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33 people seek YSU presidency so far

Published: Tue, April 15, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

Trustees plan to narrow list to 8, then pick 3 finalists to visit campusSFlb





By Denise Dick



Thirty-three people applied to become Youngstown State University’s ninth president as of midday Monday, including some familiar faces.

More applications could come.

Besides former YSU and Ohio State football coach James Tressel, whose application has gotten the most attention, the list includes Martin Abraham, founding dean of YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; and Tony Atwater, who served as YSU provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2001 to 2005.

Atwater left YSU to become president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, serving there for five years. He then worked for a year as senior fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and was president of Norfolk State University from 2011 to 2013.

YSU trustees plan to narrow the list of applicants to about eight finalists for interviews either by telephone or Skype. From there, they’ll pick three to visit campus next month and meet with students, faculty, staff and the campus community similar to the forum format followed when trustees selected Randy J. Dunn as president last year.

Dunn resigned last month after eight months in office to become president of Southern Illinois University. Ikram Khawaja, provost and vice president for academic affairs, is serving as interim president and plans to retire June 30.

YSU trustees hope to have a new president selected by then.

Abraham applied for the president’s position last year, as did James E. McCollum of Millersville, Pa., another applicant this year.

McCollum, who was one of eight finalists in the 2013 search, is executive deputy to the president/chief of staff at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. From 1978 to 1996, he worked in various positions at YSU including executive director of university relations and assistant to the president of legal services.

Tressel, executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron, also applied last month to be president of that university. Two other YSU applicants, Ronald V. Bucci, interim vice president for professional and support services and administrative director of radiology/anesthesia/pain management at Akron Children’s Hospital; and Dr. Charles C. Canver, chief medical officer at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, Ill., also applied for the Akron presidency.

Shortly after Dunn’s resignation, a group of business and community leaders began urging trustees to name Tressel the new YSU president.

In his application letter, submitted Friday, the former coach wrote that by spending 38 years in higher education and two years as a vice president at UA, “along with feeling the extraordinary encouragement from the Youngstown State community, I feel prepared to assume the honor, privilege, and challenge of the presidency at Youngstown State University.”

He said the Mahoning Valley holds a special place in the hearts of his family.

“While admittedly this is a very busy time in my professional life, it seems only right to see if the time and fit is right for the Tressels at Youngstown State,” Tressel’s letter says.


1user(10 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Wake up people! Tressel acted improperly and illegally at OSU. That's not a person I want as YSU President. He has no acedemic requirements for the job. You want a "Great Fundraiser", hire a Hollywood celebrity...Tressel gets hired, I turn in my two YSU Degrees the next day...

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2BlueSteel(49 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Here we go again.

St. Tressel for president? Well, if lying and cheating required for the job - he's a good fit.

Let's review Tressel’s highlights, while at THEE Ohio State University:

- 34 player arrests
- At least 13 players, if not more, being ruled ineligible by the NCAA for various reasons
- Numerous off the field incidents and violations that were questionable or show tOSU in a bad light
- Choking QB
- $500 handshakes
- 3 full blown NCAA investigations, two of which led to the program being put on probation for 3 years each, March 2006 - March 2009 and Dec 2011 – Dec 2014.
- A convicted felon allowed to walk on the team
- A pedophile allowed on the team
- Moreese
- The Tat-5 scandal
- Postseason ban for the 2012 football season
- Vacation of all wins for the 2010 football regular season, including the 2010 Big Ten Conference co-championship and participation in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.
- Being forced to “retire” and banned from coaching for 5 years.

This isn't anything new for St. Tressel.

Let's go back to Tressel's days at YSU and Ray Isaac. 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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3user(10 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Traficant? Can we beam you aboard as YSU President????

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4YtownSports(306 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

To "User": The list has many qualified candidates. I would hope the choice would be someone familiar with the community and the university and how they work. Tressel IS a qualified candidate. The fact that he doesn't have a doctorate degree does not disqualify him. He has long been a strong advocate for strong academics. He has strong administrative skills. Did he screw up at OSU? You bet! Should that outweigh the good he did there...or did here in the 15 previous years? No, it should not. I hope he at least gets "a fair shake" and not have to deal with the short-sighted prejudice you exhibit.

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5user(10 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

YtownSports, your narrow tunnel vision is what's wrong with this area's mentallity of "Looking the other way...". I love Youngstown and have stayed here my entire life, but I'm ashamed of the constant hero worship of people who "screw up".

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6Seriouslee(148 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Amen user!

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7walter_sobchak(2674 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Blue Steel,
You point to many issues regarding Tressel and his football program at tOSU and YSU. Almost every point you raise though regards the personal behavior of the player, who is ultimately responsible for his actions. In fact, two of those arrests in Columbus were for public urination. Unless you know someone that has participated in big time college athletics, you really only have part of the story regarding the hypocrisy of the NCAA. Nowadays, these players know their way around the "institutional control" placed on the players by the universities. Most all of the violations you mention at tOSU were initiated by the school through self-reporting as they are usually the most ardent school in that regard. With the money these programs toss around combined with young men who came from poor backgrounds, anyone that does not acknowledge that problems are going to arise in professional college football is delusional. Why should it be a violation for a player to sell their property if it is rightfully theirs?

I would welcome have Jim Tressel as the leader of my alma mater. He has the organizational and leadership skills for the job, he is familiar with the university and its problems, and he is admired by many in the community that matter.

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8YtownSports(306 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

To User: I respect your feelings. However, may I point out that Jim Tressel is virtually the only person who has come through YSU in the last 25-30 years who had a vision, a plan to achieve that vision, and succeeded. Who else has galvananized the community and created a sense of pride to the degree he did? I won't be heartbroken if he doesn't get the job, but I suggest that it is your "tunnel vision" which keeps you from seeing the possibilities.

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9BlueSteel(49 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

@zz3 - A scapegoat? Are you serious? He was fired because he permitted football student-athletes to participate while ineligible and then lied when he filled out their compliance forms that said he had no knowledge of any violations by any of his players. He then lied to and misled the NCAA investigation, until finally confessing to it all.

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10BlueSteel(49 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

@walter - I point to the many issues with the football programs at tOSU and YSU, because that is the bulk of his resume - a football coach, not a college president. As a potential employer, YSU should be looking at his past work experience, should they not?

Let's go back to the time when Tressel was hired at tOSU. OSU had endured 13 years of John Cooper at coach. During the Cooper era, there were 20 players arrested. The university was tired of his lack of discipline, as much as they were by getting beat by Michigan every year. Then, as if taken from a scene out of an old Hollywood western, Jim Tressel rode in to Columbus on a white horse of all that was pure and good, to exercise Ohio State of all its inequities. There was a new sheriff in town and he meant business. Touting that pride would reign supreme in the classroom, in the community, and on the playing field, ole Sweater Vest was welcomed to Ohio State like St. Patrick arriving in Ireland.

In 13 years, there were 20 of John Cooper's players arrested.
In 10 years, there were 34 of Jim Tressel's players arrested.

The very problem that he set out to fix, when he waggled his finger at the crowd in St John's arena upon becoming coach and uttered these words: "I can assure you that you will be proud of our young people, in the classroom, in the community, and most especially on the football field.", he failed miserably at 2 of the 3. But hey, winning makes up for that, right? Just win and all is forgiven, but only to those who wear the scarlet and grey colored glasses.

Players getting arrested have nothing to do with self reporting and everything to do with character, discipline and integrity. Self reporting has become nothing more than an out for programs that are already in trouble, to lessen their punishment. tOSU only self reported about the Tat-5 a year after St Tressel already knew that the players were ineligible, but still played them the entire season, and then lied about it.

To show how meaningless self reporting is, the Columbus Dispatch ran an article that shows since 2000, Ohio State has reported to the NCAA more than 375 violations -- the most of any of the 69 Football Bowl Subdivision chools: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/...

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11walter_sobchak(2674 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm sorry you don't quite get it about the professional football programs at the collegiate level. Since the athletic department budgets are based on the profits generated from football and men's basketball (at the gate, TV, and paraphernalia), it most certainly is all about winning games. Unfortunately, with the culture as it exists today, the conduct of athletes has deteriorated all over the country. There is only so much a coach and a university can do to control these idiotic young players. They are young and do stupid things. I would hate to be judged today about some of my worst days as a young adult. But, you can avoid taking a chance on some of these players and be a doormat in the conference. On balance, Tressel did build a program that was successful and relatively clean. IMHO, his lying about the tats was mostly to protect the football program and, subsequently, his own arse. The lying is a problem. If you want the alumni money to roll in, you need to win. To win, you need great players. Sometimes, to get great players, you make a deal with the devil. (see Clarrett) When dining with the devil, you bring a long spoon. Ask Pete Carroll.

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12papa1(711 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

to support tressel proves the mentality of the people in the valley. he succeeded at osu and ysu by lying and doing illegal things to enable success. Bertram writes a lot about the corruption in the valley. hiring tressel would add to the list of corruption in Youngstown. he wants to be president of ysu? it doesn't matter that he lied, cheated, and gave a black eye to one of the top football programs in the country. osu has never been charged with infractions like that. if there's 33 applicants for the job that means there are 32 more qualified than tressel.

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13DSquared(1778 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

It's a no-brainer. Hire Tressel and let's try and get this University AND Valley out of this hole already!

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14thirtyninedollars(605 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

cult of tressel in full swing

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