You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, May 18, 2011 : 9:44 a.m.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith supports football coach Jim Tressel

By Michael Rothstein

CHICAGO — Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith wouldn’t talk Wednesday about the ongoing NCAA investigation into the Buckeyes’ football program.

But he did do one thing. He supported his coach, Jim Tressel.

“Oh definitely, no question,” Smith said before the final day of the Big Ten spring meetings Wednesday. “I haven’t changed. But I’m not talking about the case beyond that.”

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Jim-Tressel-031810.jpg

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes are dealing with an NCAA investigation.

Ohio State, and specifically Tressel, received a notice of allegations from the NCAA outlining multiple NCAA violations, including Tressel covering up what he knew and lying to NCAA investigators.

The school is in the midst of preparing its defense for a Committee on Infractions hearing on Aug. 12 in Indianapolis.

Big Ten athletic director Jim Delany said Tuesday that he will offer guidance to Ohio State if the school would like it, just like he did for Michigan a year ago and any other conference school under NCAA investigation.

“I’m always available to advise our schools, always,” Delany said. “Ive never not been at a hearing. I’ve always been at a hearing and depending on the institution and the hearing they all have institutional representation, they all have outside representation and at their request we’re available to consult.

“In most cases, not very much. In some cases, little, but usually not more than (advising) a little.”

Tressel stopped to talk for 46 seconds this morning and said he has had the support of Big Ten coaches.

"Coaches are great," Tressel said. "They understand all the challenges that everyone has just like your peers understand yours and it's good to be with them."

Download the Ohio State notice of allegations from the NCAA: OHIO-STATE-notice-of-allegations.pdf

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by email at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein



Sat, May 21, 2011 : 9:19 a.m.

Jim Tressel roasting on an open fire. Jim Delany nipping at his nose. Wolverine fans with their eyes all a glow, waiting for all heck to break loose. They know that sanctions are on their way. With lots of penalties and fines that must get paid. Oh let the hammer of justice to beat down... so every Ohio fan can cry till they drown. And so I'm offering this simple prayer, for college football fans from 1 to 92, O let it be done to the Scarlet and Grey - with NO MERCY given to them by the judge. Merry Memorial day to you.


Fri, May 20, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

meaning its ok to cheat as long as your winning.The coach knew about it and tried to cover it up.If you dont think that is wrong "THOSE WHO STAY"there is no point in arguing with you.How many other things might he be covering up?Not to say that he is but you do see how the NCAA might be curious about the program.I sure am.


Thu, May 19, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

I'm confused. People are commenting about how the Ohio State football program cheated and that is the reason why they were able to succeed in the Big 10 and the league as a whole. I don't understand. What exactly did they do that gives them an advantage on the football field? I understand that some players were gaining improper benefits from fans that weren't affiliated with the program, but all of that was under wraps. It was being kept quiet by the players doing it and, apparently, the coach. Because it was under wraps, they couldn't possibly be benefiting from it with regards to recruiting. None of the recruits would have known about it. How else could any of this actually benefited them in any way? Look, I hate OSU just as much as the next guy and I can't wait to see those players feel the wrath of swift retribution but seriously.... some of you are taking it a bit too far. I just want you all to watch out for hypocrisy because it wasn't long ago when a bunch of people to the south of us were throwing out wild accusations and misinformation in our direction.

1st Down

Wed, May 18, 2011 : 10:19 p.m.

Gene Smith should get bounced out on his butt as well by the NCAA. Amazing how those fools in that state are OK with cheating...if they didnt cheat, that program would be nothing.


Thu, May 19, 2011 : 12:38 a.m.

1st down, you sound like old times, now spit out the tobacco.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

At this point of the investigation, Gene Smith should support coach Tressel, the jury is not in yet.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

This is not even news. Of course Smith supports Tressel. He does NOT want Tressel to fire him!


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

mike. . . you still have not told me why you removed my post?? but its ok for other posters to post o-lie-o-state and o-lie-o-state fans??? WHY DID YOU REMOVE MY POST. . .


Thu, May 19, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

Just don't make any comments about that great city od Detroit.

Tony Dearing

Wed, May 18, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

We're glad to discuss moderating decisions directly with people who want to know why a comment was removed, but either off-line or on the post dealing with comment moderation. Please see the email I sent you.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

"Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith supports football coach Jim Tressel" This just in -- "Sun rises in east!" Of course Gene Smith is going to say that. That's just how these things work. Also ... rumor (note: RUMOR) from colleagues of mine who live in Columbus ... Tressel is taking a bullet here to keep Gene Smith from being implicated. If the investigation stays on Tressel then it's not on the institution. But if it lifts to Smith then the University is involved and that's when things get really ugly. Sounds plausible.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Smith is a big part of the problem down there. It seems like as far as OSU athletics is concerned (at least football), there are no ethics. Only W's. I think that's a big thing in what we all think of as a "Michigan man" compared to other schools, to bring up that discussion.. But hey, there is no W in ethic.


Thu, May 19, 2011 : 4:18 p.m.

Yeah, heartbreak your right about the Michigan Man and ethics. Wasn't the guy that won the lotterry and still collecting welfare bnefits from Michigan? And how about that Jalen Rose, now there's a fine example of Michigan.

David Vande Bunte

Wed, May 18, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Michael, post the notice of allegations against Ohio State on EVERY article you post, it serves a nice reminder to the zealous O-Lie_O fans that they are in fact, in deep trouble.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 1:53 p.m.

Smith's tone ought to change once the NCAA starts roasting the buckeyes and nails them hard. If it doesn't, the only assumption to make is that he knew all along his coach was lying. They both need to go and you might as well throw in the president of o-lio st.