Ohio poll says Tressel has plenty of support
By Marc Kovac
Forget Gov. John Kasich and President Barack Obama.
Voters apparently love Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel — even if the leader of the Buckeyes did break NCAA rules.
In a poll conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute earlier this month, 83 percent of registered voters who have heard about Tressel’s alleged misconduct said the coach should not be fired for failing to disclose student athlete rules violations.
And 56 percent said his punishment, sitting out five games next season, is sufficient.
Additionally, 66 percent of all respondents consider themselves OSU fans, and 56 percent have a favorable opinion of Tressel.
“If Buckeye fans have anything to say about it, Jim Tressel has nothing to worry about,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the polling institute, said in a released statement. “Perhaps losing to Michigan might hurt his popularity but not the rules violations he has acknowledged.”
Connecticut-based Quinnipiac regularly gauges Ohioans’ opinions of politicians and election issues. It polled 1,384 registered voters over the past week about the Kasich, Obama and Ohio’s budget situation.
But the institute also questioned respondents about Tressel, after he failed for months to disclose information about players selling memorabilia for tattoos.
He was fined $250,000 and has asked to sit out the first five games of the season, though the NCAA could issue further penalties.
Still, Tressel fared well among all voter groups polled by Quinnipiac, with a majority of Republicans, Democrats, independents, men, women and “white born-again evangelicals” viewing him favorably and few respondents saying he should be fired.