Home > WSJ: Jim Tressel is a Republican

WSJ: Jim Tressel is a Republican

September 4, 2009 at 3:57 pm Matt Leave a comment Go to comments

I knew that, just like Woody Hayes, who had his eulogy delivered by his friend Richard Nixon, Jim Tressel is a conservative guy. You might be able to tell his politics just by the way he organizes the Buckeye’s offense, which is the one place where its possible to be TOO conservative.

From The Wall Street Journal:

American politics are rich with characters and stereotypes—Joe the Plumber, Harry and Louise, Nascar dads and hockey moms, to name a few. But one persistent type hasn’t gotten much attention: the Republican football coach.

During the 2008 campaign cycle, college and NFL head coaches (and their wives) contributed a total of $13,286 to John McCain and the Republican National Committee. From that same group, Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee received just $4,600—half of it from Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears and the other half from San Jose State’s Dick Tomey.

In all, 20 coaches active in the 2008 season gave to Republican candidates seeking federal office. Three donated to Democrats. This disparity is even more striking given that, among the individual donors in the ‘08 campaign cycle, Mr. Obama outraised Mr. McCain by more than a 5-to-1 margin.[..]

Still, could it be that football coaches, just by the nature of the job, are more comfortable on the right end of the political spectrum?

“I’d say that sounds likely—very likely,” said Bobby Bowden, the longtime Florida State coach and an outspoken Republican.

Mr. Bowden, a 79-year-old native Alabaman, describes himself as a lifelong conservative who—like many white Southerners of his generation—migrated from the Democratic Party to the GOP a few decades ago. There is, he says, a natural connection between his political and coaching philosophies.

“In coaching, you’ve got to have more discipline and you’ve got to be more strict and just conservative, I think. It fits with the Republicans,” he said.

Mr. Holtz, who coached Notre Dame to its last national championship in 1988, draws a parallel between the standards and rules that most coaches set for their players and the Republican vision of how American society ought to operate.

“You aren’t entitled to anything. You don’t inherit anything. You get what you earn—your position on the team,” Mr. Holtz said. “You’re treated like everybody else. You’re held accountable for your actions. You understand that your decisions affect other people on that team…There’s winners, there’s losers, and there’s competitiveness.”[...]

Some coaches keep quiet about politics to avoid alienating boosters and other higher-ups.

This is what led Jim Tressel, Ohio State’s head coach, to declare last fall that, “When it comes to political endorsements about candidates, it’s out of bounds.”

But while he was publicly mum about the ‘08 election, Mr. Tressel did do some talking with his bank account—cutting a $1,000 check to the Republican National Committee a month before Election Day.

I’m still sore that Jim would stand next to adulterous Mayor Mike Coleman & Gordon Gee in a TV ad for higher taxes in Columbus. But that might of have less to do with principles and more to do with OSU knowing who controls the purse strings for various campus-area infrastructure improvements.

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