Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel met with his players on Sunday night and told them that there was no truth about rumors he was stepping down.
Gene Smith, the university's athletic director, appeared on 10TV's Wall to Wall Sports on Sunday night and said that the rumors that appeared on a blog on Christmas Day were false.
"Jim is not stepping down," Smith said. "He is not going to be terminated. They're just not truthful. I don't know where they originated -- who the original author was -- but they're certainly not true."
SPECIAL SECTION: Ohio State Football
The original report that was posted on the Chicago Now Web site, said that Tressel would step down after the Buckeyes play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas on Jan. 4.
Some said the tone of the blog indicated that Tressel was being let go.
"(Tressel) actually announced to the team that unfortunately for them, he's going to be their coach," Smith said. "He kind of made a joke out of it and said that obviously the rumors were out and he wanted them to know they were just rumors so they kind of laughed it off and moved on."
The team met after taking a few days off for Christmas. The majority of the team was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on Wednesday to prepare for the Sugar Bowl.
Last week, the football program was rocked with news that five players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor and three other starters, were suspended by the NCAA for five games next season for accepting improper benefits.
The players, however, are eligible to play in the Sugar Bowl.
The violations included selling memorabilia like Big Ten championship rings and accepting discounted prices from the owner of a Columbus tattoo parlor, 10TV News reported.
The university is appealing the length of the suspensions. Smith said that a six-member NCAA committee would meet to discuss whether to reduce the appeal.
Stay with 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing Ohio State football coverage.