Jim Tressel has been out of college football for three full seasons now, long enough that if he wanted a sideline job some program would probably go to the NCAA and argue that the final three years of a five-year “show cause” penalty be waived (the five-year penalty didn’t begin until the 2012 season, after Tressel had already left Ohio State for the ’11 season).
Some program would look past the ban that sprouted from, in part, players exchanging autographs and memorabilia for money and tattoos and, in part, from Tressel’s knowledge of these transactions without stopping them.
Why would a program look past the infractions and the shame?
Because Jim Tressel is a really good coach, and there’s a dearth of really good coaches in college football.
Not including the 12-1 2010 season wiped clean by the NCAA, Tressel went 94-21 in his other nine seasons at Ohio State, taking the Buckeyes to three national championship games and winning one.
In the 15 seasons prior to Tressel’s arrival in Columbus, he went 135-57-2 at Youngstown State.
There’s a football job out there for Jim Tressel should he want it, now or for the 2017 season if the NCAA upholds his full five-year penalty.
However, it doesn’t seem like football is next on Tressel’s radar.
Tressel, currently the University of Akron’s Executive Vice President for Student Success, has officially submitted an application to be named Akron’s next president, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
Tressel submitted his “enthusiastic application” on February 25, writing that his first order of business in the new job would be making decisions “that would be disruptive to the status quo” in an effort to stabilize Akron’s fiscal standing.
One of 19 candidates, it’s probably a longshot that Tressel gets the gig, given his lack of administrative experience compared to others in the mix.
But if the first priority is fundraising, how many would be better than Jim Tressel?
It’s possible Tressel still has an eye on returning to coaching and is merely looking for another way to spend the next three years productively, but if Tressel were to become university president, would he close the coaching chapter of his career for good?
Well, he’s 61 years old and would be 64 years old at the beginning of the 2017 season. That’s young enough to have another good run if he wants it – Steve Spurrier is 68 and still rocking it in the SEC, not to mention Kansas State’s Bill Snyder (74).
What if, say, the Cincinnati job is open in 2017 and Tressel wants back in?
For readers: What job could you see Tressel being a fit for three years from now after his show cause expires?