FORT MYERS, Fl. - Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has resigned, confirmed by university sources.
President E. Gordon Gee sent a memo to OSU trustees Monday morning:
"I write to let you know that later this morning we will be announcing the resignation of Jim Tressel as head coach of the University's football program. As you all know, I appointed a special committee to analyze and provide advice to me regarding issues attendant to our football program. In consultation with the senior leadership of the University and the senior leadership of the Board, I have been actively reviewing the matter and have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation."
The resignation comes amid a pending NCAA disciplinary hearing revolving around multiple OSU football scandals.
Several southwest Florida high school football players have agreed to attend OSU based, primarily, on playing for coach Tressel.
"In the little bit of time i did spend with him, in the recruiting process with Jeff Heuerman, he does care about those kids," said Mark Ivey, head coach for Barron Collier High School and TE Jeff Heuerman, who agreed to play for OSU in 2010. "That's not the only reason he was going there - it is one of the reasons obviously."
Tressel had already been suspended for five games in 2011.
Assistant coach Luke Fickell will serve as interim coach for next season.
The AP acquired a copy of the text of Jim Tressel's resignation letter tendered on Monday to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith:
After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach.
The recent situation has been a distraction for our great university and I make this decision for the greater good of our school.
The appreciation that (wife) Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable. We have been blessed to work with the finest group of young men in America and we love them dearly. In addition, we cannot thank you enough. ... the high school coaches we have worked with over these many years.
We know that God has a plan for us and we will be fine. We will be Buckeyes forever.