Bernstein: Jim Tressel Is The Worst

By Dan Bernstein–

“If you’re struggling with your place in the world, if things have become difficult and you feel like giving up, this little book will encourage you, lift you up when you’re wrestling with life, push you forward, and motivate you to be a better person – and a more vital part of whatever team you serve.”

So reads Jim Tressel’s back-cover quote from his new book “Life Promises for Success: Promises from God on Achieving Your Best.”

It is described by Tressel’s website as “a collection of inspiring readings and Bible promises…filled with easily-applicable motivational quotes, Bible verses, and engaging and inspiring readings.”

I’m reminded of another quote, from another venal, bespectacled liar.

“I believe in two things: discipline and the Bible. Here you’ll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord; your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank.”

So said Warden Samuel Norton. That’s who Jim Tressel is – the worst kind of bible-banging fraud, enriching himself under a guise of piety and Christianity while he cheats at every stop.

Tressel was scheduled for a book-signing last night from 7:00PM to 10:00 PM at the Barnes & Noble OSU Bookstore at the South Campus Gateway.

It was postponed.

Tressel was busy trying to explain why he chose to hide what he knew about a memorabilia-sales scandal involving key Ohio State football players and a local tattoo-parlor owner who is also a suspected drug trafficker.

That’s the latest issue for him at OSU. The Maurice Clarett stuff – the thousands of dollars of special benefits and all that – was easily forgotten by his codependent enablers.

He was a confirmed cheater even before he arrived in Columbus. While coaching Youngstown State, his quarterback, Ray Isaac, was found to have been accepting payments from a booster as soon as he arrived on campus. Michael “Mickey” Monus, who served a 10-year prison sentence for corporate fraud, provided Isaac $10,000, and told a jury that he was first put in contact with Isaac by Tressel “to work out some kind of job for him.”

In the investigative mess that followed with the FBI, NCAA, and jury-tampering allegations against Isaac and Monus, it was clear that Tressel chose not to follow up as he should have on anonymous “tips” of wrongdoing. The internal investigation was a whitewash, and statutes of limitations expired. There were minor sanctions for the school, and Tressel was soon hired by OSU AD Andy Geiger.

In 2002, an article in the Baptist Press lauded Tressel for bringing his Christian values to his football program. “Maybe not so well known is Tressel’s declaration of his job at OSU as ‘my ministry,’” it reads. It quotes one player who says “He is an active proponent of Christianity to all those around him, but even more important is the way he lives his values and his walk with God.”

Yep. Obviously.

Nice “ministry” you have there.

Is it so hard to just be a football coach without imbuing yourself with some kind of ridiculous divinity?

We know the corruptions endemic to the system of big-time collegiate athletics. We understand that every coach is probably dirty, somehow. Even the legendary John Wooden had Sam Gilbert throwing cash at players, so any intelligent person gets the drill.

But Tressel deserves special scorn.

He wants us to think that his cheesy, insipid books insulate him from criticism. He started a Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at Youngstown at the same time he was opening the cash pipeline to players from the criminal booster who hired him.

Lies, money, and cover-ups, all along the way, and all varnished with a tidy image of devotion buttoned into a crisp, white dress shirt, covered by a neat sweater-vest and adorned with wire-rimmed glasses.

Ohio State is punishing Tressel’s latest transgression with a two-game suspension and a fine. The NCAA, however, can opt to do more.

Warden Norton hid his ill-gotten gains in a safe in his office, behind a framed, hand-stitched bible quote.

“His judgment cometh, and that right soon.”

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Jim Tressel Is The Worst
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here.
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts >>


More from Dan Bernstein
  • Jim, Southside

    Dey t’row fish atcha, Bernstein?

    • koziel

      What a ridiculous article… You pick Tressel of all college coaches to write an article about? Like what he did was as horrible as the WHOLE Auburn program? Get real! They fired a coach because he stopped cooperating with the cheating and hired another one so they could continue to cheat. Get a life Bernstein!

    • Bob

      Dan, I agree that this guy is a complete hypocrite but I’m also concerned about the way you seem to focus on Christianity. I don’t see you slamming Jews when they make mistakes. Do you have another agenda?

      • matt

        he comments on sports figures, if Bernie Madoff
        was in the sports world he would have written
        about him

      • Bob

        Jesus said “let him who is without sin cast the first stone”….of course, he was directly addressing the jewish holier-than-thou leaders of his day. Media-expressed liberal bias against Christianis is the only politically correct hate speech allowed today, and Bernstein’s comments sadly reflect the same ignorantly-based hatred that was opposed by civil rights heroes like Ghandi, MLK, and many others who preached about love, not racial hatred. It is sad that 670 AM continues to give Bernstein a regular audience for his fears and bigotry..

      • matt

        Bob, That was such a sweeping indictment, he’s
        attacking a guy who is literally “holier than thou”
        who has created big problems for himself and
        his program with his hypocrisy and deceit.
        You obviously have your own agenda that
        is causing you to dig for something that’s not

    • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

      I just have to say I hate everything Ohio, espeically OSU, my wife went there, her family lives in Columbus, and they are just a different breed there. I have to go there a few times a year, and its hell

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Can Tressel get us discounts on tattoos???


      Last year, I said “gee, those tattoos look awfully expensive.” Like, used motorcycle expensive.
      Like, “borrow this car,” expensive.

      The NCAA should look into (from top priority to “we’ll look into it.”)
      Violent felons
      non-violent felons
      drug abuse (of all levels)
      academic fraud
      financial compensation for atheletes

  • bronzo

    College sports are dirty by nature…I don’t like Tressel but he is no different than any other major college coach…That doesn’t make it right . But this stuff is all small potatoes as far as I’m concerned..If you heard Jerry Dinardo yesterday he feels the same way. He said at what point to those players actually OWN that memorabilia?

    Dan is particularly critical of anyone that is a “Born again Christian” see Tim Tebow

    • mike in davenport

      I’m as critical of Dan as anyone when he’s obviously trolling, but he’s dead on here.

      He IS different because he’s doing all this dirty stuff while being
      very in-your-face with his religious morality.

      Born again Christians are fine; holier than thou Christians are not; especially when they are revealed to be just as dirty as everyone else.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        BevBrew- Spot-on… and hilarious!

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Very, very well-said BevBrew.

      • Beverly Brewmaster

        As a regular church-goer myself, I find that the loudness of your Bible-thumping is often inversely proportional to the strength of your faith. It’s like how the politicians who rail against gay rights are the ones most likely to turn up with a bath house or airport stall.

        On a related note, I’m as interested in buying a theological book written by a football coach about as much as I’m interested in buying a book on football written by my pastor.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        I agree with bronzo.

        I happen to be Christian (today is Ash Wednesday for those who focus on that particular spiritual marker). Nevertheless, I have met any number of people who claimed to be Christian but were sociopaths (not in the mass-murderer sense, more like the “used car salesman” sense, and I hope I didn’t offend any honest car retailers here).

        Tressel strikes me as horsespit.

      • bronzo

        I honestly didn’t know that Tressel had written a book or that 12 years ago ( like that really applies) while at Youngstown he starte some Christian fellowship. From the ooutside looking in I got the impression he was just putting up some squeakky clean white bread facade.hat most college coaches try and do.

        I don’t like hypocrits either…yes he is as dirty as anyone else.

        But as far as what he did wrong I still think it’s small the big scope of things.

  • Mark, Sterling

    Great article Dan! Spot on.

  • mike

    please……..tressel didn’t tell his players to use their own property to get tatoos….are you all that jealous of Ohio State winning that you have say bull like what it being written?……

    • bob from accountemps

      First caller of the day material!

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Who’s jealous of OSU? At what point did he say Tressel told them to ink? He simply lied about knowing it months in advance of football season because he knew it would cost him a successful year where his team was expected to compete for a national title. Did you not read the blog, or are you simply a myopia-afflicted Buckeye backer?

      Bernstein is spot-on, and Tressel is the worst kind of dirtbag- one that claims piety while doing so. Such a hypocrite.

    • bronzo

      Who said Tressel told his players to sell that stuff??

    • matt

      Tressel didn’t report the players actions, he did
      everything he could to cover them up. If someone
      at UM or MSU did the same you’d be ragging on them,
      instead of coming up with some sad notion that
      people who won’t tolerate deceit are jealous.

  • AT3374

    Not surprising in the least

  • Chuck

    I am a Buckeye fan through and through, and my opinion of Coach Tressel has suffered a huge blow. I will come to terms with it on my own. The hardest part for me is running across the opinions of sanctimonious blowhards like you while searching for some thoughtful and considered commentary.

    • Dave from Dubuque

      Chuck…how is this article sanctimonious? Please elaborate. I have read it a few times now and don’t see where Dan is comparing himself to Jim.

      Maybe you read another article, copied your response and pasted it here? I copy and paste all the time, and I am always accidentally leaving comments lying around.

      I bet that is what you did. I forgive you.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        Sanctimonious blowhards?

        Who’s the sanctimonious one? The guys who claim no piety whatsoever on a message board… or the guy pimping Christianity in the name of a book deal while feigning ignorance when evidence of wrongdoing turns up in his program that could have torpedoed a season?

        Had he not been attempting to create an image above that of his peers, then this would be an issue of “Just another college coach doing shady things”… which is still news, but not a full-blown a’slposion of a person’s character. That’s what makes this delicious.

        You know who is a full-on devout Christian I can respect? Mark Richt. Why? Because he’s not throwing it in my face, and from what I understand, he doesn’t much bring it up at length in public unless solicited. Until I had read “Every Week a Season”, I had no idea. It’s not my cup of tea, but I can totally respect a guy like that. His relationship with God is something he generally keeps to himself and those he is close with.

        I’ll take Bob Huggins over a holier-than-thou … at least there’s no bible thumping, and you may get lucky and have him pick up the tab.

    • Denver Deadite

      “I will come to terms with it on my own.”

      Considering the following sentence, I’d say your ‘terms’ amount to “I’m ok with this as long as we’re winning”.

      Otherwise, you wouldn’t be so awfully sanctimonious yourself.

      • bronzo

        If I may… I’ll quote the scripture according Buckeye

        “Going 9-1 against Michigan with 3 BCS Championship appearances buys you a straight ticket to Heaven”… John 3:17

        And no I’m not being blasphemous…I’ve been to Cathoilc schools my whole life.

    • Spoon

      sanctimonious: hypocritically pious or devout

      How ironic…

    • matt

      yeah, they should do a better job of sugarcoating it
      when they write about lying con-men.

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    If a Bulls fan watches only one youtube video today, I hope it’s this one.

    Lebron James: “The Mistake”


    • bronzo

      Chris that was awesome!! all the guys here at our trade desk have passed this around and loved it…Thanks fior the heads up.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      A buddy of mine that lives in the 312 sends me some random video along these lines once every few days or so… They’re always fun. I don’t know if it’s a friend of his that does them or what, but they always put a smile on my face.

    • bigtime sucker

      in the words of matt damons character in dogma
      “OUTSTANDING WORK!!!” i originanly wasn’t excitited about tonights game, but now i am seething for it
      of course it will be dvr’d as i have chuch tonight, but still i just get more and more pumped for every game!!!!

  • Kev in Skokie

    I think this article will hurt Illinios recruiting! Uh, hello?

  • Peter (in Rogers Park)

    I can’t begrudge a successful coach (or any other leader-of-men type) from publishing some quasi-motivational tome of Bible-gleaned, cheddar-impregnated tripe. If it’s a byproduct of talent and hard work then, by all means, JT, cash in. It does, however, make the contrasting of one’s actions with one’s purported convictions more than fair game.

    So, let ‘er rip, DB. Be aware, though, that well-reasoned, negative commentaries on legitimate creepos and hypocrites (Steve Alford, Tressel, etc.) are cheapened when audience members hear similarly righteous, less well-reasoned, more vitriolic discourses on frivolous topics like Jim Harbaugh’s tone of voice or Ron Santo’s general demeanor.


    If Jim Tressel knew that he violated NCAA rules for lack of notifying Ohio State University officials regarding 2 of his players and questionable activities regarding sports memorabilia being sold, why did his school give the head football coach nothing more than a slap on the wrist, a 2 game suspension and a $250,000 fine? Something really stinks about what happened in Columbus and I have a feeling the NCAA bigshots may have additional penalties forthcoming for the Buckeye football program.


    Textbook example of “watching the clock” late in the first period.
    Huh? the period isn’t over yet? But, nice rebound.

    Hey, sorry to spray to all fields, but I gotta get to some laundry piles.
    Anyone standing post on Angel Guzman’s return?

  • thebizkit

    Tressel is absolutely no different from any other collegiate coach. Heck 90% of successful coaches churn out the same dumb religious heavy motivational books. I don’t see how hes any different from the rest of them.

    • Spoon

      Well, if he’s like 90% of other successful college coaches, that only further solidifies him as a dirty cheating lie slinging assbag.

    • Spoon

      87% of stats are made up on the spot.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Or as Krusty The Klown says, “pulled out of our ass.”

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      90% of coaches? I must have missed the scripture thumping efforts of Lane Kiffin, Dennis Erickson, Joe Paterno, Bob Stoops, and Nick Saban. Can you let me know the titles of these books? Spring break is next week and I’ll need something to read.

  • Johnny



    You can’t believe half of what you hear all the time.

    It’s like a tree falling in the forrest.

    “HEY HEY!”

  • Pulseczar

    Wonder how much ink my old Elgin High swag is worth. I’ve overdue for some work.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    hey! larry said ass! (so did i)

    i’d say nick saban is the worst, what a


    Here’s something else I don’t understand. Before they beat Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, those 5 Ohio State football players who were suspended were allowed to play in their bowl game last January but won’t serve their suspensions until they kick off their season in September. Jim Calhoun, the head basketball at UCONN, will be suspended for 3 games for his school’s own recruiting violations in the men’s program next season, but not now. Why is it that schools can fine and suspend, but the penalties don’t take effect until the next season? I don’t understand it. I thought if you did the crime you did the time right away…


      That’s how the NCAA rolls, baby. . .

      • bigtime sucker

        wow i never even thought of that, good catch!!! and as rosenbloom said in his blog(ever notice that he just takes what bernstein writes and just puts a slightly different spin on it?)look at who OSU plays in those two “suspension” games. actually i don’t know but i am sure it’s something similar to the university of Ohio and someother school that doesn’t stand a chance. how about this as a punishment, you have to miss the gmaes vs wisconsin and PSU? huh? i mean the two games he will miss, the toughest decision he would have had to make was which scrub would play during garbage time

  • Jon

    Question, if a coach had been of Jewish, or Muslim faith, would we have seen this article from Bernstein? Christianity has always been “low hanging fruit” for Danny.

  • bigtime sucker

    IT’S NOT CHRISTIANITY HE IS RAILING AGAINST. it’s the ABUSE of christianity. its that jerks like tressel make being a christian in this society very difficult. it’s one thing to be so devout and into it to write a book and then live by those words. it’s another to use the books and organizing and whatnot as a SHEILD to cover for the fact that you indeed sold your soul

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      bts just hit the bullseye.

  • bigtime sucker

    ironically, most college coaches these days end up selling their souls to the seller of soles. but i digress

  • Jon

    I understand he was railing against the hypocrisy and not the religion, but hypocrisy exists in all religions, it just seems Danny only seems to point it out in Christianity. This was a big ole softball for him to hit out of the park.

    Can we talk more Bulls please? How insane would it be if they won 60 this year?

    • Denver Deadite

      “it just seems Danny only seems to point it out in Christianity.”

      By all means, let us know where such hypocrisy exists with Jews and Muslims with regards to sports in this country.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        No hypocracy from Bruce Pearl…..he is a putz, always was a putz, and always shall be a putz…but he doesn’t pretend otherwise.

        The hypocracy was in Tennessee hiring and then retaining the putz.

  • Mike Murphy

    I once saw a guy giving tatoos in the bleachers of wrigley, it was about 1979, I think the guy was maybe of an Arab decent. Yeah, that was him

  • Tarnished Dome

    Boy, I sure hope Bernstein doesn’t go after ND. Actual deaths and rape…they make OSU’s offenses look like parking tickets.

    • Ralph Tresvant

      You don’t listen to DB or read this blog much do you?

    • Murphs Upper-Lip

      Yeah, he only has glowing, loving things to say about Notre Dames past problems :-)

  • Yinka Double Dare

    Jon, when a Jewish or Muslim big-shot coach sells books and makes his/her religion a huge part of his/her public persona, I’m sure Dan will… actually, has there ever been one like that?

    Anyway, after nearly 400 secondary violations reported, some other dodgy business (the Clarett stuff, the several thousand in cash reported stolen from a player’s apartment several years ago, only suspending a player a single game for damn near trying to kill Jim Sorgi on the field by choking him in a pile), and now out-and-out lying to the NCAA, it’s time for Saint Vest to be cast out. It’s what will probably happen to Bruce Pearl (the dreaded “show cause” penalty) for lying about having a BBQ with recruits present. At the very least he should be gone for a year, as happened to Dez Bryant when he lied about having lunch with Deion Sanders.

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