By Shawn Muller–
CHICAGO (CBS) No one likes it when they find out a person who they thought they could trust is a complete phony.
Once this happens, you can never be sure if that person is ever telling you the truth, or if they are just blowing more smoke up your respective hind-end.
When you find out someone is lying to you, after years of believing that every word they had ever spoken to you were as true as the Earth is round, it stings.
There you were, thinking that this person was a stand-up kind of guy. You thought he was a person of “high character” and “morals.”
He was a man that you wanted your children to grow up and be like.
But then you realized something.
You realized that he was not the person you thought you knew. To put it bluntly…you realized that the person you held in such high regard, was really just a snake in the grass.
This is how I feel about Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel.
I always believed that he was one of the really good guys in a landscape where dirt and scum are far too common. I always felt that, despite my dislike of Ohio State football, Jim Tressel was OK in my book because he seemed like a stand-up kind of guy.
And I was not alone.
Ohio State fans felt this way about Tressel too. If there was one thing Ohio State football fans believed their head coach stood for, it was integrity. After all, this was the man who’s book, “Block ‘O’ of Life” was a collection of motivational and inspirational life lessons…lessons of life that he preached to his players. He always preached about how he wanted them to live proper and become bastions of good character in the community.
He wanted people to believe that having “character” was what counted…not winning at all costs.
But aren’t coaches supposed to lead by example? Shouldn’t you follow the path of life that you preach to your players?
If I were a parent of an Ohio State football player, maybe I would appreciate what he was trying to do. When you send your children off on their own for the first time, you want to make sure they are well taken care of, and that the people responsible for their well-being, are going to look out for them.
I understand a coach wanting to “protect” his boys, but that is the problem. Tressel wasn’t looking out for the five players who had been found to have sold merchandise in exchange for cash and tattoos.
He was looking out for his own best interests when he became aware of his players’ actions, and by failing to report anything to the university.
He played dumb when the NCAA decided to suspend his players for the first five games of the 2011 season, but he knew all along. He knew about the infractions for months, but decided to try and cover up any possible odor from his trail of deceit and lies in order to win football games, not to protect his players.
He stood at the podium during his March 8, public “apology” and tried to justify the reasons behind his actions. He wanted all of us to believe that he didn’t want to interfere with a federal investigation into the owner of the tattoo parlor for drug trafficking.
Why didn’t you just tell us the real truth, Jim?
Instead of giving the public some B.S. story, why didn’t you say that you were trying to cover this up because winning football games is all that matters, despite what you wanted us to believe because you jotted it down in some book.
You weren’t apologizing for the way you “mishandled” the situation or because you were seeking atonement from the public.
You were just sorry you had gotten caught.
If Tressel was, in fact, able to successfully cover this problem up, nary a word of apology would have been uttered out of his mouth.
If Tressel were the type of person he so desperately wanted the public to believe he was, he would have turned over any possible damaging evidence concerning his program over to Ohio State officials or to the NCAA as soon as they came to light.
We all know that Ohio State is not going to fire their head coach, because Jim Tressel is a winner on the football field. But if Tressel wants to save any shred of dignity that he has left, the proper thing for him to do would be to step down.
I mean, that is what a person of high moral character does, right?
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24.