Jim Tressel resigns as head coach at OSU
COLUMBUS, OHIO - Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has resigned amid a scandal birthed by his failure to notify school officials of NCAA violations by players in his program.
A source within the team confirmed that Tressel informed his coaching staff this morning after the OSU Board of Trustees accepted his resignation in a special meeting yesterday.
OSU officials denied last night than any press conferences were scheduled or in the planning stages regarding football.
Tressel received emails from Columbus attorney Chris Cicero in April of 2010 informing him that quarterback Terrelle Pryor and wide receiver DeVier Posey were likely in violation of NCAA rules for accepting extra benefits from Columbus tattoo parlor owner Edward Rife.
Tressel did not tell OSU or the NCAA about the content of those emails until the school approached him in January after discovering them in a search of his emails.
Tressel signed an NCAA Compliance form in September stating he had informed school officials of all NCAA violations he was aware of.
OSU said he misled its investigators twice in December when Pryor, Posey and three other players were suspended five games for the violations Cicero detailed in his emails to Tressel nine months earlier.
Who is Luke Fickell?
Luke Fickell takes over as interim head coach at Ohio State, but many outside of Columbus are unaware who the new head coach is.
Luke Fickell is in his tenth year on the Ohio State coaching staff. He coaches the Buckeyes linebackers and is co-defensive coordinator. He was named to the latter position in April, 2005. In that role, he is actively involved in game planning and strategy.
Fickell is a Columbus native (DeSales High School, where he was a state wrestling champion) and a 1997 graduate of Ohio State, where he was a four-year starter at nose guard. Post-graduation, Fickell spent a year on the injured reserve list with the New Orleans Saints before beginning his coaching career.
During his first two years at Ohio State, Fickell was in charge of the special teams and assisted with the defensive front. In his role as special teams coordinator, Fickell had specific responsibility for the punting team. Under his tutelage, that unit has excelled, leading the Big Ten in net punting in three of the past five years.
Fickell played for the Buckeyes from 1992-96, redshirting the first year and then starting the next four seasons at nose guard. He started a school-record 50 consecutive games between 1993 and 1996.
Fickell concluded his Ohio State career with 212 total tackles, including 26 tackles-for-loss and six sacks. During his four years in the starting lineup, the Buckeyes posted a combined record of 41-8-1 overall and were 26-5-1 in Big Ten play with a pair of Big Ten co-championships to their credit. With the win over Arizona State in the Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes finished the 1996 season with a sparkling 11-1 record and were second in both major polls in the final rankings.
* Fickell bio courtesy The Ohio State University