Jim Tressel - Tough One

If you know me at all you know that I DESPISE Ohio State and I love My Michigan Wolverines, however, I was reading some information last night about the Jim Tressel debacle over at OSU and I couldn't help be write about the principles to be learned from this.

I would love to throw Jim Tressel under the bus with this whole scandal thing, and act like he's a horrible person and terrible coach.  However, anyone who has see the guy in action knows those things aren't true.  He's a man of discipline, composure and focus who is EXTREMELY good (unfortunately for Blue fans) at what he does.

So, what went wrong, how did such a respected and successful leader get caught up in something so detrimental?

Here's what I think:

  1. People have always done it and everyone is doing it - His team, his coaches and Tressel himself all believed the lie that it's okay because there is a critical mass that makes slight rule breaking okay.
  2. Little compromises are okay - It's easy to turn a blind eye when it seems like bending the rules is hurting no one.
  3. Pride and ignorance were ignored - There are a LOT of rules which, when broken, can get you in trouble, Pride tends to allow us to ignore that ignorance.

It is very easy to cast judgement on someone else's decisions.  In this case, I am sure that Jim Tressel got caught up in thinking that these violations were too insignificant to matter and they just blew up out of nowhere.  I feel bad for him, his family, the program and college football in general.  

I'm not immune to these possibilities and neither are you.

What do you think?  What's your response to these issues?