Erick Smith of the USA Today reported that former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel did not attend a NCAA rules compliance seminar in Tampa this past weekend. Tressel was originally scheduled to attend the seminar as part of Ohio State’s self-imposed penalties. Subsequent to the imposition of those penalties, Sports Illustrated blew the top off of the Tressel story precipitating his resignation. Although Tressel, was no longer required to attend the seminar due to his departure, Attorney Michael Buckner opined that he should have attended:
“I deal with coaches, too, in my practice,” Buckner told the Columbus Dispatch. “I always tell them, ‘You need to self-impose that penalty. You need to go to the seminar. If you want to continue to coach – yeah, we’re probably going to dispute some of these things, but you need to show the (NCAA) committee you are willing to learn new things, that you are humbled.'”
Tressel’s attorney, Gene Marsh, spoke at the seminar and explained Tressel’s decision not to attend:
Marsh said Tressel would have attracted media attention if he did appear and could have been a distraction to the process.
Attorney Bucker’s advice is solid and should be considered by coaches in similar situations. However, Tressel was right to sit this one out. The story is too fresh, and Tressel’s star recruit, Terelle Pryor remains in the spotlight, having announced his plans to enter the NFL Supplemental Draft. Tressel should lay low until he resolves his issues with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions before stepping back into the public eye.