In the wake of last night's Yahoo! Sports report that Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel knew of players selling Buckeyes memorabilia as early as last April, the Columbus Dispatch's BuckeyeXtra blog reminds us of a new wrinkle: Apart from any sanctions the NCAA might choose to level at the football program if these allegations are proven, Tressel could lose his contract with the university just for the lie of omission. His current deal with the Buckeyes runs through the 2014 season, and highly subjective message-board chatter has had him pegged as a good bet for retirement once that contract runs out, but depending on how that shakes out, his departure date from Columbus could be abruptly bumped up:
If Tressel knew of the potential violations in April and did not act on or inform his superiors about it, he could be charged with NCAA violations including unethical conduct, failure to monitor and/or a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. As is standard for most coaches at major Division I schools, Tressel's contract can be terminated for failing to promptly report violations.
Note that there's very recent precedent for an NCAA head coach undergoing this indignity and continuing to serve: Tennessee's Bruce Pearl remains with the Volunteers basketball team despite having his own contract terminated, and is essentially an at-will employee of the university while the NCAA investigation into his program is going on. A contractual halt wouldn't necessarily finish Tressel at Ohio State, if it comes to that.
For more on the Buckeyes memorabilia scandal and for all your Ohio State athletics news and chatter, visit SB Nation's Along The Olentangy.