On Friday, Colts coach Jim Caldwell said that former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel had been hired to assist on game days with the question of whether calls made on the field by officials will be challenged. A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the move was made without the approval of the league office, and that the league office must approve the hire before it becomes final.
Per the source, Commissioner Roger Goodell will take a hard look at the situation, reviewing all relevant facts and circumstances, to determine whether Tressel should be able to do what former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor wasn’t permitted to do — immediately join the NFL for the start of the 2011 regular season.
It’s not a question of “if” the league will allow Tressel to work for the Colts, but “when.” Pryor will miss the first five games of his rookie regular season due to issues regarding the manner in which he became eligible for the supplemental draft. Though the league has been careful not to call the move a suspension, the decision to defer Pryor’s eligibility by five games matches the suspension imposed by the NCAA, causing many to conclude that the NFL has decided to assist the NCAA with the enforcement of its own rules.
In Tressel’s case, the league faces a tricky decision. Notions of fairness and consistency require the league to treat Tressel, who resigned from Ohio State under duress after admitting that he failed to share with the NCAA information regarding activities that jeopardized the eligibility of Pryor and other players, the same way that it treated Pryor. By delaying Tressel’s entry to the NFL, the league would be bolstering the perception that overt favors are now being done for the curators of the free farm system.
The question doesn’t become relevant until the Colts submit Tressel’s contract for approval by the league office. It hasn’t happened yet. Once it does, Tressel’s fate will be in the Commissioner’s hands.
Until then, cast your vote as to whether Tressel should get the same treatment as Terrelle.