After the Jim Tressel/Ohio State news Thursday night, I'll split the links into two categories.
Tressel/Ohio State reaction
SI.com's Andy Staples: "Thursday's move by Tressel can only help. The COI hammered USC in the Reggie Bush case in part because of the arrogance of USC athletics officials during the investigation. Instead of contrition, former USC athletic director Mike Garrett and company gave the NCAA nothing. In Ohio State's case, NCAA officials have to be furious about Tressel's actions because the NCAA cut a sweetheart deal with the Buckeyes that allowed the affected players to play in the Sugar Bowl. This at least gives the appearance of contrition, and on it's surface, it's a fairly serious upgrade in discipline."
The Sporting News' Dave Curtis: "If Tressel wanted to show true remorse, he'd do more than remove himself from calling another dive play on second-and-8. He'd take himself out of recruiting, or stay away from practices as well as games. Or he'd resign to take a position higher in the university's administration, where he could continue to make a positive impact on OSU without staining its football program any more. But let's say that missing games is the most painful sanction the coach could receive. A problem remains: Tressel equating his suspension with that of his players implies that their crimes were equal, too."
The Columbus Dispatch's Bob Hunter: "As this has played out, it has become clear to me that more and more of the public has developed the same kind of inner skeptic that I have, that this public-relations-conscious, marketing-driven world we live in has also taught them to examine every story for the hidden spin. Did the coach ask for a bigger suspension to share the blame equally with his players? I honestly have no idea. But I do know that some people, maybe even a lot of people, won’t buy it. The days when you could spin a negative into a positive and expect universal acceptance are long gone."
CBSsports.com's Dennis Dodd: "If you think these actions, in any way, mitigate the NCAA spanking awaiting Ohio State and Tressel, you've been smoking Brutus Buckeye's socks. In this game of Who Wants To Believe A Millionaire, the Ol' Stall Coach (at disclosing his e-mails) is running out of lifelines. This was not closure. The NCAA door on this investigation has barely opened. Think bigger, more damaging penalties. The NCAA might start at five games and scholarships, recruiting visits, maybe yank Tressel's PC. That eliminates any tough decisions on which e-mails to report. Thursday added to the layer of muck. Ohio State just admitted to the world they didn't go far enough when the coach was suspended for two games."
FoxSportsOhio.com's Bruce Hooley: "The outlook isn’t good for the Buckeyes having 2011 championship rings to sell if recent NCAA penalties for repeat violators is the standard. According to the NCAA web site, Ohio State seems a clear repeat violator. Its clock for that characterization started on March 10, 2006 when the NCAA levied penalties for violations involving former basketball coach Jim O’Brien and former player Boban Savovic."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises: "Ohio State should have made this Tressel's self-imposed penalty from the start. It hurts their cause that it took this long to stiffen what seemed absurdly light last Tuesday. But better late than never. None of us can get inside the heads of the people involved in these violations, though we've all spent a lot of time trying, beginning with why the six players involved sold memorabilia or took discounted tattoos in the first place. Helping their families? Really didn't know the rules? Just trying to make a quick buck? They know, we don't. Doesn't matter. You can't do that stuff. It's an NCAA violation."
Other Big Ten links
Three Big Ten programs (Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin) appear in colleague Bruce Feldman's list of top football-basketball coaching tandems.
Nebraska safety P.J. Smith hopes to reclaim his starting job, Brian Christopherson writes in the Lincoln Journal Star.
The countdown clocks are ticking in Ann Arbor for the Michigan State and Ohio State games.
Penn State receiver Curtis Drake is back to full strength as spring ball begins, Bernard Fernandez writes in the Philadelphia Daily News.
More on Michigan State's pro day from The Grand Rapids Press' Greg Johnson.
The late Floyd Grow was much more than an equipment manager during a lengthy career at Indiana, Lynn Houser writes in The (Bloomington) Herald-Times.
Illinois' Corey Liuget has zoomed up the draft boards, Jim Thomas writes in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Former Iowa star Brad Banks has won the starting quarterback job for the AFL's Iowa Barnstormers, Sean Keeler writes in the Des Moines Register.
Wisconsin commit Dan Voltz might be the best offensive lineman produced by the factory that is Barrington High School, Tom Mulhern writes in the Wisconsin State Journal.