Sports Outside the Beltway

Ohio State’s Jim Tressel Resigns

Jim Tressel has resigned as head coach of the Ohio State football team.

Columbus Dispatch (“Coach Jim Tressel out at Ohio State“):

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has resigned, university sources told The Dispatch today.

Less than three months after President E. Gordon Gee and Athletic Director Gene Smith said they fully supported their embattled coach, mounting pressure, a pending NCAA disciplinary hearing and new revelations about the culture of the program forced the university to act on their once-revered coach, sources said.

Neither Gee, Smith nor Tressel could be reached immediately for comment.

Sources said assistant coach Luke Fickell, who had been named to coach the first five games of the season while Tressel served his suspension for withholding information from the university compliance office and the NCAA, will serve as interim coach of the Buckeyes all of next season.

The Dispatch has obtained a memo Gee sent to OSU trustees this morning:

“I write to let you know that later this morning we will be announcing the resignation of Jim Tressel as head coach of the University’s football program. As you all know, I appointed a special committee to analyze and provide advice to me regarding issues attendant to our football program. In consultation with the senior leadership of the University and the senior leadership of the Board, I have been actively reviewing the matter and have accepted Coach Tressel’s resignation.

“My public statement will include our common understanding that throughout all we do, we are One University with one set of standards and one overarching mission. The University’s enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions,” Gee wrote.

Ohio State’s football program came under fire in December when six players were suspended by the NCAA for selling or trading uniforms and other memorabilia to a Columbus tattoo-parlor owner. The NCAA also drew criticism for allowing the players to participate in the Sugar Bowl instead of serving their suspensions immediately.


He leaves Ohio State with an impressive coaching resume, having led the school to its fifth national title as well as directing impressive runs of Big Ten championships and victories over archrival Michigan.

The coach who came to Ohio State from Division I-AA Youngtown State University leaves OSU as one of the most recognizable figures in college football and all sports with a record of 106-22 at OSU. His winning percentage of .828 was better than the legendary Woody Hayes (.761).

It’s been drip . . . drip . . . drip since this scandal first broke a few months ago. Tressel’s eventual ouster had become inevitable, so his resignation now saves both himself and his program additional agony. It’s a little late in the day to switch coaches but Ohio State is one of the five or six best jobs in the country; they’ll have little trouble finding a good coach.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #31 Pittsburgh Steelers DE Cameron Heyward says-

Heyward is big, versatile defensive end who can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 at the next level. He is a powerful athlete at the point of attack who can eat up blocks in the running game and uses heavy active hands to shed quickly. He possesses a less-than-ideal burst but is a relentless pass rusher who gets more sacks than he should. His greatest asset is his versatility, as he can control blockers to be effective in a two-gap scheme, but also could have an impact as a traditional defensive end in a 4-3. Heyward will likely not last past the first round.


Former Oakland Raider Safety Jack Tatum dead at 61

He was three-time Pro Bowler, but Tatum may be best known for his hit to Darryl Stingley that caused the Wide Receiver’s spine to sever between the 4th and 5th vertebrae. As hard as I could try, I couldn’t find a video of the play. I seem to recall it was a hard but not illegal hit. RIP Jack Tatum.

Former Oakland Raiders and Ohio State defensive back Jack Tatum Tatum died of a heart attack Tuesday in an Oakland hospital.

Tatum, a three-time Pro Bowler, was 61.Jack Tatum-Darryl Stingley

In a statement, the Raiders said, “Jack was a true Raider champion and a true Raider warrior. … Jack was the standard bearer and an inspiration for the position of safety throughout college and professional football.”

Known as “The Assassin” during his career, Tatum was renowned as one of the most feared hitters in the game. The footage of Tatum knocking the helmet off of Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sammy White in Super Bowl XI is one of the marquee images in the history of the game.

But Tatum’s most infamous hit came during a preseason game.

In Oakland on Aug. 12, 1978, New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley ran head-on into Tatum on a crossing pattern. The blow severed Stingley’s fourth and fifth vertebrae and left the receiver paralyzed. Eventually, Stingley regained limited movement in his right arm and was able to operate his electric wheelchair on his own, but Stingley died from the after-effects of Tatum’s hit on April 26, 2007 at the age of 55.

Chuck Fairbanks, the Patriots’ coach at the time of the collision, said he couldn’t find anything illegal or dirty about the hit.

“I saw replays many, many times, and many times Jack Tatum was criticized,” Fairbanks said at the time of Stingley’s death. “But there wasn’t anything at the time that was illegal about that play. I do think probably that play was a forerunner for some of the changes in rules that exist today that are more protective of receivers, especially if there is head-to-head-type contact. I think that probably pre-empted some of the things that happened today.”

Tatum and Stingley never met after the hit.

Tatum was not penalized on the play and the NFL took no disciplinary action, but it did tighten its rules on violent hits.

Despite Tatum’s failure to show remorse, former Ohio State teammate John Hicks said Tatum was haunted by the play.

“It was tough on him, too,” Hicks said. “He wasn’t the same person after that. For years he was almost a recluse.”

Tatum had said he tried to visit Stingley at an Oakland hospital shortly after the collision but was turned away by Stingley’s family members.

“It’s not so much that Darryl doesn’t want to, but it’s the people around him,” Tatum told the Oakland Tribune in 2004. “So we haven’t been able to get through that. Every time we plan something, it gets messed up. Getting to him or him getting back to me, it never happens.”

Part of the alienation came after Tatum wrote the 1980 book, “They Call Me Assassin,” in which he was unapologetic for his headhunting ways.

Tatum also wrote books titled “They Still Call Me Assassin: Here We Go Again” in 1989 and “Final Confessions of an NFL Assassin” in 1996.

In the latter he wrote, “I was paid to hit, the harder the better. And I hit, and I knocked people down and knocked people out. … I understand why Darryl is considered the victim. But I’ll never understand why some people look at me as the villain.”

After starring for Ohio State under coach Woody Hayes, Tatum was drafted in the first round by Oakland in 1971. In nine seasons with the Raiders, Tatum started 106 of 120 games with 30 interceptions and helped Oakland win the 1976 Super Bowl. He played his final season with the Houston Oilers in 1980.


NFL Draft 2010 – Round 7 #45- Miami- LB Austin Spitler

The last Dolphin selection. writes- Spitler has very good speed for the linebacker position, and will try to make his mark as a special teams contributor early on. He’s a skilled athlete, that is a developmental prospect on defense.


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2nd round- March 21st

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

Syracuse beats Gonzaga 87-65
West Virginia beats Missouri 68-59
Ohio State beats Georgia Tech 75-66
Cornell beats Wisconsin 87-69
Michigan State beats Maryland 85-83
Duke beats Cal 68-53
Xavier beats Pitt 71-68
Purdue beats Texas A&M 63-61


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament- March 19th

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

West Virginia beats Morgan St. 77-50
Cornell beats Temple 78-65
Xavier beats Minnesota 65-54
Purdue beats Siena 72-64
Pittsburgh beats Oakland 89-66
Wisconsin beats Wofford 53-49
Texas A&M beats Utah St. 69-53
Gonzaga beats Florida St. 67-60
Duke beats Arkansas-Pine Bluff 73-44
Michigan St. beats New Mexico St. 67-64
Syracuse beats Vermont 79-56
Maryland beats Houston 89-77


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball predictions

Here are my selections-

2010 predictions1

2010 predictions2

So you heard it here first. Duke and Ohio State in the finals.

Note- Starting tomorrow I will have a sticky post at the top of the blog featuring that day’s results. Feel free to make your own predictions in the comment.


2010 NCAA Women’s Tournament Bracket

Here it is-

2010 Women's bracket

Like with the Men’s tournament, I’ll take a shot at making some guesses predictions in the women’s also.


2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket

Well here it is-

2010 bracket

I don’t have to say. Later in the week, I’ll take a shot at predicting the outcome.


2010 NFL Draft to include record tying 53 non-seniors

The 2008 NFL Draft also saw the same amount of under classmen. In 2009 the total was 46. From AP-

The expected heavy influx of non-seniors applying for this year’s NFL draft did not happen despite looming labor unrest in the league.

Although a record-tying 53 players declared for early entry, that number released Tuesday by the NFL was short of most projections.

“I think that the colleges have really done a good job of telling these young men how it is to their advantage to stay in school,” said NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt, who helped build the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. “I thought there would be more and I was surprised.”

Six All-Americans did apply for the draft: defensive backs Eric Berry of Tennessee and Joe Haden of Florida; defensive end Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech; tight end Aaron Hernandez of Florida; linebacker Rolando McClain of Alabama; and wide receiver Golden Tate of Notre Dame.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, also declared for April’s draft, along with Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead; Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen; Southern California running back Joe McKnight; Cal running back Jahvid Best; Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap; and Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman.

Fresno State tailback Ryan Mathews, the nation’s leading rusher, applied. So did tackles Bryan Bulaga of Iowa and Anthony Davis of Rutgers, who are projected to go high in the draft.

I remember when Herschel Walker came out of school(U of Georgia) early and all the controversy it caused. A Herschel Walker today wouldn’t risk a potential big payday in the NFL either.

What I don’t get is how some experts expected the total of non-seniors to be around 100 or a 100% increase from last year. Maybe I’ll find an article that list the college players who stuck it out. A free college education should be valued. One day your sports playing days will end and what will you do for money then? Look at Bernie Kosar who left the University of Miami early for the NFL. Right now he is bankruptcy court.

The entire list of college underclassman declaring for this year’s NFL draft is below the fold.


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