COLUMBUS, Ohio-- Jim Tressel, who guided Ohio State to its first national title in 34 years, resigned Monday amid NCAA violations and mounting revelations that sullied the image of one of the country's top football programs.
"After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach," Tressel said in a statement released by the university. "The appreciation that (wife) Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable."
Luke Fickell will be the coach for the 2011 season. He already had been selected to be the interim head coach while Tressel served a five-game suspension.
Ohio State spokesman Jim Lynch said he was unaware of any buyout or severance package. He added that Tressel had returned from vacation Sunday night and met with athletic director Gene Smith, who then met with staff. Tressel typed his resignation and submitted it to Smith, he said.
Tressel's downfall came with public and media pressure mounting on Ohio State, its board of trustees, President E. Gordon Gee and Smith.
"We look forward to refocusing the football program on doing what we do best -- representing this extraordinary university and its values on the field, in the classroom, and in life," Smith said in a statement. "We look forward to supporting Luke Fickell in his role as our football coach. We have full confidence in his ability to lead our football program."
Tressel and Ohio State were to go before the NCAA's infractions committee Aug. 12 to answer questions about the player violations and why Tressel did not report them. For more than nine months, he denied knowledge of improper benefits to players until confronted by investigators with emails that showed he had known since April 2010.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." --- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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