If the Indianapolis Colts hadn't delayed Jim Tressel's start date, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that he would have suspended the former Ohio State coach.
Citing concerns over fairness to current and former Buckeyes players, the Colts announced Monday that Tressel's employment as a game-day consultant won't begin until the team's seventh regular-season game.
"I support that decision. I think that's a wise one," Goodell said during an interview with ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning."
"I think it was clear that if they didn't take an appropriate action, I would have taken appropriate action," Goodell said.
Tressel left Ohio State after an investigation revealed a pattern of improper benefits given to Buckeyes players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, whom the Oakland Raiders recently selected in the NFL's supplemental draft. The NFL suspended Pryor for the season's first five games, a ruling he said he will appeal.
Goodell also elaborated on if he believes it's the league's responsibility to enforce NCAA rules.
"The NCAA has to establish their own rules and enforce their own rules," Goodell said. "What we have is eligibility rules. What we have to do is make sure our eligibility rules are going to be upheld."
To that end, Goodell wants the NFL to continue to control when players are allowed to enter the league.
Said Goodell: "I don't want players coming in from the college level that are either trying to avoid a suspension, declare themselves ineligible on their own, hire an agent and decide 'I'm going to enter into the NFL.'
"We think it's important for young men to stay in college football for as long as possible and stay in the formal education system. Because they're not going to play football forever and that college education could be helpful to them."