Eye on Education

Former Ohio State Football Coach Jim Tressel Is a (College) Presidential Contender

Former Ohio State football coach listens during a March 2011 press conference in Columbus.

Jamie Sabau / Getty Images

The University of Akron hired former Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel in 2012.

Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was a candidate for two or three college president positions before accepting a post at the University of Akron, University of Akron President Luis Proenza said today on WCPN’s The Sound of Ideas.

And while Tressel is currently working as Akron’s “vice president of strategic engagement,” he could be a candidate to replace Proenza, who will retire in June.

“He was being considered very actively for two or three presidencies before he joined us,” Proenza said today. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he might be considered” for the University of Akron president’s job.

University of Akron Trustee Chairman Richard Pogue told the Akron Beacon Journal earlier this month that Tressel would “probably be a candidate” for the job.

Tressel will also teach a three-credit course at the University of Akron this fall on “General Principles of Coaching.”

Tressel resigned from Ohio State in 2011 amid an NCAA investigation involving six football players who sold memorabilia to a local tattoo parlor owner. Tressel failed to report the NCAA violations associated with the sales when he first learned of them.

From the NCAA report on the violations:

“Of great concern to the committee was the fact that the former head coach became aware of these violations and decided not to report the violations to institutional officials, the Big Ten Conference or the NCAA,” the committee stated in its report.

Specifically, the committee noted that Tressel had at least four opportunities to report the information, and his failure to do so led to allowing several football student-athletes to compete while ineligible. Many of these student-athletes were key contributors to the team’s winning 2010 season.

The NCAA disciplined Tressel and effectively barred him from coaching for five years.

The University of Akron hired him in 2012.

Today, University of Akron President Luis Proenza said Tressel’s NCAA violations did not give him pause about Tressel serving as the school’s president.

“You know, if you read that [NCAA] report, number one, it hardly focused on Jim,” Proenza said.

“And, number two, just a few months after that incident the NCAA comes out and suggests that all of us ought to give our students $2,000 a year so they wouldn’t have to sell their ring. Come on.”




  • Cliff Eck

    ……and always overlooked is the instruction to not talk to anyone while a federal investigation was in process ….. no, Jim Tressel was a victim, and his word and loyalty never wavered. The nonsense violation which had just been put in place, and is now under scrutiny of most institutions, was more a perpetrated crime of a witchhunt than a crime of any illegal event.

    The NCAA should expounge Jim Tressel and return the 2010 season to status.

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