Response to Media Review of Jim Tressel’s Request for Increased Suspension

ESPN’s Ivan Maisel wrote a commentary critiquing Jim Tressel’s request to increase his suspension from two games to five in order to match the punishment given to his players.  As a reminder, the players improperly received benefits and Tressel did not disclose this information to the NCAA when he became aware of it.  And just to be clear, Jim Tressel did NOT get a tattoo or any other items in exchange for selling bowl rings or other Ohio State memorabilia.  He is simply trying to show solidarity by choosing to have a five game suspension along with his players.  However, Maisel forcefully points out that these are certainly not equal suspensions because Tressel’s value as a head coach will still be utilized in the preparation of the game during the week.  He further brings home the obvious point that the role of coach is different from that of player.  In the end Maisel takes 600 words too many to say that this five game suspension for Tressel is not as significant as it seems or in any way the same as losing Terrell Pryor for five games.  To express his point, he uses a line from the 1970 film “Patton” in which Gen. George S. Patton was disappointed to learn that his victory against Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at El Guettar was actually against a “second-stringer” because Rommel wasn’t actually present at the battle.  His aide responded that “[Rommel] undoubtedly planned the German battle. If you defeat Rommel’s plan, you’ve defeated Rommel. Isn’t that true?” Although his aide (or rather, his ego), permitted him to console himself with this rationalization, I think Patton was correct in his original assessment.  If Rommel had been there to execute his plan and perhaps make halftime adjustments, Patton may not have won the battle.  No disrespect intended for the aide, but I think Patton’s view is the more significant and correct one.