Like most college football fans-and that may be the only football we’ll be able to follow on TV this year-I received the shocking news that Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel resigned. You can read some more of why he “resigned” here if interested.
Tressel was/is believed by many to epitomize class, ethics, and faith. In fact he has written such books called The Winner’s Manual: For the game of life, and Life Promises for Success: promises from God on achieving your best.
I can’t comment about such books, whether or not they are rooted in the gospel, heath-and-wealth, or Oprah theology. They might be great reads. No clue or no care.
But for the man known affectionately, or not so affectionately by others, as “the Vest” (he always donned the sweater vest), being forced to resign amidst players selling memorabilia for tatoo’s and other things is not the way he would have drawn it up.
Here are a few of my takes.
1.) Many of these violations seem minor in comparison to players or player’s families receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars like the Reggie Bush scandal at USC. And the NCAA rules about players getting jobs sounds archaic and unfair. But regardless, such rules are very clear and if you’re a college coach, you’ve got to play by the rules.
2.) The article seemed to highlight Tressel’s ignorance. Sometimes I like being ignorant. Ignorance is always easier at the beginning, but almost always more costly in the end. The more we know about ourselves and others is often more than we want to know about ourselves and others. Ignorance can keep us from entering into the mess of people’s lives (and our own issues/motivations as well). While we won’t need to often report it to the NCAA or even the church, we might be forced to call others to repentance and assist them in carrying their burdens. Neither are fun.
Exploring your own and others lives seems costly on the front end, but its far less costly to do it now than to do it later. How many relationships, marriages, friendships would have benefited from knowing more of the person (even their sins) and then repenting alongside of them, allowing both parties to experience and show grace to one another as a pattern of life from the beginning? In the end, it is far more costly to be ignorant. Tressel is but one of a plethora (that’s the 2nd Three Amigos reference by the way) of examples.
Love, both for God and others, includes both knowing and moving more toward Him and others, because He has first known and moved toward us in Christ.
3.) Tressel is not the first faith professing coach to have violations and won’t be the last. I don’t assume any coach in college, regardless of their “class,” ethics, or faith profession, knowingly runs a completely clean program. Where are the Tony Dungy type coaches in college today?