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Gee: Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith’s ‘job is safe’

Jim Tressel resigned Monday, ending speculation about the former Ohio State football coach’s job status.

On Wednesday, President E. Gordon Gee attempted to put an end to speculation about athletic director Gene Smith’s job security.

Gee said Smith’s job is “safe” at a university-sponsored flash mob.

Gee did say, however, that the university’s compliance department is under review.

“If we find there are people who are not holding the standard of the university, then obviously we’ll deal (with them),” Gee said.

OSU spokesman Jim Lynch told The Lantern on Wednesday that the university had no plans to dismiss OSU’s compliance department.

Football coach Jim Tressel resigned Monday after 10 years and one tumultuous offseason at OSU. Tressel was facing a five-game suspension for failing to report his players’ NCAA violations. The NCAA suspended quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams and defensive end Solomon Thomas on Dec. 23 for five games for selling memorabilia and receiving improper benefits. Linebacker Jordan Whiting also earned a one-game ban.

Gee said he learned of Tressel’s resignation Sunday night after the coach returned from a vacation in Florida.

“I think that very clearly, (Tressel) in the end understood the kind of scrutiny he was under,” Gee said. “In my experience with Jim ­­— which has been over three years — he has always held the university at a standard that he wanted to support.”

At a March 8 press conference to announce Tressel’s suspension, when asked about Tressel’s job security, Gee replied, “I just hope he doesn’t dismiss me.”

Gee had yet to speak with the media since Tressel’s resignation. Lynch told The Lantern on Monday that Gee was “out of the state” for the day.

“I don’t think there’s been a news blackout,” Gee said about the amount of attention being placed on the OSU football program. “I think I’m always surprised about the power of Ohio State and our brand. I felt a little bit like I was in a tsunami.”

Smith and Doug Archie, director of OSU’s compliance office, have been unavailable for comment.

Archie was named director of compliance on June 12, 2006. He earned about $114,000 in 2010, according to collegiatetimes.com. Chris Rogers, the assistant director of compliance, earned about $81,000 last year. The athletic department’s website lists six members of the compliance department and one intern.

Gee said changes could be on the horizon if the university deems the compliance department’s efforts substandard.

“If it’s not working,” Gee said, “then we’ll make it work.”

 

Michael Periatt and Alex Kopilow contributed to this story. 

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