Today’s NCAA COI decision blisters Jim Tressel. As we previously pointed out, the “Old-boy” NCAA investigatory and enforcement arms have traditionally behaved like a college Inter-Fraternity Council, announcing fluffernutter decisions lacking in reality. And, as a part of that let’s-play-pretend, high-school Moot Court tradition, the NCAA has been especially careful about avoiding any negative evaluations of the credibility or motivations of Head Coaches or AD — though the NCAA COI has simultaneously displayed no similar reluctance to make quick negative evaluations about the credibility of Student-Athletes. [See our prior posting, “NCAA Reform and NCAA Unspoken Cardinal Rule #1: Coaches and AD’s never lie. Players Do.“]
Today’s COI decision is a U-Turn on that trend. In the Michigan NCAA investigation, Rich Rodriguez told a long, preposterous set of repeated and preposterous lie to the general effect that he just didn’t know the rules (about limits on the number of coaches and practice hours) — and the NCAA bought them, hook, line and sinker. Tressel must’ve read the Rich Rod book, because he tried to similarly buffalo the NCAA by following Rodriguez’ “Gee I Guess I Didn’t Know” lead. Tressel’s ploy got him nowhere, and this signals a new age.
The COI figured it out, and spoke with generally devastating frankness about Jim Tressel’s machinations and prevarications:
p. 9: Tressel “knowingly allowed football student-athletes to participate while ineligible during the 2010 football season.”
p. 10: “Tressel’s loyalty should have been to his employing institution, rather than to the local attorney, an individual whose name he could not recall when he was originally interviewed about these issues.”
p. 10: “Although [Tressel] provided rationalization for his failure to report violations resulting from the involvement of [players] with the owner of the tattoo-parlor, the committee found them not to be credible.”
p. 17: “There are instances when such individuals purposely hide information, or decide not to reveal information, as in this case.” [Referring to JT.]
This is all consistent with our analysis of the Tressel school-boy lie, in postings this past summer. [“This Guy is a Hero?: Tremblin’ Jimmy Tressel’s Statement is Excrutiatingly Embarrassing to Read,” and “OSU’s Tremblin’ Jimmy Tressel Deliberately and Intentionally Carried Out a Lengthy, Premeditated Coverup.”]
But this is new, heady stuff coming out of the NCAA. Tressel got cold-cocked. Look out, Miami and UNC.