On Christmas Day, two sources that are very close to recruiting at prominent universities confirmed that Jim Tressel will not be able to continue as the head football coach at Ohio State University after the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas.
Ohio State was rocked by the suspensions of five key players, including top running back Dan "Boom" Herron and Heisman-hopeful quarterback Terrelle Pryor, for the first five games of the 2011 season earlier this week.
The sources indicated that Buckeye recruits have been informed that Tressel will not be back as coach, and have been allowed to look for other options.
Ohio State has one of the largest compliance departments in the country, yet they have reported 375 violations to the NCAA from 2000-2009, the most in the country.
Early in Tressel's tenure at OSU he had to deal with the Maurice Clarrett debacle, and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith was suspended for two games for accepting money from a booster. The latest violations are just another dark page in the recent history of the Buckeye program.
This is major news in the college football world, especially after the University of Miami made a coaching change immediately after the regular season. The thought that Tressel would be out of a job before Rich Rodriguez at Michigan is also astounding.
Where the Buckeyes go to find a replacement is anyone's guess.The number of professional jobs that could come available in early January could cloud the hiring process in Columbus.
UPDATE: I have read comments from Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith on Saturday afternoon. I am also well aware that Ohio State fans and alumni don't like me; the thousands of personal attacks and taunts on Twitter made that perfectly clear.
However, the sources that provided me with this information were clear with their comments, and I am comfortable sticking with what I have been told. If I was wrong, I will publish a strong statement to that effect in the future.