Tressel Speaks To Players In Team Meeting


Hours after he announced his resignation, former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel met with the entire team on Monday night.

The meeting at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center was emotional, 10TV's Dan Fronczak reported.

The university announced that interim coach Luke Fickell would coach the team the entire 2011 season.  Fickell was a nose guard for Ohio State in the 1990s and was most recently the co-defensive coordinator until he was named interim coach in April.

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Fickell also attended the team meeting, Fronczak reported.

According to a statement issued by Ohio State on Monday, the search for a fulltime coach would not begin until after the 2011 season concludes.

Tressel resigned as Ohio State football coach on Monday morning amid a pending NCAA disciplinary hearing.

He came under scrutiny for an apparent rules violation.  Tressel admitted knowing about allegations that some of his players were trading their Ohio State memorabilia to Columbus tattoo shop owner Ed Rife.

Tressel did not disclose the information to the university's compliance office or to the NCAA, which is a major violation, 10TV News reported.

The problem is more serious because the violation qualifies Ohio State as a "repeat violator," meaning that the NCAA could enforce serious sanctions, including the "death penalty."

Possible punishments against the university include a post-season bowl ban and a reduction of scholarships to athletes.

Recent reports said that Tressel hired a former NCAA infractions chairman to represent him at an Aug. 12 hearing where the university was to state its case to the NCAA.

It was not immediately clear how Tressel's resignation would affect the hearings.

Tressel had said that he would join players Mike Adams, Daniel Herron, DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor and Solomon Thomas in serving a five-game suspension.

On Monday night, Sports Illustrated published an investigation and reported that players exchanging memorabilia for tattoos started in 2002 and as many as 28 players were involved, including 15 current Buckeyes.

"During the course of an investigation, the university and the NCAA work jointly to review any new allegations that come to light and will continue to do so until the conclusion of the investigation," according to a statement issued by the university on Monday night.

Tressel, 58, was 106-22-0 at Ohio State.  He led the Buckeyes to eight Bowl Championship Series games in his 10 years.  Combined with a 135-57-2 record in 15 years at Youngstown State, where he won four Division I-AA national championships, Tressel's career mark was 241-79-2.

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Previous Stories:

May 31, 2011:  Ohio State, NCAA Open Investigation Into Terrelle Pryor
May 30, 2011:  Sports Illustrated: At Least 28 Ohio State Players Traded, Sold Memorabilia
May 30, 2011:  Jim Tressel Resigns At Ohio State