any school wanting to hire Tressel would need to “show cause” to the NCAA as to why the school itself should not be sanctioned for hiring him. That alone would likely be an easy case for Nebraska, as they haven’t had any major violations during the Pelini-era and have been a relatively clean program historically. In addition, Tressel would be ineligible to coach the team during the first five games of the season as well as any conference championship or bowl games during his first year.
Aside from just those penalties, you need to understand that should Nebraska hire Tressel, the NCAA would be — as the kids say — “all up in Nebraska’s business” throughout Tressel’s tenure. Nothing would be private. All books would be open. We are talking 100% transparency. That may not scare some, but I’m telling you right now that every college football program in the country has secrets and skeletons in the closet. Some are permanent. Some are imbedded in the way a program operates. Nebraska is no different.
Anyone who read the Deadspin piece on the Florida State program last week should understand what I’m talking about. That sort of stuff happens everywhere, including Nebraska — it’s just a matter of anyone finding out about it. With the NCAA rooting around campus each and every day, violations or not, issues like DUIs, reckless driving, locker room fights that cause season-ending injuries to star players and indecent exposure will no longer be contained by the local media in the fishbowl that is Husker Nation. All of the dirty laundry in the Big Red hamper will be hanging out in the open for the nation to see.
This is the kind of thing that can seriously impact recruiting — not nine win seasons and bowl losses. No 18 year old kid will want to be at a place where his every move — from birthday cards from family to dinner at Applebee’s with friends — will be combed over by the NCAA. That is exactly what you’ll get when you hire Jim Tressel.
Is the Tressel hiring far fetched? I’d like to think so. But the fact that it’s even a conversation is frightening, telling me that some people around the program would like to replace a guy with no questions marks in terms of who he is and what he is about with a guy who shows up on day one with a giant question mark on his sweater vest.
Let’s think about that before we post another picture of Tressel online photoshopped into Husker gear, joking or not. Husker Nation doesn’t need Jim Tressel’s baggage — I don’t care what kind of coach he is.
BY J.P. SCOTT ON NOVEMBER 26, 2013
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