Did Jim Tressel Extort the Buckeye 5?

For Ohio State, January 4th can't get here soon enough. It began with the story that five players were suspended for receiving extra benefits, followed by an NCAA eligibility ruling that raised many an eyebrow. Then yesterday, a report surfaced that Sugar Bowl officials lobbied Ohio State and the NCAA to make players eligible for the bowl game.

Today, came this tweet from Adam Jardy of Buckeye Sports Bulletin:

According to a report from the Columbus Dispatch, Tressel told the quintet that they "have to make any decision based on the future and (leaving early for the) NFL prior to us leaving for our bowl game." He added that it would be unfair for any of the group to play in the game, then head for the NFL.

But it's fair to hold their decision hostage? If you're going to punish the players, then punish them...and recognize that sometimes doing the right thing means hurting your team in the process.

Mind you, there's nothing stopping the players from filing their NFL draft paperwork immediately after the bowl game. Considering how this latest incident has shown how blatantly they're being used as revenue streams for their university and bowl organizers, I wouldn't blame them if they did just that. Then again, we all know how vindictive Ohio sports fans can be when they feel wronged

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