14 March 2011
I want to get away from this latest installment of Tattoogate but my mailbox is full of questions from fans about the fallout from this. I will address the various issues related to what comes next.
Recruiting. This is a minor blip on the recruiting radar. Some parents may be concerned but the kids are not. When this thing first broke last December we saw where the battle lines were drawn. Those that were the most outraged were older. Younger people were more understanding of the players wanting tattoos rather than the trophies and that the trophies were theirs to do with as they pleased. I will never change my thinking on selling Gold Pants and Championship rings but I understand the argument that the items in question were theirs and they should be able to sell them. That is what I find with most younger people that I speak with. They do not get why anyone is in trouble over this and will not hold it against coach Tressel.
As far as other programs using it to negatively recruit against Ohio State, that was going to happen anyway. From more than ten years of doing this I can tell you that there are kids that it is going to work on but just as many that it is going to backfire with.
On the field and in the locker room, this thing could be a positive. There were plenty of tweets on Twitter from players strongly in support of the coach. Make no mistake. Jim Tressel is beloved. This is something that could pull a team closer in the long run. This nation has come together like a family, forgotten about our differences, in times of great distress. The last time we saw it was on September 11th, 2001. The reaction I saw from the players says this family is going to rally around the coach and make this an us against the world thing that could make a run we will not forget.
I saw the fire Tressel crowd gain some steam going into the weekend. I thought that it would be a problem if it was still going if it made it through the weekend. It didn't. By Sunday morning that talk had all but disappeared. By game time Sunday afternoon for the basketball team it was non-existent. There are some fans who think what Jim Tressel did is over the top and unacceptable for the Ohio State program. Some saw any talk of firing the coach as ridiculous. I don't think either side was the majority. I think most of Buckeye Nation are Ohio people. That is, grounded, common sense, salt of the earth folk. They accepted the reality of the situation. Coach is not a saint. He is a good man, an honorable man, doing the best he can with the hand he has been dealt. I think they also accepted that there were no better options. A friend asks this question when confronted with fans who want a change. Who would you want to come here that would come here?
Some great candidates like Gary Peterson at TCU and Boise State coach Chris Peterson would not even be considered because they lack Buckeye credentials. Until that obstacle can be overcome the talent pool is always going to be very limited. Coach Tressel's insular ways have not been conducive to planting seeds on the coaching tree. We can't look at a number of Tressel trained up and coming coaches out there who have proven themselves as potential head coaches at this level. Don't say Urban Meyer. He has quit two years in a row. It is health related. Whether that changes in the future he is surely not ready to come back now. Bo Pellini? A good number of Buckeye Nation are troubled by his sideline demeanor.
The basketball team is looking good, going into March Madness as the #1 overall seed. Spring practice is just around the corner and it is going to be the most exciting in years. Coach is not going away. I think the team is rallying around the coach. Time for us to rally around the team, warts and all.
|< Prev||Next >|