Now that Jim Tressel is now officially a Zip, I guess I should feel vindicated.
Without going into a long explanation; back in November I got information from an source saying that Akron was in talks with Tressel.
Well at the time of reporting this, I was an intern in Akron’s athletic department. My boss at the time decided I had to be fired because they were “uncomfortable with me continuing to work here”.
My boss, Gregg Bach, Akron’s football sports information director, who had always treated me well , until this situation came up, even sent me a text message about this at first, telling me that my source “was as wrong as wrong can be”. I would say he over reacted and lied to my face.
So now Tressel will be the Vice President of Strategic Engagement with Akron, it looks like my source was right and I was right.
Upon my firing Bach told me that it was a conflict of interest and that might be true. However, I wrote a story about Akron’s soccer team "Only in Akron Soccer are ridiculous expectations possible" back in the middle of November, and no one in the athletic department considered that a “conflict of interest.”
The legendary Bob Dyer of the Akron Beacon Journal even decided to email me (and print those emails in a column without my permission, which is technically illegal) about my original report in November. He decided to rip me in his great column after everyone told me I was wrong.
(And I know Akron is saying his role isn’t athletics?) Do you really believe that he isn’t going to help them in that role at all? He had A LOT to do with why Terry Bowden was hired. Akron will obviously say it’s not an athletics related role because of the potential of punishment from the NCAA.
Whatever his role he was still hired by Akron, and the department admitted that they had been in talks about this for a while.
Maybe sometime around the end of November? Sound familiar?
Gregg Bach told me that my source was as “wrong as wrong can be” and after I was fired, his boss told me he hoped I “learned my lesson”.
Well my source was correct. I stood by them and they stood by me. Tim and other members of the Cleveland media, except for the legendary Bob Dyer stood by me. Akronsportsnow.com Mike Reynolds stood behind me, and even asked me to write for him after this incident.
I want to thank everyone from Tim to Mike, Bruce Hooley of 850 WKNR and my sources at Akron, as well as many other friends.
Congrats on becoming a Zip once again Tressel. As a student who still supports all of Akron sports, I hope you do wonderful things to restore some pride here, especially the football team, because they need it. But be careful who you trust, although they’ll probably treat you a little better than they treated me because I was looked on as a nobody, fired for reporting something, being called a liar by them, ripped Bob Dyer and some other readers.
Despite all this, I still support all of the Zips, maybe not specific members of their athletic department, but I am still a fan. And as it turns out, my source and I ended up being right. I feel vindicated in a respect. But thanks to those people who called me a liar and ripped me, I will never feel completely right about everything that happened.
So to Akron’s athletic department, yeah I learned my lesson: If you trust your source don’t be afraid to run a story. I was able to learn that a lot of people think highly of me and stood by me and came to my defense.
email@example.com or follow Justin on Twitter @SentinelCle_JLA