As I started to get into Tatoo-Gate a couple of days ago and I was reading what the mainstream press was telling us, it came across as a "final chapter" on the issue and it would in no way come down on St. Tressel, the man who writes books on how to do things the right way. It's funny. A lot of the journalists in the sports world believed that Tressel's "actions" in Tatoo-Gate were for the most part dismissible.
It was almost as if tOSU was bringing this information out and reading the last page of a history book, holding a press conference and sternly reprimanding St. Tressel with a two game suspension and a fine and that would simply end the matter. Once the NCCA approves of their internal punishment, of course.
But then the blogosphere started jumping on board. And even certain blogs that are pro-OSU started questioning whether or not the long arm of the law known as the NCAA wouldn't demand a whole lot more from the OSU, not stopping with vacated wins and scholarship reductions. Depending, of course, on what other potential cover-ups are discovered while St. Tressel has been at the helm. (And my guess is were going to see a bunch of them... )
Then, and only then, if you were paying attention, it seemed like the mainstream media finally got it. They started to understand that St. Tressel might not just be the lily white, ultra-clean coach that he leads everyone to believe he is. And the avalanche of the mainstream media finally began. Along with the blogosphere.
Avalanches are funny things. If you've ever seen one up close and in person, you don't even hear it at first. It's actually in the background noise...And then the thing picks up momentum and starts to take on a life of it's own. Then you hear the rush and sense the movement and it's fast and ferocious. And it doesn't quit until it decides it's done.
Cam Newton's situation was almost believable in that the distant relationship between Cam and his Dad were sort of well known. You could understand that the NCAA didn't want to punish the kid for the sins of the dad. AS flimsy as the argument was, I think we all kind of got it. I still don't like it, but in the end, I got it. I think.
But this, this is an avalanche that old Tressel simply can't get out of the way of. Here's why:
If it comes out that Tressel had forwarded or copied an e-mail to anyone in tOSU...well, now you have a classic textbook case of conspiracy. And I'll bet that's what the OSU is trying to avoid right now.
Why is conspiracy such a big deal? That's what they more or less got SMU on. A 10.1 Violation of the NCAA Ethics Code and Compliance. Multiple, repeat offenses of known violations.
What was OSU's unfair conpetitive gain?
11 wins with ineligible players. BCS Bowl Victory and money with same ineligible players. And a coach that knew about it the whole time, not to mention someone else within the walls of tOSU may have known as well.
That's a Big Deal. Big enough to bring down a univeristy? Probably not...But big enough to bring down a coach?
My guess is tOSU is already lining up some fall guy that got the e-mail from St. Tressel and they are considering paying him off to keep his mouth shut, take the fall, and tOSU will get to keep it's coach and look like they "Cleaned house" in the process.
I can only say this: Had this been Bo, Woody, Lloyd, or any of the old school guys that we know to play by the rules, the players probably would have been kicked off the team as soon as the e-mail hit the head coach's screen.
Clearly, St. Tressel is not in the same league as these guys, regardless of what he's accomplished on the field. And I think the world now knows this.