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

Published: Tue, February 25, 2014 @ 12:08 a.m.

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.


1Attis(1031 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

No matter how many of these politicos pray for it, The Second Coming of Tressel, the annointed YSU Savior-to-be, ain't gonna happen, and it absolutely should not. First, he is not qualified to be the Prez of any university that has any academic standards; second, he was brought to the University of Akron in a position created expressedly for him so that he would transition into the presidency of that rapidly sinking university and has accelerated that plunge; thirdly, he comes with an awful lot of baggage which stinks to high heaven. Actually, he should be put out to pasture (along with the entire YSU board of trustees which created this fiasco). Change state law legislators so that university trustees are elected instead of appointed by corrupt politicos.

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2polhack(129 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Amen, Attis.
Congressman Ryan kicked off this idea and the rest of the hacks, after viewing Mr Ryan's success in the national boondoggle arena, piled on. It's an election year and they are currying favor with local voters by appearing to support a popular sports hero, qualifications and university goals be damned.

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3glbtactivist(298 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Why not Trafficant for YSU president? He's another Youngstown big name who knows how to work around the laws to his financial advantage. Oh. He isn't part of the plan to move YSU away from academic excellence back to athletic excellence. Back to paying for athletes to go to YSU and letting them pass classes without even attending them. That's what we want YSU to be known for.

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4Seriouslee(146 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Why isn't anyone outraged that elected officials are trying to influence a university search to hire someone with whom they have political, personal and or business connections? This seems to me a HUGE violation of ethics and misuse of influence given that these officeholders might be in a position to direct or deflect state and federal funds to or from the university.

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5Chessiedad(348 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Seriouslee....obviously you are NOT familiar with Mahoning Valley politics. Questionable ethics and influence peddeling are a way of life, here, and as proven countless times by the areas electorate, are desireable character traits for our elected officials and leaders.

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