Coach Tressel and Bryson Hummel
April 2, 2012 1:00 am EST
A good friend of mine and follower of Buckeye50 sent me this story/blog last year in the middle of all the scandal that was the 2011 season. I think most of the true Buckeye fans know (unfortuantely) that there were decisions made that were regretable. But we also know that everything was not all bad either. Here is just another example of the heart of Coach Jim Tressel.
You won't be able to read or hear about this story on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, or the Columbus Dispatch. You see there is nothing, as a fallen people, that we like better than a story of a good man who also has fallen - sad isn't it. We get a weird sort of pleasure reading about it, listening to all the details, and then making comments about it to our friends, family, and posting comments about it all over the Internet.
In light of that, I would like to remind you or maybe tell you for the first time my story of Coach Tressel and the legacy that he will carry in my family. (Beau and Nicole Hummel)
On Aug 17th my son was run over by a lawnmower. It just so happened that on that day Bryson was wearing his brand new #33 Ohio State jersey. Bryson was probably the biggest 4 year old OSU football fan ever and was so excited about his new jersey. In fact, his dad had on a matching jersey. Turns out his daddy used his jersey to tie around Bryson's leg to stop the bleeding and Bryson's jersey was cut off. While I was in the emergency room with Bryson before he was life-flighted to Columbus Children's hospital he let me know that he was upset about his new jersey. I assured him we would get him a new one, but never did I dream how things would turn out for him.
Bryson had his leg amputated and then spent quite a bit of time in the hospital as he healed. During that time, through a series of events that I'm not even sure of, Coach Tressel was made aware of Bryson's accident and his love for the Buckeye's. It wasn't a couple of days later and Coach Tressel came to meet Bryson in person. He came alone: no cameras, no media, no support crew. He came. He encouraged. He let us tell him Bryson's story. He let us take his picture with Bryson. He gave Bryson some signed hats and a covered note pad. He promised to get Bryson to a OSU football practice and to an Ohio State/Michigan game.
All of that was great, but what left the biggest impression on me was when he handed us his business card and wrote his personal cell phone number on the back. He told us to call if we needed anything - are you kidding me! Who does that! I will tell you - not somebody who is only interested in lining his pockets or winning football games. We were of no value to him, my husband is a youth pastor, we don't live in Columbus, & we aren't alumni of the university. We were just a hurting family who he took time for, in the middle of football season, to encourage.
He fulfilled his promises to Bryson. Bryson was able to go to two OSU football practices and went to the Ohio State/Michigan game the next year and sat in the most amazing seats. On the notebook he gave Bryson he wrote, "The Buckeyes are cheering for you." Bryson was very impressed by that. While watching the football games even now a couple years later Bryson will say, "That's Coach Tressel! That's my friend!"
So, Coach Tressel's legacy in our family will simply be this that he was an encourager when we needed encouragement, was compassionate when we needed compassion, perfect - NO (but really who of us is), and to Bryson "friend." I'll take that kind of legacy any day of the week.
On a side note, random people have asked me how Bryson is taking all of this (knowing what a big fan he is) and I will tell you this, he is just sad that Coach Tressel won't be coaching the Buckeye's. If you would like to follow Bryson's progress or see additional photos you can review the family blog.
Tressel Named Vice President Of Strategic Engagement At Akron
February 2, 2012 10:00 am EST
Tressel has always been an educator, now it might be his full-time job.
Channel 10 TV news has reported former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has accepted an administrative position at the University of Akron. He will serve as the Vice President of Strategic Engagement. Yesterday it was reported his Upper Arlington home was sold (for 2.2 million).
Tressel was asked to resign (and later retired) from Ohio State last May due to the NCAA scandal surrounding players exchanging football memorabilia for tattoos. Since then, he served as a replay assistant on the Indianapolis Colts staff. Tressel also interviewed for the head coach job but was not hired.
Tressel salary will be $200,000 in his new position.
Tressel Predicts Another Victory Over Michigan
June 6, 2011 7:15 pm EST
Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel told people at a rally on his front doorstep that he would always be a Buckeye and that the team will beat Michigan again this November. After a crowd of some 200 people had sung a song disparaging the archrival Wolverines early Saturday evening, Tressel said, "Don't forget: Nov. 26th we're going to kick their ass!"
That brought the loudest cheer of the day from the group, which had walked a half mile in 90-degree heat from a rallying point at a nearby park to Tressel's home near campus. Those in the rally cheered, sang the alma mater and held up signs that said, "You're in Our Prayers," "We Support You, Jim!" and "We Love You, Coach Tressel."
Tressel and his wife, Ellen, posed for dozens of pictures, shook hands and thanked those in attendance.
He had memorably guaranteed that the Buckeyes would beat archrival Michigan at an Ohio State basketball game shortly after he had taken the job in January 2001.
Saturday's rally was reminiscent of those held for two past Ohio State coaches. After Woody Hayes was fired for punching a Clemson player late in the 1978 Gator Bowl, hundreds of fans came to his residence to thank him. The same thing happened after Hayes' successor, Earle Bruce, was fired late in the 1987 season. Again, a large group of fans and members of the university's band came to Bruce's house to serenade him with songs.
"We're going to be Buckeyes for life," Tressel said, his arm around his wife. "What's that old saying? Buckeye born and bred, a Buckeye 'til I'm dead."
The crowd cheered when he finished.
OSU Grad Golf Great Jack Nicklaus Defends Tressel
April 18, 2011 8:30 pm EST
It is not hard to find less than flattering press in the media these days when it relates to Coach Tressel and the Buckeye football program. Dan Kaiser shared with me this link from Sporting News reminding us there is more the the story than what we have heard to date. Golf legend and ardent Ohio State football fan Jack Nicklaus spoke to The (Cleveland) Plain-Dealer about Buckeyes’ coach Jim Tressel’s recent troubles.
Nicklaus, who said he speaks with Tressel often, offered empathy for the coach. He said that though Tressel might have been at fault in how he handled word of NCAA violations committed by his players, he likely served as a scapegoat in the investigation. Nicklaus suggested president Gordon Gee and athletic director Gene Smith as others who may have known of the situation.
Jim Tressel has at least one ally in Jack Nicklaus. “I don’t know what really happened, but I’ll promise you that Tressel wasn’t the only one that knew what happened,” Nicklaus told the newspaper. “I bet you Gee or Gene and everybody else probably knew what was going on, and Tressel probably took the hit for it. Whether I’m right or I’m wrong, I don’t know.”
Later, when asked for his general impressions of the case, the Golden Bear backed the The Vest again.
“I can’t imagine that the university didn’t know what was going on,” Nicklaus said. “Unless Jim, who is a terrific guy, maybe he decided to take it on his own shoulders. That could be, I don’t know. And I’m not privy to that. I just like him a lot.”
More from Nicklaus on Tressel, according to The Plain Dealer: “He’s an honest guy, he’s a straight guy and he’s a great coach. I think he really cares about his kids. And if I had a kid who was of age to play here, I’d love to have him play under Tressel because I think he’s a great guy.”
Tressel has been suspended for the first five games and fined $250,000 for not sharing with other Ohio State officials his knowledge of some Buckeyes players committing NCAA violations by selling their gear and awards. NCAA investigators continue to look into the case and could increase Tressel’s punishment.
Nicklaus made his somewhat ambiguous comments Monday at a luncheon for The Memorial Tournament, the PGA event he hosts every spring.
Players Pay Tribute to Vets
November 19, 2008 4:30 pm EST
From Len Berglund (submitted to our web mailbox by Kathy Couling - Upper Arlington)
As a veteran, I wanted to do something on Tuesday as a sign of respect for those who served our country, so I went to the Statehouse to see the display honoring the Lima Company men killed and to say a prayer. As I was viewing one of the full-size paintings of three who died when they hit a roadside bomb, I realized that a tall man stood next to me observing the same painting.
I recognized him as Ohio State University quarterback Terrelle Pryor. When I looked around, I noticed a large contingent of OSU football players.
As coach Jim Tressel came to the center of the Rotunda, his men gathered behind him, and they all took a knee and said a prayer of their own. They were there for about 15 minutes and then left together. This was such a classy thing to do, especially considering no media were there to cover it. It was not their intention to be rewarded with some kind of publicity. It was merely a wonderful, solemn gesture on their part to pay their respects without the expectation of being recognized in some way for doing so.
We always hear about the negative aspects of a team but seldom hear about the good.
Letter From Michigan Fan Praises Tressel
May 7, 2008 11:30 am EST
A letter from Michigan fan that is a devout Ohio State hater...
Before I say anything, I want you to know I HATE, LOATHE, DESPISE Ohio State Football. I am a lifelong Michigan fan and there is no other way for a Michigan fan to feel. Ohio State fans should (and do) feel the same way about Michigan.
However, I can recognize Ohio State's success and reasons for it, and I can carry on a civilized conversation with intelligent Ohio State fans (the "intelligent" part eliminates about 98% of Ohio State fans from said civilized conversations). There are just as many stupid Michigan fans. They embarrass me.
Two years ago, I was teaching 7th grade Language Arts and I had a student who moved to the Atlanta area from Cleveland, Ohio. His name was Philip Dickson and he was living with his aunt, LaToya because his parents were out of the picture (mom, a drug addict and dad in prison). His aunt was a nurse and she was working her tail off to make him responsible and accountable.
It was obvious to me Philip was an Ohio State fan. The first day he walked into my classroom, which was decked out in everything "Michigan Football," he talked about his distaste for the Maize and Blue. That was when he told me about how much he loved Ohio State Football. He and I didn't see eye-to-eye on Michigan & Ohio State, but I liked Philip and I knew he needed to be pushed to be the best he can be.
As time went by, Philip got in trouble in some of his classes and he wasn't putting forth the effort he should have been. Teachers met with his aunt, she disciplined him, we disciplined him (although he was never a discipline problem in my class), but he just wasn't responding. I had an idea.
Without telling anyone, I sent a note to Jim Tressel. I told him about Philip and that Philip wasn't working to his potential. I explained that Philip was a huge Buckeye Football fan and I asked Coach Tressel if he would be willing to send a note to Philip telling him to work harder. The NCAA, which has the some of the most idiotic rules, told me it would be ok for Coach Tressel to send such a letter because Philip was a 7th grader.
Mind you, this was in late September, so Coach Tressel had a few more pressing things on his mind than some kid in Atlanta, Georgia.
About 10 days later, in my mailbox at school, was an envelope from the Ohio State Football office (It was addressed to Philip Dickson in my care). I was shocked, but I couldn't wait for Philip to get to my class. I got out the letter opener for him, so he could open it neatly. This would be a "keeper"!
Second period rolled around and Philip's aunt was at school that day to check in with us teachers on his progress. I told her to stick around to see what I had for Philip. I asked another teacher to come to my door and announce "This came 'Special Delivery' for Philip Dickson." The class stopped and stared at the envelope as I walked it back to him. I handed him the letter opener, and since he had never seen a letter opener before, I opened the letter for him (very carefully)!
It was on the OFFICIAL Ohio State Football greeting card. His eyes opened wide and he was stunned! He just sat silently. He read it once, turned it over, picked up the envelope again and looked at it, and read the card again. It said (paraphrasing), "Philip, I understand you are a very big Buckeye Football fan! We are glad you support us! I want you to give your very best in all your school work and in being the best person you can be. I will be in touch with your teacher to see how you are doing. Keep cheering for the Buckeyes! Go Bucks! -Jim Tressel"
WOW. I love Michigan Football, but I am pretty sure the coaches they have had there in my lifetime (Bo, Gary Moeller, and Lloyd Carr) would not have taken time out of their schedule, especially DURING THE SEASON, to do that for a kid.
Let me add another example of what Jim Tressel has done. Recently a friend of mine, Joe Links, who played for Tressel's father Lee, at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea (just outside of Cleveland) was diagnosed with colon cancer. I can't imagine what that is like. Joe is a very intense Ohio State fan and his two kids, Greg and Gretchen both graduated from there.
I wrote to Coach Tressel to tell him about Joe and that I thought it would be a nice lift for Joe's spirits and those of his family if Coach Tressel were to send along a "get well" note. I also mentioned that I am a Michigan fan, but that I respect him and what he has done at Ohio State (I don't have to like it, but how can you not respect it?). Tressel remembered Joe and a week later, the letter arrived at the Links house in Hudson, (ahem) Michigan. Joe and his wife Barb were not only surprised, but touched by Coach Tressel's thoughtfulness.
So am I.
I see this guy with his sweater vest, dry answers to reporters' questions, constant beating of Michigan and I think, "Man, do I hate that guy!" Well, I hate that he keeps beating us. I hate that he basically called Michigan out on National TV the day Ohio State hired him (and then backed it up). I hate that his offensive play-calling keeps Michigan completely off balance. I hate that he successfully changes his coaching style and strategies based on the personnel he has. I HATE IT!!!
But I can't help but like WHO Jim Tressel is and WHAT he is as a person.
He sets himself aside for others. He lives by the "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelet he wears. Yep, Jim Tressel sure does aggravate me every Saturday when I cheer against Ohio State (no matter who they are playing - even in bowl games). But, I (and every Michigan fan with a working brain cell) would take him as our coach and the face of our football program in Ann Arbor in a heartbeat (and that is not a slight to the great coaches we have had there and who we have there today).
Jim Tressel is just a good man.
Thom Dartt Marietta, Georgia (Native of Toledo, Ohio)
Gentry Equipment Came from Fitness Quest
December 13, 2007 9:45 am EST
According to Reporter Todd Porter of the Canton Repository, the story that has been circulating all over the web, about Coach Tressel buying equipment for Tyson Gentry is not true. At Buckeye 50, as we want to provide the most accurate news as part of our site's coverage, we want you to hear the whole story. Especially when what we originally posted is not correct. Although we certainly believe that the type of person Tressel is is consistent with the story, it appears the details of the news item are not real. You, our loyal readers, need to hear the real truth. Thanks for your continued support of Buckeye 50. - Gregg
The product that Gentry uses is the BioForce, a strength-training machine that uses resistance force instead of weights. It allows Gentry to change the amount of weight he is lifting simply by moving a resistor. An e-mail nearing urban legend proportion that is circulating the Internet has given Gentry’s story a life of its own. That version has Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel buying Gentry a $6,000 machine. Never happened. It also has the machine in Gentry’s apartment. Again, Gentry said, not true.
“Pretty much everything in that e-mail that’s going around isn’t true. The only thing that’s true is I’m from Perkins,” Gentry said. “I don’t know where it came from or why, but it’s a little irritating.”
Tressel said he did talk to Gentry about the machine, and asked Ohio State's conditioning coach if he knew the company that made the machine and if it were possible to get one. He also looked into NCAA compliance issues about helping Gentry get one of the machines when the company replied to an inquiry from the conditioning coach and provided one of the machines to Gentry.
Tressel did mention to OSU football strength and conditioning coach Eric Lichter that Gentry enjoyed using the BioForce. Lichter starred in an infomercial for the machine prior to his hiring at Ohio State. He also has a previous working relationship with Fitness Quest. Spinner said Lichter contacted the company and inquired about the machine. Upon hearing Gentry’s story, Spinner said the company used its community fund to purchase the $1,000 machine and sent it to Columbus in October.
Gentry, 22, who has more than a year left to complete his degree, can remove the seat to the BioForce and use the machine from his wheelchair. He also is undergoing therapy at the Ohio State University’s Medical Center and as part of a study conducted through the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation.
Gentry still attends practices and meetings. He is planning to travel to New Orleans to watch his teammates play in the BCS National Championship game Jan. 7 against LSU. He has regained some movement in his arms, and sensation has returned all over his body.
“The sensation and feeling ... that gives me real hope that one day I will walk away from this,” Gentry said.
You can reach Repository sports writer Todd Porter at (330) 580-8340 or e-mail: todd.porter@cantonrep
Tressel Donates Fitness Equipment for Gentry
December 5, 2007 10:45 pm EST
..... submitted from one of our web site readers
Here is a story for your OSU friends.....
My brother is friends with Tyson Gentry and his family. When he came up to Columbus a couple of weeks ago he spent an afternoon with them and came away with the following story:
Gentry works out (rehabs) at the OSU football facility and on one machine in particular he spends a lot of time. About a month ago Tressel is walking through the room and stops by to say hello. Real small talk type of stuff, generic in fashion but pointed toward Gentry.
One of the last things Tressel asks is about the rehab, etc... and Gentry mentions things are going well. Tressel asks about some of the exercises that Gentry does and Gentry mentions that the machine he is presently on seems to do the best for him and that he uses it whenever it is available. Apparently it is a popular machine to use in the facility.
After a couple of more minutes of talk, Tressel leaves and that's it. However, the following week Gentry goes to the doctor's office for a visit, etc.. comes back home and in his garage is a brand new-version of that machine. Paid for ($6,000) by Tressel himself with a note that says "you'll never have to wait in line to use it again."