The Indianapolis Colts have decided to suspend the employment of new gameday consultant and former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel for the first six games of the regular season.
The move is an obvious response to the league's decision to suspend ex-OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor the first five games of the regular season as a condition of his entry into the league's 2011 supplemental draft.
According to Colts president Bill Polian, the idea to serve the suspension was Tressel's, after consultation with the NFL and team officials. And while the Colts term the move as beginning Tressel's employment later in the season, it is a suspension on its face, and in reality.
Polian released this statement:
"After the announcement of Coach Jim Tressel's agreement to join the Colts as a game day consultant, questions were raised with respect to the equity of his appointment as opposed to suspensions being served this season by present and former Ohio State players.
"Over the weekend Coach Tressel, Mr. Irsay, Coach Caldwell and I had a discussion of the issue. In addition, we had a conversation with league officials to apprise them of the details of Coach Tressel's employment and the issues we were reviewing.
"At Coach Tressel's suggestion, and with Mr. Irsay's concurrence and support, we have decided to begin Coach Tressel's employment effective with our seventh regular season game. We have informed the league office of our decision and expect that they will be supportive of it.
"We are very happy Coach Tressel will be joining us."
Pryor was one of several Ohio State players suspended five games after an impermissible benefits scandal rocked the school. After it was discovered that Tressel lied to the NCAA about his knowledge in those matters, the school suspended him two games and fined Tressel $250,000. Tressel later requested that his suspension be extended to mirror those of his players, but eventually, both Pryor and Tressel left the school and explored their options in the NFL.
Pryor was selected in the third round of the supplemental draft by the Oakland Raiders, and will serve his suspension through Week 5 of the NFL season. Tressel, who was hired by the Colts to serve as a replay consultant, will not begin work with the team until Week 7.
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