Tressel Appears to Want YSU Job, Hagan Reports
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees is likely to appoint an interim president Wednesday and it will not be Jim Tressel, multiple sources confirm. And should Tressel become YSU’s ninth president, it would occur after he goes through the formal search process.
A special meeting of the board takes place at 5 p.m. tomorrow. Should an interim president be appointed, most likely he or she would be someone already employed by YSU, sources say.
Within days of Randy J. Dunn announcing his resignation as YSU president, U.S Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, and a long list of community and business leaders endorsed Tressel (READ STORY). Trumbull County commissioners followed suit and so did Democrats who represent the region in Ohio Legislature.
Last night, state Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown, spoke with Tressel, who was in the audience when Gov. John R. Kasich delivered his state of the state address to the Ohio Legislature convening in Medina.
‘[State Rep.] Nick Barborak [D-Lisbon) and I talked to him, stopped him, shook his hand, and told him that the local legislative state delegation had endorsed him [for YSU president],” Hagan tells The Business Journal.
“We said that we are encouraging the board of trustees to consider you, and he replied, ‘Thank you,’ but said there's a process that has to be adhered to, a process that has to be done.”
Hagan says the good news is that Tressell “did not dissuade us or dismiss us. I got the feeling that he did not want to be part of a coronation, but rather go to through the process.”
The Business Journal has spoken to others close to the situation who confirm Hagan’s assessment -- Tressel is likely to apply for the position. He currently serves as executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron.
Meanwhile, circulating among those who oppose Tressel’s selection is an article published by Sports Illustrated in its June 6, 2011, edition. The article is titled “SI investigation reveals eight-year pattern of violations under Tressel.”
The story, published in wake of the scandal at Ohio State University that cost Tressel his job as head coach there, delves into his time at the helm of YSU’s football program (CLICK TO READ).
“There was a seamy underside to the Penguins’ success,” the story states, recounting how former Phar-Mor President Mickey Monus, then a YSU trustee, allegedly gave quarterback Ray Isaac a car and a phantom job.
Isaac was later convicted of jury tampering when the first federal fraud prosecution of Monus ended in a hung jury.
Monus subsequently was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in 1995.
The NCAA infractions are not germane to those who are lobbying for Tressel.
Said Hagan, “I’m looking for anything that’s positive to lead the university forward, someone who can raise money and has the charisma to do all of the above,” he said.
“Academicians I know and have to talked to have said the same thing,” Hagan says. “It’s important to bring in someone home-grown who can lead YSU as a champion academically as Tressel did athletically.”
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