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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Hazell supports Tressel in crisis

By Marla Published: March 9, 2011

New Kent State football coach Darrell Hazell said he exchanged texts with his former boss, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel Tuesday night.

That was presumably after Ohio State's 7 p.m. press conference in which the university announced it will suspend Tressel for two games in 2011 and fine him $250,000 for not notifying the compliance office of NCAA rules violations by his players when he learned of them in April, 2010. Tressel received two e-mails from an unnamed attorney that warned him that players were selling jerseys and memorabilia to the owner of a Columbus tattoo parlor who was also under federal investigation for drug trafficking. Five players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron and receiver DeVier Posey, were suspended by the NCAA for five games next season and a sixth for one game, but were allowed to play in OSU's Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas.

Attending Kent State's pro day Wednesday at the school's athletic fieldhouse, Hazell didn't want to say much about the situation, which occurred when he was the Buckeyes' assistant head coach and receivers coach.

Asked if he was disappointed in Tressel, Hazell said, "Am I disappointed? Disappointed is probably not the right word. He's a great man. He's a great man.''

When it was suggested that the scandal will greatly hurt Tressel's reputation, Hazell said, "I don't know. The thing about it, sometimes the public gets 10 percent of the information and runs with it. If I gave you 10 percent of the information for a math test, how well do you think you would do?

"He's a great individual who helps a lot of people.''

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