Will Jim Tressel Have Any Say In The University of Akron’s Football Program?

Jim Tressel surrounded by media members.

After being forced to resign last May due to a cash-for-tattoos scandal at Ohio State that destroyed the football powerhouse, former Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel was introduced Thursday as Akron’s new vice president of strategic engagement, a position created just for him.

Now this isn’t Tressel’s first time at Akron University as he worked as an undergraduate assistant for the Zips in 1975 until eventually being promoted to an assistant for the Zips and then moving onto the University of Miami Ohio in 1979.

“I feel fortunate that I got this opportunity,” Tressel said “It’s going to be a fun one.”

Tressel stressed during the press conference that he’s not going to be doing any type of coaching of that sort as he emphasized that his days were done…at least for now. However that doesn’t mean that he won’t be involved with students as he’ll work with Akron’s current and future students, alumni and community organizations on a various issues.

Though this position of vice president of strategic engagement, which was created just for him seems a little fishy, as even though he claims that he won’t help the football program in anyway, one could just not believe that as he was the one who helped the program find their head coach this off-season.

“The first thing I’ve got to do is listen and learn,” said Tressel. “I’m just on the team.”

However despite speculations surrounding the hire of Jim Tressel to the Akron staff, NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn confirmed Tressel will not be allowed to have contact with recruits if he is not a “countable coach.”

The NCAA would also add that Tressel cannot engage in coaching duties for the first five weeks at a new institution and in the postseason.

Though like every thing in life there’s always another way around it, a “loophole” and the University of Akron found one. What the NCAA didn’t say and cannot say was that Tressel can’t have talks with the players, coaches, and other athletes.

Which would mean that he could have contact with recruits however, only when they’re visiting the campus. Continuing with that, Tressel is allowed to have contact with coaches or current athletes, or he’s even allowed to attend football practices or provide advice on how to improve the program.

So Tressel may say that he’s not ready to coach again, but trust me he is. Now I’m not saying that he’s going to be the head coach or that Bowden won’t have a say but, I mean, Vice President of Strategic Engagement? A position that they created for him, of course he’s going to help out the football team. Matter of fact he already did; he got them a new head coach in Terry Bowden, he got them worldwide attention with his addition to the University staff, and most importantly he just put the University of Akron on the map.

“I don’t really have any interest in coaching in the NFL,” Tressel said. “The commitment I’ve made to any place I’ve gone is that I was going to work every day like I was going to be there forever. I’ll be coaching students every day. I’m an educator. I’m going to work as if this is the last place I’m ever going to work. I’m excited about being a Zip.”

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