Thursday, March 10, 2011

A World of Hurt

As Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers said in a song,
It's gonna be a world of hurt..."

Is the axe finally going to fall in Columbus? Will it dismantle the Scarlet Wall of Silence that has enabled Ohio State to successfully cover up the cesspool of violations that has been a hallmark of their program for the entire Tressel era, if not before?

Make no mistake about it: Jim Tressel is a dirty coach. He can write books about God all he wants, but Jim Tressel has never met an NCAA rule he likes. His current denial of any wrongdoing is so ludicrous that I am half expecting him to use the defense that God told him to break all of those rules because they weren't "fair."

Sorry, folks, but Jim Tressel writing a book about God is like Charlie Sheen writing a book about moderation.

If Jim Tressel wants to prove that his book wasn't written by a hypocrite, and that he actually lives by the spirituality he espouses, then he should resign immediately. He should apologize to everyone at OSU, everyone in the Big Ten, and everyone in the NCAA for chronic cheating.

Tressel had to stop a tour for his newest book, "Life Promises for Success: Promises from God on Achieving Your Best," to address allegations of not only cheating, but lying to cover it up. As a Michigan fan, I would be laughing at this if it wasn't so sad. Jim Tressel has not only cheated the NCAA, but he has cheated everyone who has ever bought one of his Christian books and looked to him as a role model.

While Tressel is apologizing, he owes one to everyone who ever bought one of his books, too. If Tressel is truly the Christian he says he is, he will come clean and ask for forgiveness. One of the main tenets of the Christian faith is forgiveness. Let's see if Jim Tressel can put his money where his mouth is.

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to mention here that I am not known as a "bible-thumper," nor do I believe that constant public declarations of faith are neccessary in one's relationship with God. I don't really espouse any faith in particular, but I respect all of them in general. I see religions as cookie cutters, and really don't think God cares what his cookies look like, as long as they taste like faith.

In any faith, though, from Christian to Muslim to Buddhist to Hindu to Agnosticism, there cannot be forgiveness unless there is a mea culpa first. The problem I have with Tressel is not his faith, but the fact that he is making money off of a faith whose rules he tramples behind the scenes. This is not an issue of religion; it is an issue of hypocrisy.

Jim Tressel has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. How he reacts to it should be his own business, but it is more than that. Tressel makes a very good living portraying an image as a role model. He owes it to anyone who ever believed him to come clean, ask for forgiveness, and actually be the role model he has pretended to be for all of these years.

This post opened with the Drive By Truckers, and it will close with Bob Marley:

"Some say it's just a part of it, we've got to fulfill the book..."

It's time for Jim Tressel to either stop writing books or start fulfilling them. And fulfillment starts with either resignation or termination for Jim Tressel and NCAA probation for the Ohio State University.

Then, maybe someday Jim Tressel and OSU's world of hurt will become a redemption song.

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