Any controversy over a potential suspension from the NFL regarding the Indianapolis Colts' hiring of ex-Ohio State coach Jim Tressel can apparently be put to rest.
Citing concerns over fairness to current and former Buckeyes players, the team announced Monday that Tressel's employment as a game-day consultant won't begin until the team's seventh regular-season game.
"After the announcement of coach Jim Tressel's agreement to join the Colts as a game day consultant, questions were raised with respect to the equity of his appointment as opposed to suspensions being served this season by present and former Ohio State players ..." Colts vice chairman Bill Polian said in a statement. "At Coach Tressel's suggestion, and with Mr. (Jim) Irsay's concurrence and support, we have decided to begin Coach Tressel's employment effective with our seventh regular season game.
"We have informed the league office of our decision and expect that they will be supportive of it. We are very happy Coach Tressel will be joining us."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello issued a statement on Twitter indicating the league is satisfied with the Colts' decision.
Tressel resigned as Ohio State's coach on May 30 amid a damaging NCAA scandal. Five of Ohio State's top players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were suspended in December for the first five games of the 2011 season for accepting cash and tattoos from the owner of a local tattoo parlor, where dozens of autographed items were discovered.
The NFL suspended Pryor for five games before August's supplemental draft in which he was taken in the third round by the Oakland Raiders. Pryor's suspension and Tressel's subsequent employment with the Colts ignited speculation about Tressel's status.
Tressel's job with the Colts is as a replay consultant. Caldwell said Tressel will be limited exclusively to working from the coaches' booth.