Chris Spielman’s heart remains true to Ohio State in good times and bad, but he will not throw his hat into the ring as a possible candidate to be the Buckeyes’ head football coach.
Spielman, an All-American linebacker and one of OSU’s all time legends, responded decisively when asked Tuesday evening if he is interested in being OSU’s coach.
There has been speculation that Spielman might seek the job.
“No,” Spielman said in a telephone interview from his home in Columbus.
End of discussion.
The Buckeyes’ program is in chaos because of the scandal that resulted in Jim Tressel resigning under fire and in disgrace Monday after 10 seasons as coach.
Luke Fickell, an assistant under Tressel and a former OSU defensive lineman, has been named to coach the Buckeyes on an interim basis in 2011.
Spielman made himself a candidate for the OSU job in 2001, after John Cooper was fired. Spielman prepared a comprehensive presentation, in which he noted his lack of coaching experience.
Ohio State hired Tressel to succeed Cooper.
Spielman played 10 seasons in the NFL, the first eight with the Lions, who made him a second-round draft pick in 1988. His last two seasons as an active player were spent with Buffalo. He retired from football in 1999 because of a neck injury.
Circumstances have changed dramatically for Spielman since he considered coaching in 2001. His wife, Stefanie, died in 2009 after a long battle with cancer.
Chris and Stefanie had four kids.
Spielman cited his family responsibilities in his brief interview Tuesday evening.
Spielman has continued to express the respect he has for Tressel while at the same time holding him accountable for his actions that led to his forced resignation.
Tressel lied to the NCAA in claiming he had no knowledge of his players selling memorabilia, and he failed to notify school officials after being made aware of those violations of NCAA rules.
“What got him in trouble was that he had information of his kids breaking NCAA rules,” Spielman said in a radio interview with Mitch Albom in Detroit Tuesday. “He knowingly played (games) with ineligible players for a year. He lied to the NCAA.
“He’s in a position of authority. And with that authority comes an ultimate responsibility.”