I am a pretty big University of Michigan sports fan. I enjoy it when that school down South loses and I hope that they are the first number one seed to lose to a sixteen seed in the NCAA tournament. I like it when they mess up in big games and lose their Bowl games. 

I really do.

Today we learned that Jim Tressel would be suspended for two games and fined a good deal of money for lying to the NCAA (these were OSU’s penalties, more may be coming from the NCAA). 

In this, I took no pleasure.

In this, my heart was saddened.

I have made many a crack regarding the man whom I refer to as the “Sweater Vest”. I even sent out the following tweet the moment I heard about Chris Robinson and Dan Wetzel’s article:

“This just in the Ohio State University cheats. #shocked”

As the story unraveled and more information was brought to light, I became less amused and more saddened. 

By all accounts Jim Tressel is a man who pursues Jesus. He is, therefore, my brother. When a brother stumbles and falls it is heartbreaking. Tressel made a poor choice, lied, and got caught. This is not a football problem, it is a sin problem. I am prayerful that “The Vest” has men in his life who tell him hard things and that they are drawing alongside him now. 

It is in these kinds of situations that those of who are called “Christian” must determine where our allegiances ultimately lie, with the body of Christ or a football team. If you are a Christian and a Michigan fan I hope that you will refrain from making light of this or taking shots at Tressel. If you are a Christian and a Buckeye fan I hope that you refrain from making light of this and overlooking the sin. 

Friends, what we have here is a brother in Christ who sinned in a public way. Let us respond with truth, love, forgiveness, and mercy.