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Malmisur defends Tressel



Published: Tue, May 31, 2011 @ 12:03 a.m.

By Joe Scalzo

scalzo@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Joe Malmisur, the longtime Youngstown State University athletic director who hired Jim Tressel in 1986, said he believes the reaction to the controversy is steeped in “schadenfruede,” a German word that refers to taking pleasure in the misfortune of others.

“It bothers me that rather than judge Jim Tressel for what he was able to do for an extended period of time in Youngstown, people spend a great deal of time on his travails,” Malmisur said Monday after Tressel resigned as Ohio State’s head football coach. “There was not anything he did at Youngstown that was less than exemplary. He gave us 15 years of the greatest feel-good excitement I’ve had in my lifetime.

“I still consider him a friend. A person should be judged on all the things he’s done, not where he may have stumbled.”

When asked if he was surprised by Tressel’s decision, Malmisur said, “Nothing Jim Tressel does ever surprises me. He probably had good reasons for it. He’s never been self-serving a day in his life.

“He probably decided this was basically for the general good. I don’t know. This is certainly not one of the happiest Memorial Days of my life.”

Dan Wathen, the head athletic trainer at YSU during Tressel’s tenure, said he was “surprised and yet not surprised.

“You understand what the situation is,” Wathen said. “It’s big business. It’s cutthroat.

“The most sad and ironic thing is that all the years I’ve known Coach Tressel, he’s always said that none of us are perfect, all of us make mistakes and we all deserve a second chance. It seems ironic that he’s not going to get that second chance.”

Wathen said Tressel has spread so much goodwill “throughout not only Ohio but the nation” that he wished he could have avoided this fate.

“But I’m sure it got the point where he said, ‘I’ve got to do what’s best for the players and the school.’ That was always foremost to him — the players and the school.

“I’m sad because he’s such a good guy and he’d do anything for you. I wish there were something I could do for him at this point. He’s like family.”

Kent State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock, who was a defensive coordinator under Tressel and who became his successor at YSU in 2001, did not respond to a phone message seeking comment. A Kent State spokesman said Heacock is out of town and did not wish to comment until he first spoke to Tressel.

YSU athletic director Ron Strollo, who was a team captain on Tressel’s first national championship team in 1991 and took over as AD when Tressel left, also was out of town and did not return phone messages.


Comments

1Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Jim Tressel and Bernie Madoff operated in a similar manner and shared similar character attributes. And their "true believer" followers share similar attributes as well.

Jim and Bernie both portrayed themselves as paragons of virtue; men to be trusted. But their overly successful results were a bit too good to be true in the dirty world of money (and that is what big time college sports is all about). Their followers didn't care because the payoff was terrific.

However, both were giants with clay feet and both have been shown to be charlatans.

Jim wrote books and was almost evangelical in his lectures on how to lead an "above-board" life. His last book title included the words, "Promises From God". Jim knew the promises from God, but he didn't know that his players couldn't afford the cars they were driving or the tattoos on their bodies.

Well God kept His promise to Jim yesterday. The irony was that He lowered the boom on Memorial Day, just weeks after the OSU Spring Game in which Jim hypocritically once more clothed himself in the flag to honor our troops by wearing "camo" on the sideline. God does have a sense of humor.

All smoke and mirrors for the fan base. And now just smoke for Jimbo.

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2tkytown(43 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Tressel brought YSU back to life, and he did his best at OSU to restore the program to a winning tradition. College football is big business and the pressure to win is enormous, Tressel recruited kids who failed to adhere to his program, failed to respect the traditions of OSU, but Tressel thought he could "save" and change them and in the end they did him in! I believe if the NCAA and the ESPN's of the world looked closely; the infractions at OSU are the same at all "big-time" college football programs. Tressel was held to a higher standard and has fallen farther than most.

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3danielsdad(28 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Tea and tky, I agree with you both. However, what would the OSU boosters have said if Coach Tressel would have booted the top 6 (or so) players off the team before the start of last season? I'll bet that the Coach's job would have met the same end as it did on Memorial Day. There is no doubt that Coach took the wrong course when he chose not to disclose what he learned about his star players. However, I can't believe that Coach is the only person who has dirty hands in this story. Why is the OSU athletic department only investigating autos provided to T. Pryor now after Coach resigned. Where were they before this? I think that the NCAA will uncover a systemic problem at OSU that goes back for decades. I expect OSU to get the "death penalty" by the NCAA after its investigation. I believe that Coach fell on the sword to prevent that from possibly happening. Time will see what happens after the NCAA presents its findings in August.

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4Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Jerry,"Tark the Shark" Tarkanian was dirty. Pete Carrol was dirty. So why should Jim Tressel occupy a lower ring in the hell of Dante's Inferno? Because neither "Tark the Shark" nor Pete Carrol portrayed themselves as saints. Neither one of them held themselves up as examples of how to lead an above-board life.

And neither traded on the impeccable reputation of their fathers, as Tressel did with his father, Lee.
And, most importantly neither marketed themselves through books and lectures as examples of how to run a clean life and a clean program:

"Life Promises for Success: Promises from God on Achieving Youre Best
by Jim Tressel"

"The Winners Manual: For the Game of Life
By Jim Tressel"

You see, Jim even professes to know the mind of "God". He doesn't know where his players got the money for tattoos nor money for late model cars with big wheels and great sound systems, but he knows the "promises from God."

Jim, you've had it coming for years and and you finally got it. That, was a "promise from God."

The irony was that Jim, ever the huckster selling himself, donned camo during the Spring Game to "honor the troops". It played well to the minions, but God has a sense of humor. So He lowered the boom on Memorial Day! Think about it.

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5dram(1 comment)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

RR, I am curious what JT did to you? Your anger about this is amazing. You talk about him going to hell for what he did. What did JT do to you? Or what are you so angry about in your life that makes you so upset about a football coach? JT messed up, he lied. I agree. But you really think that takes away from everything he has done in his life and he should be sent to hell. I am very curious what he did to you to make you so angry.

What he did was wrong and he paid a large price for it. I just hope you keep your job if you ever lie or omit to turn in others to your boss. And truly, I hope you don't present yourself as moral and fail to maintain that level for fear that God will send you to hell.

I really understood my God to be a foregiving God. I hope you are able to work through your anger.

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