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There are financial penalties if he leaves YSU early

Published: Tue, May 13, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Denise Dick



Jim Tressel, newly chosen ninth president of Youngstown State University, will be paid $300,000 to start, under contract terms signed Monday.

The former YSU and Ohio State University head coach said he was offered more money by YSU but declined.

Randy Dunn, who resigned in March after eight months as the university’s president, was to earn $375,000 his first year.

“Ellen and I know how lucky we are. We know we have a lot to prove,” Tressel said. “It’s up to us to make a tremendous impact on this region.”

Tressel’s three-year term begins July 1. Tressel will earn $300,000 the first two years with the third-year salary undetermined, the university announced.

The contract terms were approved in a special YSU trustees meeting in which the panel moved into closed session for about 40 minutes.

Tressel and his wife, Ellen, then joined the open meeting. Members of faculty, staff and administration and some students were among attendees.

Tressel and YSU Board of Trustees Chairman Sudershan K. Garg then signed a letter of understanding with the contract terms, shaking hands — with the chairman welcoming the Tressels “home to YSU.” The president-designate introduced his wife and then his in-laws, Frank and Norma Watson.

YSU will pay reasonable relocation costs.

Tressel will also get an American-made car and housing in the Pollock House on campus.

If Tressel terminates the contract within a year, he’ll pay the university $200,000; he’ll pay $175,000 if he terminates within two, and $150,000 if he leaves within three years. University trustees wanted those guarantees in the aftermath of Dunn’s quick exodus.

Tressel said he spent much of the weekend responding to texts and emails from people who extended their well wishes in his new position, calling it an “amazing outpouring of encouragement.”

Tressel, who last week visited campus as part of the interview process, said when he arrived on campus, he stopped outside the MVR restaurant and thought about the late Carmine Cassese and the importance of people. Cassese died last July. As the third generation Cassese to serve Youngstown, Carmine gradually transformed a small family restaurant in the Smoky Hollow into a destination spot. He was a long-time YSU supporter.

Tressel, who has spent the past two years as an administrator at the University of Akron, spoke about the need for everyone on campus to work together to tackle the challenges facing the university.

“Each one of us is insignificant without each other,” he said. “With tradition comes responsibility.”

Tressel said a mentor of his reminded him of the phrase, “Increase excellence” — and he said it’s an imperative.

At a news conference, Tressel said he’s “blessed” to be back at YSU. He stressed the need for collaboration with businesses, schools, the Catholic diocese and non-profit organizations — as well as new leadership at Hiram College, Kent State University and the University of Akron.

“Northeast Ohio has been one of the extraordinary shining lights of our country,” he said.

He said YSU needs to improve its graduation, retention and placement rate.

“That’s the scoreboard,” he said — stressing that student success is “No. 1.”

Tressel also said he thinks Dunn was doing a great job during his brief tenure.

He said the university needs to make sure, with fundraising, that YSU is affordable for many students. The No. 1 reason someone selects a university is affordability, he said, noting scholarships can help with that.

At the same time, officials need to address student debt.

As YSU and public colleges and universities continue to combat decreased state funding, Tressel said he’ll make YSU’s case in Columbus — but will make other plans, too. YSU can’t assume state subsidy will go up, he said.

“We’re going to count on the things that we can do,” Tressel said. “The most important thing we can do in retention is believe it’s every person’s responsibility.”

At a public reception and meet-and-greet for his supporters after the news conference, Tressel met some of those who urged trustees to appoint him early on. Many Valley business and political leaders had lobbied university trustees to choose him.

After recommendations from these Valley leaders, YSU’s union leadership and others, Tressel was selected over Mary Cullinan, president and professor of English at Southern Oregon University, and Gary L. Miller, chancellor at University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Tressel was selected by the trustees in a unanimous vote Friday morning. The former national championship coach for YSU and OSU football teams and current executive vice president of student success at the University of Akron was also in the running for the presidency at Akron. But Scott L. Scarborough was selected as the 16th president there Thursday.

Tressel declined to say whether he withdrew his UA application instead offering, “I hope we got two darn good presidents” who want to do their best for the region and their universities.


1Chessiedad(371 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

...."...this Valley missed your character and leadership....". So we missed someone who proved to be a liar and a cheat, someone who put "winning" before honesty and integrity, someone who was willing to turn a blind eye to the illegal and immoral acts of those he was supposed to be in charge of. Did everyone forget Tressels excuse when it was proven that he knew about his players rule infractions, "duh...I didn't know who I should report them to..." Hey Jimmy, how about holding a press conference to lay out your plans for suspensions and dismissals of your players who committed those infractions". Oh yeah, I forgot, you were in the midst of a chase for a championship which would only elevate your self-serving prowess and stature in that "fantasy" world that is college football. How quickly this Valley forgets about his disgraceful departure from OSU and is willing to fall all over itself in his presence. And I don't need to hear all of the "everybody makes mistakes" and "it's human nature" excuses for his behavior...he's a grown man and he knew what he was doing. He calculated his actions, and when he realized that he had miscalculated them, and that someone would actually have the fortitude to question his actions, what's he do? He feigns ignorance! That's the character and qualities of a leader? I think not.

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2redvert(2226 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Took three posts before someone got it right.

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3paulydel(1568 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Chessiedad I suppose your perfect. He paid the price, its time to move on. Jim Tressel will excite YSU and he is right about everything he said in his statement. Youngstown is fortunate to have him and he brings up a good point about Northeast Ohio having some great Colleges. I don't live in Ohio anymore because the military took me to another state but My heart is in Ohio and I am a Buckeye. When people ask me where I'm from I proudly tell them Warren, Ohio. We as Ohioans need to help revive the Mahoning Valley and not the negativism that some of you spew out.

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4topper11(646 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Remember the only thing you can do to stop this or put an end to it is
NEVER !!!! Support YSU in anything
And you sure are right redvent
Thank you #3

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5tadigiacomo(15 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Got what right? That Tressel lied on an NCAA form and got hammered for it? Tell me something I didn't know. I think the fact that he had so much support from the community as a whole goes to show the significance (or lack thereof) of his violations in the grand scheme of things. He got hammered by the NCAA, and justifiably so, and is out of coaching, which was their goal. The support he received was not some fan-boys feigning over their hero, as much as you'd like to believe that. He played a dirty game within a dirty, sham of an organization, the NCAA. Yes, he's a grown man and made his own poor decisions and chose to play that way, but get over it already. His position as university president is in a completely different realm, and I believe it's likely he'll be very successful, much to the chagrin of his detractors.

I, as a longtime fan of his, was very disappointed in what he did. I'd rather he'd have thrown those prima donna kids under the bus as he should have. But, he didn't, and mistake or not, I'm over it. He's done more good for so many kids, and both the YSU and OSU communities than most other public figures, and will continue to do so in this position. He broke no laws - he lied because some kids got some tattoos. Yeah, I know it's a lot deeper than that, character, blah, blah,blah... but an the end of the day it boils down to that when compared with other things going on in that space. If it was truly that big of a deal he never would have been a finalist for the job at two universities.

If anything, him getting the job would move me as an alumnus to support the university that much more.

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6Dagwood(444 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

There is not enough space to comment on the good Tressel has done for people over the years. You can put the bad in one or two sentences.

That statement is flipped for most of the politicians you continually vote for in this area.

What really burns your arse is that he made himself through football and some of you just can't accept the fact that sports is a powerful movement in the lives of many people. Its not Tressel's fault you were picked last in gym class and throw like a non-athlete.

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7BlueSteel(49 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

"He broke no laws..." Oh really? In the eyes of the NCAA he did. He knowingly allowed ineligible players to play for an entire season. Failure to disclose potential violations is considered 'cheating'. Tressel violated NCAA bylaw 10.1 -- Unethical Conduct, one of the cornerstones of NCAA rulebook -- three times: first by failing to act when tipped off about the tattoo scandal; again, by signing a standard form given to all coaches declaring that he knew of no violations; and then, during the NCAA investigation, by not being forthcoming with school officials.

If Tressel really did not break any laws, then why did tO$U have to vacate all wins for the 2010 football regular season, including the 2010 Big Ten Conference co-championship and participation in the 2011 Sugar Bowl? Why were they banned from the postseason of the 2012 football season? Why are they still under probation until Dec 2014? And why, if Tressel did not break any laws, was he forced to “retire” and banned from coaching for 5 years?

Now, St. Tressel returns to YSU, where he honed his craft of turning the blind eye from any player wrong doings, like Ray Isaac. 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. Yet, YSU and tO$U fans are still buying into his Eagle scout act.

Let's just hope, for the sake of YSU's future, that his presidential reign will be nothing like his coaching ethics.

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8tadigiacomo(15 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I should have clarified, he broke no federal, state, or local laws. He broke NCAA rules, as you succinctly pointed out. And, yes, I see that as being at a different level. Me, nor anyone that supports Tressel denies what you stated with regard to his documented violations and sanctions. He did it, and as I said he was justly punished, but apparently many are able to see just where that rates in importance. It may not be a shining example of good judgement, but his other actions outside of wins and losses makes up for that in the mind of many. He's a good person who made some bad decisions.

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9jojuggie(1646 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

If Jesus came down on earth & became Pres of YSU, the above naysayers would still complain.

All Jim did was protect his players from NCAA sanctions. He cared deeply for his players who committed very minor infractions.

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10Seriouslee(148 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

He said the university needs to make sure, with fundraising, that YSU is affordable for many students. The No. 1 reason someone selects a university is affordability, he said, noting scholarships can help with that. - See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/may/13...

Sorry, but not really true. The number one reason, according to polls, that students choose a college is academic reputation.


And notice that Athletic programs come into play only for student athletes--the visibility or record of an athletic program does not factor in at all for non-athlete potential students. Just sayin...

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11Seriouslee(148 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

While we are at it--the rankings for regional comprehensives in the Midwest can be found here:


YSU does not even make the top 100, but falls on page 13 of 14 pages of listings. The rankings stop after 108. YSU is still very affordable comparatively, so the challenge is academic reputation. Good Luck Mr. Tressel.

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12Seriouslee(148 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Wow Boardman Jeff, I thought your first post about "King Tressel" was meant to be sarcastic. Guess not...yikes.

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13Roger_Thornhill(1046 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Welcome back, Jim Tressel!

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14BlueSteel(49 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

How soon until St Tressel names Maurice Executive Vice President for Student Success? His brother, Dick Tressel, will be the obvious choice to head up the Student Employment department. Jim Bollman will oversee Student Car Loans. He'll also need to bring Andy Geiger on board, too, to help sweep everything under the carpet.

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15IslandMike(764 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

There are people here that would whine and cry no matter who they chose as YSU President. Just like everyone said Obama being elected would be the end of America. The stock market is at record high levels, unemployment is down, but where did all Obama's naysayers go?

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16borylie(946 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Do you know why the stock market is high? Do you know why the unemployment numbers are down? Can you tell me why by his own admission, that President Obama smoked pot and did cocaine, both against the law and yet this is not an issue to you? How about you other posters on here bemoaning Mr. Tressel's transgressions,none that broke a law, you okay with President Obama running a whole country while being an admitted law breaker?

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17Chessiedad(371 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Some thoughts to ponder, based on the responses to my original post within this thread..."Tressel.....should have done jail time too..". Lucky for him that he was conducting himself in the "alternate universe" that is college football, for if he had acted in that manner in the "real" world, he may have found himself under indictment of a RICO act. And, after learning how he ran both organizations, tell me again, who was the "racketeer"? Also, we're supposed to "get over it", that a man who has been proven to be a liar and a cheat is now the leader of a major institution in our community, an institution that is instrumental in shaping the lives of our young people? Maybe that's why we keep electing, hiring and promoting corrupt and dishonest officials, 'cause "what the heck, let's just get over it". And, my guess is that the cars those "spoiled rich kids" are driving around campus are more than likely legitimately bought and paid for by their "rich mommies and daddies", not provided, surreptitiously, by some "booster" looking to either rub shoulders with some rising star player, or worse trying to influence that player for wagering purposes. Furthermore, shouldn't someone being considered to lead a university be a "shining example of good judgement"? I think all of those character flaws that Jim Tressel has displayed are very important, and to try and gloss over them, for "all the other good he has done" is just hiding from the truth.

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18georgejeanie(1398 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Island Mike the stock mrket is up because companies are hoarding cash so they can survive the next major downturn. They are also hoarding their cash because your buddy is so anti business, they are afraid to invest in r and d and new equipment because of this guy's policies. Because of his anti business attitude the real unemployment rate continues to be high and the middle class and underclass continue to find it hard to find a fulltime job.

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19DSquared(1726 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Ok Chessidad, you hate him. We got the message. Thanks for your viewpoint. I do have one question though. Is there anyone worse than Tressel that you hate? In the world? Anywhere? Or is he at the top of your list?

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20Chessiedad(371 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Here's one thing I am struggling with, in regards to this whole Tressel debacle. Why would someone, after bringing so much shame and disgrace on himself, and his family, not to mention a stately organization like OSU, be so willing to put himself "out there" and dredge back up all of those "skeletons" that were in his closet? I'd still be under a rock, somewhere in B.F.E. Oh, I know I'll hear all of the "he's doing it for the good of the community" and "it's all about the kids" stuff, but given his now infamous record, there seems to be only one conclusion. It's got to be his ego. He needs to be relevant, no matter the cost, sort of like the serial killer who leaves clues at the scene of his crimes, hoping their dastardly deeds are in the headlines, but they eventually bring him down. Now I know I'll hear "well his (JT's) deeds brought him success" and yes, he achieved a high post, but only after a campaign of "influence peddling" by the Valleys "high rollers" who wave their political tails and gobs of cash in the faces of the YSU trustees, ethics notwithstanding. He should have been judged on his past performance, which we all know ended in disaster.

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21DSquared(1726 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I understand your viewpoint. I do know that many years ago, even before most of the controversies, Tressel often stated that he wanted someday to be the head of an educational institution. He comes from a long line of teachers and educators, including his late Father and several family members. Now they also all have happened to be coaches too. He does not need me or anyone else to fight his battles, however I believe, as do many, many others who have met and spoken with him, that he basically was castigated and suspended by the NCAA( that's a whole 'nuther discussion) for sticking his proverbial neck out for a bunch of young ne'er-do wells who IMHO, weren't worth the effort. Now was it done because they were standout athletes? I can't answer for him, but I do know that his father and coaching brothers have done similarly for many inner-city youths at Div III schools where there are no scholarships, crowds, boosters, TV, etc. for these authentic "student-athletes". Just another viewpoint of this situation.

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22jojuggie(1646 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

His past performance was FANTASTIC, and his future will be FANTASTIC.
He always looked out for his players even after they committed very minor transgressions.
None of his players committed what that FL. State quarterback committed that was swept under the rug.
I sense some hate in your message, Chessie.

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23IslandMike(764 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

What anyone thinks of Tressel or Obama is none of Tressel or Obama's business. In other words, they don't care. We democrats don't try to tell everyone else how they should live their lives. We have been in a bull market for FIVE YEARS, unemployment is DOWN. I thought everyone said Obama was bad for business. As for one of the previous posters saying these companies are hoarding their cash because Obama is anti-business, I have to ask, "where do you think those loads,of cash came from?" They would not have the cash to hoard if it wasn't for Obama's policies. Geitner called Obama, "a brilliant genius." Geitner also complemented the President for his leadership in a time of crises.

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24Chessiedad(371 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Whoa now, everyone knows I'm no fan of Hussein, but comparing him to Tressel, well there's only so much someone can take! C'mon now, good ole' Hussein never told a lie like "if you like your doctor or your insurance, you can keep them" or feigned ignorance of the illegal actions of those he's in charge of, like maybe the I.R.S or N.S.A. or concocted a lie about the attack on our embassy in Benghazi, where four brave Americans died, just to advance his political career. Wait a minute, IslandMike, you might be on to something, here. I'm starting to see the similarities! And talk about "brilliant geniuses", how 'bout that genius Tim Geithner, you know, the dude who was in charge of the Treasury but couldn't figure how to file or pay his own taxes. Yep, you Democrats got you some "smarties" there, you betcha.

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25rickking123(330 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Who cares what someone named Geitner says? His opinion doesn't matter. Not does the opinion of the former treasury secretary Timothy Geithner matter. That big smooching sound is Geithner kissing Obama's behind.

Everyone with half a brain knows the stock market is being propped up by the Fed's monthly bond purchases. Money from thin air.

And go on believing that Democrats don't tell people how to live. Who passed the law mandating the purchase of insurance and penalizing people if they don't have insurance? If that isn't telling people how to live, I'm not sure what is.

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26IslandMike(764 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Where are your Weapons of Mass Destruction? You Neo-commies need a dental plan because Obama kicked your teeth in. First it was TARP that was supposed to be the downfall of the US economy (even though he chose to continue Bush's policy). Then it was ObamaCare that was supposed to be a job killer. It's humorous how Mitt-Flopper praised RomneyCare as the greatest thing ever, but then towed the "Anti-Obama All The Time" party rhetoric in his opposition of his own policy. As for people who have not been able to keep their doctor, that's fewer than 1/2 of 1 percent. As for Benghazi, we didn't invade Benghazi and lose THOUSANDS of American lives and throw a Trillion dollars into a sewer. If you think

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27Chessiedad(371 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Boy, like I didn't see the "blame Bush" card coming! C'mon man, your buddy Hussein has had what, six going on seven years to get this Country on track? And HusseinCare hasn't caused employers to re-think their hiring plans and reducing their full-time staffs, to avoid that boondoggle? And yeah, maybe Bush should have let the other Hussein run rough-shod all over the Middle East, so that we could be paying ten dollars a gallon for gas, not to mention the millions of our foreign allies that he would have massacred. Seems to me that the new Hussein is about to do just that with Putin, letting him flex his muscle into the Ukraine, while we sit by and watch. But wait a minute, man, I was commenting on the Tressel debacle, how did I get sucked into a debate about politics? Let's get back to the matter at hand, and let the 2014 mid-term elections play out Husseins (or should I say Hillaryous) fate.

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28ysuguins99(12 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Absolutely amazing how when faced with the facts, these people will turn things to a different light by trivializing the situation as "big deal...so he bent the rules". These are same type of people who think of Traficant as some kind of hero.

I want to hear the excuses from these people in July of 2015 when after one year he's not done one thing to advance the academic stature of YSU.

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29CountryGirl51(232 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

POLITICS at its best in Y-Town !! Thats what it boiled down to ! Look who was the first to say yes we want Tressel ! He was NOT the most qualified or experienced for the position. And if Garg and the rest of them wouldnt have choosen him they would have paid for it in the end, and they knew that ! Their hands were tied due to POLITICS !

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30Chessiedad(371 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Let's see....successful mom or dad sends kiddy of to college (footing the $200K or better tuition bill out of their own pocket) and buys said kid a car via a legitimate purchase, and that's "skirting the rules". Meanwhile, star high school football player is awarded a "free ride" to the same school, gets pushed through most of his classes via collusion by his professors and the "high profile" football coach, and then said player accepts free cars, cash, tattoos, illicit drugs and who knows what else, while the coach AND the university administration look the other way, and that's not "skirting the rules"? Wow, with logic like that, it's no surprise that this Valley can't get out of it's own way, when trying to shed it's "seedy" reputation!

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31Notorious_Pig(117 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

It didn't take long for your idiots to start talking "Democrat vs. Republican", did it? This is about a university president, who screwed up in the past, admitted it, paid for his screw up (because he went from making MILLIONS to $300k), and has nothing else to hide. Unlike some of you hippocrites, he can sleep at night knowing his mistakes are out there for everyone to see, criticize, and dissect. Trust me when I say this.....this hire will be a GREAT hire. It will, and already has, given YSU some great exposure. Students will come, athletes will come, grants and gifts will come, ESPN will come, and lastly, YSU will be relevant again, after YEARS of being laughed at, scoffed, and put-down! HAIL TRESS!!!

P.S. And quit showing your childishness talking about Dems vs. GOP. That crap is OLD!

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32Notorious_Pig(117 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago


I was stating the fact that political jabs in the comments section of Jim Tressel and his financial responsibilities if he leaves early aren't really relevant, right? I mean, I know you love Obama and the left. That's evident. I just don't want to read it in a Sports Related headline-forum, that's all.

And believe me, if you believe the Libs don't essentially rip up the Constitution, then you are blind. Both parties do....on a daily basis! Now go comment on politics in a Bert DeSouza headline. I hate Robertson, too, by the way.

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33ysuguins99(12 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Ytown37: I think you're the clueless one. Obviously your not up to date on what is going on with the budget at YSU and why everyone is bolting out of there.

YSU doesn't have the luxury of waiting years to "right the ship" Tressel needs to exhibit this strong leadership quality that everyone speaks of now, not in a five to 10 year plan.

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34southsidedave(5183 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Just another sad day in the history of Youngstown, time will certainly tell.

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352muchtax(888 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Welcome mr tressell! About time the Board gets a clue and starts hitting these presidents in the pocket book for breaking the contract! Come on that is common sense! Dunn should of paid heavily instead of walking free n clear! Garg being a doctor should have a little more smarts you would think!

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36Chessiedad(371 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Wow, GTX66, you just proved my earlier points! "Getting over" corrupt politicians and university adiminstrators is EXACTLY why those types of persons with flawed backgrounds keep getting elected and hired. Maybe if they were held accountable, and prohibited from holding office in leadership positions, this Valley would be able to repair its tarnished history. But once again, we are so quick to "forgive and forget", that we keep ending up with the same results. No thanks, I'll hold my head up high, and continue to refute the likes of Traficant and Tressel. Oh, and by the way, GTX66, read your own post and notice that you had to use the phrases "bad things" and Traficant, along with "convering up" and Tressel, when trying to legitimize their actions. Kind of sums up my point.

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