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Tressel could lead a Y-juco

Published: Sun, January 20, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

If you believe that Youngstown State University is a glorified junior college (juco) — community college — then Jim Tressel, the disgraced former football coach at Ohio State University, would be perfect as president.

However, if you are of the opinion that Youngstown State is on verge of academic significance with its STEM and business colleges, for example, then having Tressel at the helm would be a grave mistake.

Tressel’s reputation — not the one built on winning national football championship teams at OSU and YSU, but for lying to the NCAA — would undermine the university’s future. Ohio’s public universities and colleges are under the gun. Officials in Columbus have made it clear that state funding will be based on academic performance rather than enrollment numbers or other factors, such as the percentage of first-time college attendees, and the socio-economic profile of the students.

Indeed, Gov. John Kasich has said that YSU and other such institutions must become more selective in their admission policies. The governor wants two-year institutions, such as Eastern Gateway Community College, to become the first stop for high school graduates and those with GEDs who need remediation in the basics so they can tackle college courses.

High cost

Four-year colleges are spending a great deal of money on remediation.

The average of six years it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree has also come under fire from the governor and the outgoing chancellor of the board of regents, Jim Petro. They want a four-year average.

Against that backdrop, Youngstown State needs a president with strong academic credentials. Tressel does not fit the bill.

The board of trustees has begun a search for a successor to Dr. Cynthia Anderson, who is retiring on July 1. A national consulting firm will be hired, and a screening committee has been formed to review the applicants.

While Tressel is being touted by individuals in the Valley with strong ties to YSU, trustee Chairman Dr. Sudershan Garg has said the former coach would have to go through the application process like everyone else.

That’s the way it should be. There can be no backroom deals like the one some years ago. It was a fiasco that not only embarrassed the individual being pushed by some trustees at the time, but also the university.

With Tressel, an Internet search will show that his violation of NCAA rules and his fall from grace at Ohio State is featured more prominently than his national championships at Ohio’s flagship institution of higher learning and Youngstown State.

It will also show that while Ohio State President Dr. Gordon Gee agreed to let Tressel change his resignation to retirement, which allows him to be a Buckeye for life, he did not permit the former coach to be a faculty member.

Tressel, who has a huge following in the Mahoning Valley, is currently vice president for strategic engagement at the University of Akron, a newly created position that supports programs promoting student success, according to The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.

How do you create programs to promote student success? With money — a lot of money.

That seems to be the argument for having Tressel serve as president of YSU: He can raise badly needed revenue.

But, if YSU is to be taken seriously as an institution of higher learning, it needs someone at the helm whose resume reflects a commitment to academics.

OSU’s president

Instead of being distracted by a Tressel candidacy, the trustees should contact Dr. Gee at Ohio State and ask him for a list of names of potential candidates who would meet the challenges of higher education in Ohio.

Why Gee? Because he has become Gov. Kasich’s chief higher education adviser. He was chosen by Kasich to chair the commission on funding for capital projects on campuses, and on state funding for public universities and colleges.

The governor is an unabashed fan of the president of Ohio State. Youngstown State certainly could benefit by having Gee in its corner.

If Youngstown State is to be taken seriously as an institution of higher learning, it needs an individual with strong academic credentials as president.

As a glorified junior college (community college), it doesn’t.


1valleyred(1103 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago


It does not matter who Youngstown State selects as their next President, you will continue to bash and try to degrade that fine institution of higher learning. I would love to know why each year you find it necessary to rip Youngstown State University? What did the school ever do to you?

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2papa1(711 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

tressel doesn't have the moral fiber to lead ANY university. there is and always will be a stench that follows him around. he was on his way to being the next woody hayes. the only difference was woody loved the ohio state university much more than he loved himself. unlike tressel.

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3kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Re: "...never once did Coach Tressel... ever bother to check his player's class attendance or grade progress during the semester", the writer, who taught at Y.S.U during Tressels coach years, asserts. Not exactly a glowing recommendation.

But in a following paragraph the writer states that he sees nothing wrong with putting Tresel at the head as PR man and chief fund raiser, as long as, a competent Provost actually runs things.

In other words, two highly paid individuals (at taxpayers expense) to do one job: run the University.

Does that really make sense? It doesn't to me. YSU is no different than any comparably sized organization in the private sector. Find a suitably qualified (preferably through in-house promotion) CEO, pay him or her a "reasonable" salary and be done with it.

What we are seeing now is just an exorbitant, wasteful (to the increasingly impatient taxpayer)- DOG AND PONY SHOW.

P.S. The writer (puzzlingly enamored of Tressel despite his initial criticism) also slams Desouza for having the nerve to criticize Y.S.U. over the years. Well, I didn't know State Universities were "Sacred Cow's"- above reproach. Y.S.U. isn't a private institution privately funded- the money to run it comes primarily from the taxpayer's of the State of Ohio- therefore subject to public scrutiny.

And I think Mr. Desouza, even though I don't always agree with him, is to be commended for doing what the free press is obligated to do- expose and clarify issues of concern to the public.

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4kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago


The writer obviously doesn't like O.S.U President Dr. Gordon Gee: "serial University President (reads like "serial killer"!)... thrives on presenting an academic appearance with his bow-ties...a master fund raiser... reprimanded for lavish over-spending..."

In other words, to me, Dr. Gee sounds like a typical academic professional administrator (read: "trough feeder)- especially the 1.7 Mill salary.

It doesn't say in his record that he was ever fired for making an arrangement with a Tattoo Shop owner to sell University Trinkets.

If Tressel got in at Y.S.U is anyone ever going to let him forget Tattoo-gate? I don't think so. Bertram is right- we don't need Tressel. Youngstown already has Laughing Stocks enough (remember the other "Jimbo"- how could one possibly forget!)

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5jmagaratz(189 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

A note about some of the Presidents at Youngstown State University.

Dr. Howard Jones--founding President--did not have an "earned doctorate"; rather his was an honorary one.

Dr. Albert Pugsley--second President--did not have an "earned doctorate"; rather his too was an honorary one.

Individuals given such degrees are permitted to use the title "Doctor" as a privilege of the award.

Both of these individuals contributed greatly to the growth of the university.

So much for the so-called value of an "academic President."

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6WhatRUAfraidOf(85 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

jmagaratz-Your logic is flawed. Jones was president of YSU between 1931 and 1966; Pugsley was president from 1966 to 1973. The perceived and actual responsibilities of institutional presidents, as well as the typical tenure in that position have changed significantly in the intervening years. There remains significant value in requiring a university president to possess an earned doctorate degree, unless that person has significant experience in higher education administration at a vice presidential or dean level.

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7kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

To: formerdemliberal. What you wrote describing the condition of "higher education" today is an excellent argument for Community Colleges, Vocational Schools, and self-taught training through the Internet.

Universities are huge, blundering anachronisms, in my view, because so much of the knowledge and skills they once provided- high-priced and dispensed by bow-tied elites- is now freely available (via the Internet) for anyone who wants to find it.

You fault Mr. Desouza for not understanding the way places like Y.S.U. function. Well, I think the way they function is very easy to understand- it's not rocket science. They function as a state supported monopoly- like the Postal Service- now almost bankrupt due to it's inability to compete with players in the private sector- U.P.S and Fedex.

The UPS/Fedex's of the educational world are community colleges, vocational schools, and on-line colleges and universities that provide degree level training without having to support a parasitical class of exorbitantly paid bureaucrats (read: Dr. Gee and Jimbo Tressel).

You say that in your view- based on your knowledge of the way University Administrators operate- that Dr. Gee-once he discovered Tressels improprieties- did his best to cover them up, and when he couldn't do that- made Tressel the "scape-goat.

Well, if true, and I think it most likely is- what does that say about life in the "Groves of Academe"? Not really a grove at all, more like a snake-pit.

P.S. There was another President- years ago- who discovered malfeasance among his subordinates and tried to cover it up and he was caught and almost got fired- let me see, what was his name, oh yes, they called him the "Trickster"- Richard M. Nixon. He'd have made a good University President!

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8kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Also, I'm just wondering- and, believe me, I'm not trying to make trouble here- if Dr. Gee isn't currently seeking legal advice for some of the statements which have been made against him by someone who, obviously, bears him a personal animus?

Is there any real evidence that he tried to cover up "tattoo-gate"? I'm not aware that there is.

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9kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

for: opinions, etc. etc

Your criticism of DeSouza for his writing style is like someone in a glass house throwing bricks at his neighbor.

I've been reading DeSouza for years and, though I don't always like his opinions, he's a good writer. You can not- I repeat, you can not- survive on a daily newspaper unless you can write clear, clean, precise, to the point prose- and that DeSouza (like every one else on the Vindicator) does. If he couldn't he wouldn't be there- it cost's a lot of money to publish a newspaper and you don't last very long if you can't write well.

The final paragraph of your post is the one that really bothered me- "English not his first language... not good enough for 2nd language... convoluted, confusing prose... atrociously, dreadful (why both?-one is enough.) punctuation, disjointed thought, practically, illiterate, etc.

Not only is all that untrue, but it bears the mark of veiled slander- an attack on Mr. Desouzas ethnic background. Speaking personally, I'm also not a native English speaker and, for the record, one of English Literature's greatest prose stylist's was an immigrant- didn't write English until his second decade- Joseph Konrad.

You say in your post you hold both a BA and Masters degree from Y.S.U. Which field I wonder. Judging by the quality of your writing it couldn't have been English- at least I hope not.

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10dennismangan(14 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Well, bellybutton, since you like to point out fallacies, here's one for you. Much of your criticism is based on a contention that any discussion of a Tressel presidency is "hype" and "balderdash." And you ask "where did de Sousa come up with the news that YSU is planning to hire Jim Tressel as president?"
The short answer is that de Souza never said YSU is planning to hire Jim Tressel. What he said was: "While Tressel is being touted by individuals in the Valley with strong ties to YSU, trustee Chairman Dr. Sudershan Garg has said the former coach would have to go through the application process like everyone else."
You're welcome to believe that no one with any influence has been touting Tressel or that Tressel has not talked to anyone about the possibility. But you'd be wrong, just as you've been consistently wrong in the spelling of Bertram's last name.

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11BlueSteel(49 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

@bellybutton - you said that "During his tenure at YSU, he put together some fantastic NCAA football teams and for a few brief years, gave Y-town something to be very proud of ..."

But, let's not forget that YSU was cited by the NCAA for lack of institutional control after Ray Isaac, who quarterbacked the 1991 team to a Division I-AA championship, was later found to have accepted $10,000 and access to cars provided by the former chairman of Youngstown State’s board of trustees.

There were a number of NCAA violations while Tressel was at Youngstown State. Both he and YSU were sanctioned for violating the NCAA CONSTITUTION 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.8.1 and 6.4.2, known as Lack of Institutional Control. Youngstown State would accept minor scholarship cuts. But avoiding the truth for so long served the team and city well. With the NCAA's statute of limitations on violations having expired in 1996 -- five years after Isaac left college -- the NCAA declined to strip Youngstown State of its beloved '91 national championship.

YSU was where St. Tressel honed his craft of turning the blind eye from any player wrong doings. While at tOSU, his Sgt. Schultz “I know nothing” shtick was used over and over again, as he pleaded ignorance in 2002 when Maurice Clarett was driving around town in free cars, in 2004 when Troy Smith was taking money from a booster and in 2010 when the Tat Five were cashing in their trinkets for tats and cars.

As a YSU graduate, I would be embarrassed if they hired St Tressel as president.

If anyone needs to refresh their memories of St Tressel, as many YSU and OSU tend to re-write history, check out these gems:



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12kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

for: Opinions,etc,etc

I've been reading some of your posts and I won't bother to list all your spelling and grammatical errors- it would take too long and it's getting late.

The only mistake in my post (Bertram's name I spelled correctly) was Joseph Conrad. I used "Konrad" because I had just referenced his Wiki Bio and, of course, his given middle name is "Konrad" so that was on my mind.

As far as Conrad's politics and treatment of native African's- that's another issue- my only reason for citing him is because he's an outstanding example of a great writer who gained prominence in a second language. Conrad spoke and wrote in Polish until his early twenties and, yet, many critics consider him one of the great English prose stylists.

I wouldn't have bothered to respond to your nasty little post at all were it not for the blatant unfairness of your last paragraph which seemed like ethnic slander to me (I know you said "Mea Culpa" but I've never heard anyone use that expression- "Mea Culpa"- except ironically suggesting an insincere apology- better, in plain English, to say "I'm sorry" or "I apologize"- but, then again, reading your posts, plain English seem to be something that eludes you. My sympathies. It might do better if you tried posting in Russian- you might do better in that language. Give it a shot! But, of course, then most of us would not be able to read what you had to say. Would that be a loss? Mmm.)

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13kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

For: Bellybutton

You might try using your right mouse key:

It would save you mistakes like:

"condascending" for condescending.

"blatent" for blatant

"worste" for worst.

You see, the right mouse key gives you the right spelling. Real easy, see!

Also, in one of your posts (referring to Bertram) you use the expression: "atrociously dreadful punctuation".

Well, (apart from the fact that it makes me want to laugh!)- that kind of writing is just awful. It's a tautology- two modifiers the same or similar in meaning that shouldn't be used together.

Your posts are full of stuff like that- I had a good time reading them (keep them coming: I enjoy reading them).

For instance: "Disturbing and Revolting"

"Naive and Gullible"

"Cumbersome and disjointed"

"Practically Illiterate"

"Basic writing skills"

"Duo of ridiculous non-storied opinions" (I especially loved that one!)

In all those phrases one or more words could be cut and the meaning would stay intact or be strengthened. A writer who came up with stuff like that would last maybe a day on a daily paper- if that.

Your criticism of DeSouza's writing is ridiculous- actually bizarre. I've been reading his columns for years and his writing is perfectly in line with other Vindicator Writers- and Journalists in general.

DeSouza's great strength- and that's the reason I read him- is that he addresses issues in a way that incites controversy and get's people thinking about issues- you either love him or you hate him- there's no in-between. And his writing style is fine- it's readable- and I don't think most of his readers have a problem. You seem to, but, of course, that's your problem.

As I said, in my first post, in response to yours, people in glass houses shouldn't be throwing bricks at their neighbors. Reading your prose, the idea of you critiquing somebody else's is laughable.

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14kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

for: Dennismangin

I notice your a newbie to the thread and, judging by the quality of your post, you seem to have some prior writing experience but, if you run into any problems with style, punctuation, spelling, etc. please rest assured Bellybutton and I would be glad to assist you. Best of Luck!

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15kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

for bellybutton:

That last post "Lions and Hyenas" etc., etc.

What the hell is all that about?

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16frinightlights(10 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Got some long winded and at times passionate and informative posts here. So let me be brief.

Bert deSouza is a creep and has never done anything good for this town ever. Add this to the list. This guy can ride out of here on the same horse he rode in on and the sooner the better.

Please Please Please do not underestimate Jim Tressel. In my opinion he took the bullet for Gene Smith. If that happens at a SEC school we never hear about it.

Tressel can do the job. No question about it. Whether the school or he is interested remains to be seen.

For what it's worth. And take this to the bank. What Les Cochran did to YSU with the Penguin Place deal is a thousand times worse than what happened with the tattoo's. the man should be arrested.

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17kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

for: frnighlights

Your post perfectly illustrates what I said in one of mine about DeSouza-"you either love him or you hate him". There's really no in between with this writer and, I think, that's what makes him an interesting journalist- he incites controversy which draws attention to issues of public concern- hopefully, in the end, clarifying them.

It also makes him a highly valuable commodity to the Vindy Publishers because, let's face it,- regardless of how you may feel about him- you have to read him either way. The worst sin for a columnist, it seems to me, is to bore the reading public - and that's a sin Bertram doesn't often commit

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18jeepers(127 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

DeeSooza hates all state/gov employees-whether Ph.D. or A.D.. If Tressel can raise a lot more money for the university, let him fill the job. I still feel that his transgressions-lyiing about tattoos fall below the level of things I need to worry about. As a graduate of Y.S.U. [1976], it didn't matter to me who was president of the univ. at the time. As I recall, we were against anybody over 30 yrs. old in those days. ?Remember??

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19kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

I love these posts! Only problem is once you get hooked on this sh-t, how do yo manage to still get sleep! Highly addictive.

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20kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Question is: if I leave out the one letter of the vulgar term for human excrement, everybody knows exactly what it is and they read it as exactly what it is- so why not just spell it out?

Apparently, "Mrs. Grundy" is still alive and well in central Iowa.

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21girardguy(7 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Most junior and community colleges are superior to YSU. I've hired a couple of YSU grads and they are totally unprepared to enter the workforce. It does not matter who the President is until they begin to enact some sort of admission standards.

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22walter_sobchak(2713 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

YSU is in institution of higher education and learning. It is not a job training center. Last time I checked, YSU does not graduate welders, electricians, or plumbers. But, they do graduate people with degrees in nursing, engineering, accounting, etc. that use their education to obtain a position in which training is an absolute necessity. As an engineering graduate, my first employer wouldn't let me do design work until I had a couple of years experience learning how things were done in industry. I had to obtain 4 years of engineering practice under other licensed engineers before I could even sit for my professional engineer's exam.

Now, as far as YSU's admission standards, they must absolutely be raised as their are too many students that need remedial work. They would be better served at EGCC. But, the criticism of the graduates of YSU is unwarranted. YSU is one of the best values for education in this state and nation. I was told this by one of my engineering employers 30 years ago and he had degrees in engineering from Carnegie-Mellon, Illinois and an MBa from NYU. The programs are accredited by their national bodies and that is what matters. Many undergrad classes are taught by full professors which is unheard of at major schools. My son graduated with a BA in Biology from YSU and is in the OSU Med school. When he is in his labs doing his research work, many of his fellow students ask him how he became so well-prepared. Simple, he tells them he went to THEE Youngstown State University! It amazes me how people in this area, especially the BOZO that writes this column, loves to sh!t on one of the jewels of the area every chance they get.

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23walter_sobchak(2713 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Other than a few spelling errors due to typo's and the use of a few colloquilisms, my grammar is OK as most of what you perceive to be errors are now accepted. And, I was educated by the Youngstown public schools and have two degrees from YSU. So, go ahead, take your shots. They mean so much coming from someone that can't get the spelling correct in their screen-name. Now, here's a grammatically correct sentence. Go and f*** yourself!

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24kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

for: bellybutton

re: "physical threats, etc online"

I agree it's a dumb thing to do, but I read these threads all the time and I don't know anyone who does it. It would be mighty dumb, considering the fact that you can be traced as you rightly point out.

Look what sending dumb stuff online did to former Congressman Weiner (pronounced "Wiener". aptly)- ruined his career but, of course, he still has his congressional pension which ain't pocket change.

The only "assault" I read in these threads are assaults on the English Language and I guess the language we love is strong enough to survive them.

P.S. You sound like an interesting guy- bit of a flake but I know the territory- anyway, you do stir things up with your posts and there's nothing wrong with that.

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25kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

I don't think the Vindy is going to stop these threads, they mean too much from a bottom-line standpoint. Sure, it's all free- the on-line stuff but a lot of the people posting also hold print-subscriptions- such as myself and if you mess with those people- guess what happens to the Vindy's paid circulation figures?

Also, notice the ads- "Turbo-tax" this time- but there are others all the time and that will only grow. On-line newspapers are the future and by having a good website (with an audience) the Vindy is positioning itself to take advantage of his trend.

Besides, they have no choice in the matter unless they want to go the road of the "horse and buggy makers' and become extinct. The Warren Tribune, the Vindy's Arch Rival, does it too, although their website is not as good as this one.

Finally, I suspect these posts are an important source of employee moral in the newsroom: I can just picture Vindy reporters and Editors laughing at us! "Did you read the latest from that Idiot, Kurtw? How about that Bellybutton or Knightcap? etc.,etc".

I mean I put myself in their shoes- much of news work is cut and dried and can become repetitive and boring. Our post's are an important source of entertainment and levity for them and I can imagine the reporters looking forward to these posts for comic relief. Besides, some of them (the pros) may envy us a little because we don't have to worry about "political correctness" (or having to please an employer) the way they do. Short of making personal threats, or profanity, etc., we can say pretty much anything we want' and they- obviously- can't

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26kurtw(1820 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

As I said above, I consider myself- from a newspaper reading standpoint- transitional. My readership roots are firmly embedded in print journalism: I've been reading a newspaper daily- mostly this one- for well over thirty years- the entire time as a paid subscriber. In fact, I go back far enough that- in my early years- I still remember reading the Vindy Columnist Ester Hamilton (remember her?) She retired so long ago that I'm sure, by this time, shes handing in her copy to the Big Editor Upstairs.

Any way, when printed newspapers finally bite the dust (as I know they will, although, hopefully, not in my time) I will miss them. Although, I can readily imagine some ancient Codger feeling the very same way 100 years ago when Mr. Fords Invention started replacing the Horse Drawn Buggy. Time to move on and, besides, who said old dogs couldn't learn new tricks?

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27badbob50(4 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Jim Tressel should be coaching the Browns because the ncaa is crooked making millions off of college football.
It sounds like all of the Tressel haters are green eyed monsters,you all could NEVER be half the coach or man of Mr. Jim Tressel. Get a life you haters!!

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28Dane(1 comment)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Kurtw, It is "sacred cows" and not "sacred cow's"

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