Is Jim Tressel a Serious Candidate at Tennessee?

By Patrick Schmidt

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart outlined the parameters for the next head coach of the Volunteers on Monday and is looking for someone with head coaching experience.

This declaration would eliminate top assistants, like Clemson’s offensive coordinator Chad Morris, Florida’s offensive wunderkind Brent Pease and Alabama’s veteran defensive coordinator Kirby Smart among others.

Rumors are floating that former head coaches Jon Gruden and Bobby Petrino are among those that intrigue Hart as he begins the coaching search.

However, one coach with a dazzling resume as a head coach that Tennessee should not touch is former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.

This may sound like a no-brainer considering the circumstances that led to Tressel’s exit from Ohio State that landed the program a bowl ban, among other NCAA sanctions involving Terrelle Pryor receiving improper benefits and the subsequent cover-up.

According to Matt Hayes of the Sporting News, “This is a very real possibility. He wants back in, and his NCAA show-cause sanctions aren’t the kind that will impact the program… The guy can flat out coach. He can recruit, he can build an elite staff, he knows what it takes to build a champion.”

Tressel has shown he can be a fine coach and has appeared in three BCS Championship Games, winning one, but the negative ramification associated with the hiring is exactly not what Tennessee needs.

The program can find a great coach with great character.

Hiring Tressel would alienate the program even more and would set the program back even further than Derek Dooley and Lane Kiffin.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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