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Jim Tressel: Resignation ‘for the greater good’ of Ohio State

Jim Tressel addresses the media for the first time as Ohio State`s head football coach on Jan. 18, 2001.

Jim Tressel submitted his letter of resignation to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith Monday morning. The Lantern obtained a copy of Tressel’s letter in which he wrote that the ongoing NCAA investigation proved to be too much of a “distraction.”

“The recent situation has been a distraction for our great university and I make this decision for the greater good of our school,” Tressel wrote.

Smith said he met with Tressel Sunday night after the coach returned from a vacation in Florida.

“It’s at that time that he decided to resign,” Smith said in a video statement the university released Monday. “We met again this morning, in his office, and chatted some more and he submitted his formal letter of resignation.”

Tressel didn’t apologize in the letter, but said, “The appreciation that (his wife) Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable.”

Tressel met with some of his players at about 8:45 a.m. Monday. OSU spokesman Jim Lynch said because of the holiday, not all players attended.

“(Tressel) did an eloquent job of explaining to the young men what transition really means and what they needed to focus on,” Smith said. “He met with the team and exited.”

Lynch said President E. Gordon Gee appointed a committee to advise him on “issues relating to our football program.”

The committee, made up of seven past and current Board of Trustees members and university administrators, included Alex Shumate, chair of the Committee on Trusteeship; Jerry Jurgensen, Board of Trustees member; Brandon Mitchell, the graduate/professional student trustee for the Board; Geoffrey Chatas, senior vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer for OSU; Joseph Alutto, executive vice president and provost for the Office of Academic Affairs; Robert Duncan, former chairperson of the Board of Trustees; Christopher Culley, senior vice president and general counsel for the Office of Legal Affairs.

Committee members did not immediately respond to The Lantern‘s request for comment. 

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