NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ohio State University’s Jim Tressel, one of the top college football coaches, has quit in the continuing fallout from payment violations that led to suspensions for five of his players.
“After meeting with university officials we agreed it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign,” said Tressel, who had also been fined $250,000 by the university, in a statement on Monday.
In 2002, the coach led the Buckeyes to their first national title in 34 years.
Five players on his 12-1 team in 2010, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, traded memorabilia including championship rings and uniforms for cash in violation of strict rules governing college sports.
Tressel, who was informed of the violations months before the case became publicly known and did not advise university officials, had been handed a five-game suspension for the start of next season to match the punishment of the players.
Assistant coach Luke Fickell, who was already due to fill in for Tressel during his suspension, will take over as interim coach next season.
Writing by Larry Fine, editing by Tony Jimenez