“Buckeye Bebe” Weighs In On Coach Tressel

Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel has no bigger fan than Bebe Webner — aka “Buckeye Bebe.” She writes him regularly, is on his Christmas card list, and even suggested a play that Ohio State used to beat Michigan.

Buckeye Bebe

With everyone in Ohio talking about Coach Tressel’s NCAA violation, it was not surprising that the Akron Beacon Journal would ask Aunt Bebe for her thoughts.  Her comments are reported here.  Characteristically, she has written to Coach Tressel telling him to hang in there and to remind him that he has a lot of supporters.

I think if you read between the lines, however, you will see that Aunt Bebe feels the same two reactions that I’ve seen from virtually every Ohio State fan I’ve encountered — surprise and disappointment.  We who have been impressed and pleased by the quality of Jim Tressel’s stewardship of the Ohio State program are surprised at the poor judgment he showed on this occasion, and we are disappointed because we hold the University and all of its representatives to high standards — high standards that Coach Tressel willingly shouldered.  People who aren’t from Ohio and who view Ohio State as a mindless football factory might scoff at this, but Ohioans know that it is true.  We are proud of The Ohio State University and want it to stand for quality, fairness, and scrupulous compliance with the rules.

That doesn’t mean people won’t forgive Coach Tressel for this transgression.  He’s done too much good for the University, for countless charities, and for the hundreds of student athletes he has coached to let one mistake ruin his legacy — but there is no doubt that his legacy has been tarnished by this incident.  That is why this has been such a sad period for Ohio State fans.

1 thought on ““Buckeye Bebe” Weighs In On Coach Tressel

  1. Tressel is a lucky man to have “Buckeye Bebe” watching his back.
    I know, because she’s had mine for nearly 70 years. And don’t write her off as an emotional old woman, she’s as tough as they come. Bebe has always expected the best from those around her and is disappointed when we falter, but she recognizes the human condition and knows that sometimes we err. She’ll expect Tressel (as she does the rest of us) to take his punishment for his poor judgment, but she will have his back and she will defend him for all of the good things he has done for the young people he has coached and the communities he has lived in over the course of his lifetime.

    Believe me; Tressel could do a lot worse than to have Bebe as a surrogate mother. My guess is that his own mother was much like Bebe. No doubt she held the same values and would be disappointed that Jim made an error in judgment, would expect some punishment to handed out and would have stood behind him (“had his back”) throughout.

    Those of us fortunate enough to have had Bebe as an influence in our lifetimes – a twisted ear here and a trouncing on the basketball court there – understand her loyalty to Tressel. We also recognize in her the remnants of a time when loyalty and watching someone’s back – not stabbing it – was ingrained in young people. All could do well by listening to Buckeye Bebe and what her “concerns” for Jim Tressel imply.

    Uncle Mack

    Like

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