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What will become of former OSU coach, Jim Tressel?

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While Ohio State awaits judgment day for their football program, Jim Tressel is jobless for the first time in 36 years.  As of now, Tressel owns many pieces of jewelry from his many achievements at Ohio State, (that he can sell) including one national championship ring and seven Big Ten championship rings. It is yet to be determined where Tressel will end up.  Three collegiate head coaches, whose teams were involved with serious NCAA punishments, yet are still coaching on a big stage, should give Tressel some optimism.

John Calipari
Calipari has left an imprint in every place he coached, only to see his achievements dissolve into dust.  In his first job as head coach at UMass, he reached the peak in his eighth year at the helm, by leading the Minuteman to the Final Four in 1996. After the remarkable season, he left for the New Jersey Nets.  About a year later,the NCAA discovered UMass player, Marcus Camby accepted money and gifts from agents. Thereafter  UMass’ Final Four run was erased from the record books.  After being fired after three years with the Nets, he took over the coaching reigns at Memphis, where he coached for nine years.  Again, his biggest accomplishment of his tenure, which was reaching the national championship was erased.  Memphis player, Derrick Rose allowed someone to alter a grade in one of his classes before he sent it out to KentuckyCalipari has not been linked to any of the rules that were broken by his players, but the fact that he is the only coach to have two Final Fours vacated is alarming.

Despite the allegations that surround him, he continues to be rewarded.  Two years after reaching the championship with Memphis, he accepted a job as the next coach of basketball power, University of Kentucky.  In his first year, he had the best recruiting class in the nation.  The class drew Fab Five comparisons, but they did not reach their expectations.  They lost in the Elite Eight.  However, in Calipari’s second year, his team surprised many by making it to the Final Four.  Currently, Kentucky is facing scrutiny over celebrating Calipari’s 500th win in February.  They counted victories that were dismissed by the NCAA for violations.

Pete Carroll
After spending 23 years moving up the coaching ranks, Carroll accepted the role as the New England Patriots head coach in 1997.  He had a 27-21 record in his three years with the Patriots, but that wasn’t enough, since the Patriots won the Super Bowl with Bill Parcells a year before he stepped in as head coach.  After a year off, he filled USC’s head-coaching vacancy.  In his nine seasons at USC, he led the Trojans to a national championship and seven Pac-10 championships.  After all was said and done, he took the same path John Calipari often takes, by getting off the station right before the train goes off the tracks.  USC is now facing a two-year postseason ban, loss of scholarships, and their 2004-05 BCS Championship was stripped.

In Carroll’s first year back in the NFL as head coach, he guided the Seahawks to a 7-9 record in the regular season.  Despite backing into the playoffs, he led the Seahawks in an upset over of the defending-champion Saints in the wild-card, but they could not get past the Bears in the next round.

Steve Fisher
Fisher took over the helm as Michigan’s basketball coach at the start of the NCAA tournament in 1989.  Michigan Athletic director, Bo Schembechler wanted only Michigan Men to coach Michigan.  Therefore, after it was discovered that Michigan coach, Bill Frieder would coach at Arizona State the next season, he was fired. Fisher then led Michigan to their only national championship.  In 1991, he signed the best recruiting class in the nation, known as the Fab Five.  With the Fab Five, Fisher led Michigan to the national championship twice.  After all was said and done, every banner that showcased Fisher’s achievements were taken off the rafters at Crisler Arena, except the national championship in 1989.  It was discovered that Michigan booster, Ed Martin gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to four Michigan basketball player.  Michigan banned itself from the postseason for one year and scholarships were taken away.

In 1999, Fisher became the head coach of the San Diego Aztecs.  Obviously the start of his career was not going to be as easy as the start at Michigan.  The Aztecs record in his first season was 5-23.  After many early exits in the NIT and NCAA Tournament, the 2010-11 season delivered positive publicity for Fisher.  The Aztecs clinched a two-seed in the NCAA Tournament and their journey ended in the Sweet 16.

Follow Agora sports writer Jeff Papworth on Twitter. 


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