If there is anything that mimics the closeness felt in a family, it is a football team. Only through close friendship, dedication and chasing after a mutual goal can a team achieve success. Only through loyalty to each other will players survive two-a-days and have the energy to make a goal line stand in the fourth quarter.
As USATODAY.com reports, Dick Tressel appeared in the team photo for the 11th straight season on Sunday, but it was the first such snapshot that did not include a blood relative wearing a sweater vest. Jim Tressel resigned on Memorial Day after it became known that he covered up transactions between a few of his players and tattoo artist Edward Rife. Luke Fickell was named the new head coach the following day.
But now Dick Tressel has to keep his mind on the field, even though his heart and heritage try to convince him otherwise. As the running backs coach, he is tasked with finding a temporary replacement for Dan Herron, who was among the players suspended for selling Buckeyes memorabilia.
The elder Tressel said his younger brother would never have wanted him to step down as assistant coach.
"If he thought I was going to jump out he would have said, 'Get your butt back in the boat, baby!' That's just how it is. I never gave him a chance to punch me. If he had wanted me to leave, I think he would have said, 'You've got to get out of this deal.' He didn't say that at all."
Dick Tressel also said he knew nothing of his brother's involvement with the tattoo situation. While they are brothers, in that setting Jim Tressel did not share everything with family. On the field, it was all business, even if football was a family business.
"Assistant coaches," he said, "might be as far out of the loop as anybody. I'm serious. There's no question, in that setting, Jim Tressel was the head football coach and I was an assistant football coach."
With the hustle and bustle of training camp, Dick Tressel said he has not had much contact with his brother. After all, it's football season, and the football family gets priority in August. Jim Tressel has shown signs of wanting to stay involved in coaching and with Ohio State, but he also knows this is no longer a team that he coaches.
"He knows we've got to do what we've got to do," Dick Tressel said. "He cares a lot about it, but not so much that he feels like he needs to put his fingers in it."
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