They also were beaten badly in the national championship game the following year, 38-24, by LSU.
Tressel's latest brush with NCAA violations was just too much — for him, for the university, for a program that prides itself on being somehow cleaner and better than others.
The author of two books about faith and integrity, he remains a scapegoat to many and a hypocrite to others. Even though he has many backers, a rising chorus of detractors had stepped forward during the ongoing NCAA investigation. There were also questions about his players and their friends and family members receiving special deals on more than 50 used cars from two Columbus dealers.
But at the same time, his image was that of an honest, religious man who never said or did anything without thinking it through first. His nickname was "The Senator" for never having a hair out of place, praising opponents and seldom giving a clear answer to even the simplest of questions.
Jim Tressel bio
Born: Dec. 5, 1952
ALMA MATER: Baldwin Wallace (1975).
PLAYING CAREER: Four-time varsity letterman (1971-74); all-conference as a senior.
COACHING CAREER: Graduate assistant, Akron, 1975; Quarterbacks, receivers and running backs coach, Akron, 1976-78; Quarterbacks and receivers coach, Miami (Ohio), 1979-80; Quarterbacks coach, Syracuse, 1981-82; Quarterbacks, receivers and running backs coach, Ohio State, 1983-85; Head coach, Youngstown State, 1986-2000 (135-57-2 record); Head coach, Ohio State, 2001-2011 (106-22).
OVERALL RECORD: 241-79-2.
ASSISTED UNDER: Jim Dennison (Akron); Tom Reed (Miami of Ohio); Dick MacPherson (Syracuse); Earle Bruce (Ohio State).
HIGHLIGHTS: Led Youngstown State to the 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1997 Division I-AA national championship. Led Ohio State to seven Big Ten Conference titles and to six bowl victories in 10 appearances, including a 5-3 record in BCS games. Won the 2002 national championship game with a double-overtime win over Miami. Had a 9-1 record against rival Michigan.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 1991, 1994 and 2002; Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2002; Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year in 2002; Paul Bear Bryant Award in 2002.
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