August 05, 2011
The "Free Tressel" movement among Ohio State players has ended almost as quickly as it began.
Not out of spite for Jim Tressel, mind you. It was more of a cautionary measure: The players had not run the wristbands by Ohio State's NCAA compliance office before pictures started showing up across the web earlier this week, sparking fears that wearing them might violate rules against players' promoting items for sale.
Players bought the wristbands for $15 each from an unnamed individual within the program. They were returned and the money was refunded.
Tressel resigned on May 30 for covering up major NCAA violations involving players trading memorabilia for tattoos and other benefits, including cash, a move the university hopes will deflect harsher penalties from the NCAA's Committee on Infractions. Meanwhile, the wristbands are a symptom of Tressel's growing status as something of a martyr on campus, while much of the blame for Ohio State's NCAA troubles shifts instead to former quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Pryor left school in June and is preparing for the NFL's supplemental draft. So far, no Buckeyes have shown up with a wristband — or a tattoo — in support of their former QB.
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Graham Watson is on Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham.