State legislators from the Mahoning Valley support Jim Tressel for president of Youngstown State University

By David Skolnick


The Mahoning Valley’s state legislative delegation is urging Youngstown State University’s Board of Trustees to hire Jim Tressel as the school’s next president.

The legislators made the announcement Monday at the conclusion of a press conference to criticize Gov. John Kasich before he gave his State of the State address in Medina.

“We are collectively endorsing Jim Tressel for Youngstown State University president,” said state Rep. Robert F. Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th. “He has the charisma, ability to raise money and the loyalty needed to be a great president.”

Others state legislators at the press conference were state Reps. Ronald V. Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th; Tom Letson of Warren, D-64th; and Nick Barborak of Lisbon, D-5th.

The former YSU and Ohio State University football coach already has received support to be YSU president from U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland along with 31 business and union leaders who sent a letter to the university trustees on Wednesday.

Since then, Trumbull County and Mahoning County commissioners have urged the YSU trustees to hire Tressel as president.

Tressel, executive vice president of student success at the University of Akron, hasn’t said publicly if he’s interested in the YSU job.

Tressel resigned as OSU head football coach in May 2011 amid a scandal involving players’ receiving cash and tattoos for memorabilia. He was accused of withholding information from university officials and the National Collegiate Athletic Association investigators.

The NCAA prohibited Tressel from having direct involvement with a school’s athletic department until December 2016.

Letson questioned the integrity of the NCAA.

“Everyone deserves another chance,” Hagan said.

Hagan added that Tressel has successfully moved from athletics to academics at Akron.

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