Still under fire both publicly and personally for his part in covering up the misdeeds of five of his players, Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has made the preemptive move of increasing his already suspension more than double. Tressel, who admittedly withheld information that 5 of his players were violating NCAA policies, was initially given a 2 game suspension and a $250,000 fine, but announced Thursday that he requested to be suspended 5 games, the same amount as his accused players was given by the NCAAA.
"Coach Tressel has requested that he sit out the first five games of the 2011 season. I have accepted his request and we are taking action to notify the NCAA," Athletic Director Gene Smith said in a statement.
This announcement came on the same night that the NCAA finalized its ruling on the five players accused of selling memorabilia for tattoos and cash. The players appealed the initial 5 game ban received but the finalized ruling was for the previous ban.
"Throughout this entire situation my players and I have committed ourselves to facing our mistakes and growing from them; we can only successfully do that together," Tressel said in a prepared statement. "I spoke with athletics director [Gene] Smith, and our studentathletes involved, and told them that my mistakes need to share the same game sanctions. Like my players, I am very sorry for the mistakes I made. I request of the university that my sanctions now include five games so that the players and I can handle this adversity together."
Though Tressel has taken the initiative on increasing his ban, the NCAA still has the right to investigate the incident and can add additional punishment onto the ban. Such additional punishment could be that the school must forfeit all their wins from the 2010 season.
There is no timetable on when or if the NCAA will look into this matter but it is almost a certainty that they will.
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