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Sprints Is Mostly About Jim Tressel Today, But Starts With the SEC // 05.31.11

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Earlier on Team Speed Kills:
- NCAA Baseball Tournament Field Announced: Where's Your SEC Team Headed?
- The Ruffian Returns: Stephen Garcia Reinstated for South Carolina Workouts

A primer on the meetings this week in Destin
Best line:

For a second consecutive year, Lane Kiffin won't be here, so the entertainment around the elevators of the Sandestin Hilton doesn't promise to be as exciting at this year's installment of the SEC's spring meetings.

This is about as solid a round-up as you're going to find out there, and it includes a sleeper issue that might arise: The money that other conferences are getting for their TV deals. Nothing will likely come out of it, given that ESPN has pretty much locked things up, but grumbling from the coaches and ADs would be a sign that the arrangement isn't as happy as we once thought.

Conspiracy theory: All the contracts would have to be renegotiated if conference realignment were to really pick up steam. ESPN massively overpaid for the Texas network and likely the Big XII-ish contract. Coincidence, or not?


Yes, the SI story really was that bad
A snippet of the fine Sports Illustrated investigation, which you should go and read immediately if you haven't already.

SI learned that the memorabilia-for-tattoos violations actually stretched back to 2002, Tressel's second season at Ohio State, and involved at least 28 players -- 22 more than the university has acknowledged. Those numbers include, beyond the six suspended players, an additional nine current players as well as nine former players whose alleged wrongdoing might fall within the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations on violations. ...

SI's investigation also uncovered allegations that Ohio State players had traded memorabilia for marijuana and that Tressel had potentially broken NCAA rules when he was a Buckeyes assistant coach in the mid-1980s.

And on and on the story goes. It catalogs all of the instances where Tressel has been "unaware" of his players and program breaking the rules, all the way back to the Senator's days at Youngstown State.

Perhaps most painfully, it paints Tressel as a gigantic hypocrite, even beyond what the known allegations suggested. It's become hard enough in our cynical age to believe in someone who is as open in their supposed integrity as Tressel was -- but people like the former Ohio State coach keep reminding us why we're skeptical.

Urban Meyer: I will not take the Ohio State job when it will not be offered to me
You can't craft a much better non-denial denial than Urban Meyer's artful statement about the Ohio State job.

I am committed to ESPN and will not pursue any coaching opportunities this fall. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the people at ESPN this spring and remain very excited about my role with the network this fall

Meyer just wanted everyone to know that this fall he's going to do analysis of this fall's college football season on ESPN programs this fall. Now, if someone wanted to contact the corch in the winter some time, when Ohio State's job is supposed to be open ...

Worst lead of the year
You really needed anonymous sources to confirm this?

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, who met with coaches and players this morning to announce his resignation, was encouraged to resign, sources told The Dispatch today.

Seriously, the headline is "Sources: Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel encouraged to resign." Never would have guessed that.

More investigations for Terrelle Pryor
You know, for folks who are supposedly smarter than those of here in the SEC, they sure do like their corruption with a dash of stupid up there.

Pryor and the cars he drives have been an issue since he arrived on campus three years ago. Pryor has been connected to more than a half dozen vehicles during his time at Ohio State, according to sources.

You might want to keep things a little bit more low-profile than that, guys. Ask Cecil Newton if you need any pointers.

The final twist
This article is mostly speculation, but given Len Pasquarelli's sources in the NFL, it's probably informed speculation. And if the players who committed to stay at Ohio State until their suspensions could actually count leave after being allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl, it will be the final twist of scandal in the end of the Jim Tressel Era. Just like the rest of Tressel's presentation of integrity, his contract with the players who shouldn't have played in the postseason will be shown to be nothing but a sham.

Is Tressel resignation the end of the story?
Bud Shaw of The Plain Dealer points out that Gordon Gee -- last seen talking about the Little Sisters of the Poor -- and Gene Smith backed Tressel strongly. Do they skate, or is it time for a house cleaning in Columbus?

Well, yeah, we already covered that here
Have no idea if the Associated Press read or was in anyway influenced by your humble correspondent's suggestion of a death penalty for coaches. Odds are, not at all. But  as long as the idea's getting traction, I'll take it.

For more coverage of Jim Tressel and Ohio State scandals
Along The Olentangy does a fine job covering the Buckeyes for SB Nation.