Shortly after Youngstown State University President Cynthia Anderson announced she was retiring July 1, an e-mail message touting the candidacy of Jim Tressel was sent by a well-known retired professor of the institution. Tessel is one of the most popular and successful ex-football coaches of YSU.
It’s not surprising that his name should be high on the list of successors to Dr. Anderson, who has spent more than four decades serving in various capacities. Before she was hired as president in July 2010, she was the popular vice president of student affairs.
Tressel led YSU to four national championships and then went on to lead Ohio State University to a national championship for the first time in 34 years.
He resigned last year in the midst of the player-tattoo scandal, but it wasn’t long before Akron University hired him to head its development office. His job: Raise money.
And that, in fact, is what supporters of Tressel for YSU president are touting: his national connections with individuals who have lots of money and are strong supporters of YSU and OSU.
But before Tressel’s bid for the presidency of YSU takes on a life of its own, what about his involvement in the Ohio State athletic scandal? It has deprived the university’s football team, which is unbeaten this season, of going to a bowl game, let alone pursuing a national championship. Tressel was never directly implicated, but there's a cloud hanging over his head.
From all indications, Tressel is doing a great job at Akron. There are rumblings that he could be in line for the presidency of the university when the current president retires.
Finally, there’s the idea that the new owner of the Cleveland Browns, frustrated with the team’s failure, could turn to Tressel if the current coach were cut loose.
If nothing else, Dr, Anderson’s decision to retire in July has made the search for her successor quite interesting.