This is how disappointed Ohio State officials feel about Jim Tressel: They’re so mad at him, they’re giving him a $50,000 bonus as punishment.
That oughta show him.
Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee can never be taken seriously again. Not that he really could before on football matters, but this seals it. Gee insisted less than a month ago that the school would force Tressel to pay the $250,000 fine previously assessed to him, particularly since Athletic Director Gene Smith said the recent investigation into the football program cost the university much more than the quarter-million dollars the school fined its former coach.
Now the Columbus Dispatch reported Friday that not only has the school backed off its insistence he pay the fine, but it also agreed to change his resignation to a retirement. As part of his retirement package, Tressel will inexplicably receive $52,250 — the equivalent to his salary and benefits for the month of June.
The problem, of course, is that Tressel was forced to resign at the end of May and did absolutely nothing during the month of June to earn all of that cash. But Ohio State has yet to act rationally throughout this ordeal, so expecting it to happen now would be as delusional as the response the university filed with the NCAA on Friday.
Ohio State has been reactionary since news first broke of Tressel’s involvement in March. That hasn’t changed.
The school initially thought a two-game suspension — against Akron and Toledo — was sufficient for Tressel. It was lengthened to five games and later ended with Tressel’s removal as coach only after public outcry left no other choice.
But school officials still haven’t learned. They managed to keep a straight face while concluding Friday that a proper punishment for Tressel’s lies and coverup should be vacating their 2010 season, including the Sugar Bowl victory, but stopped short of stripping themselves of any scholarships or instituting any sort of postseason ban.