COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel apologized Wednesday for letting people down and acknowledged that some may view him as a cheater in the wake of NCAA violations that resulted in a five-game suspension.

“I suppose there could be some that might feel that way and there might be others who might not,” Tressel said. “I don’t have a whole lot of control over that.”

Tressel declined to discuss the investigation into the rules violations during an almost hour-long news conference.

Ohio State has recommended that Tressel be suspended the first five games of this season for failing to report that his players sold memorabilia and received improper benefits. Tressel knew about the situation but did not inform his superiors or the NCAA for more than nine months.

The NCAA could accept Tressel’s sanctions, which includes a $250,000 fine taken from his estimated $3.5 million annual salary, or levy additional penalties.

The players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were suspended in late December for the first five games of 2011 for accepting improper benefits. All were permitted to play in the Sugar Bowl, however, which the Buckeyes won 31-26 over Arkansas.

Tressel said he believes players will still listen to him when he returns to the sideline, even though his character has been sullied by what he referred to as “mistakes.”

“I’m not sure I’ve ever talked (to) or guided our kids with the idea that I’ve done everything perfectly,” Tressel said. “I’ve never looked at myself that way.

“Some of us are parents in here. We talk to our kids about doing the right things. Well, some of us haven’t done everything perfectly, but we still have that responsibility to do that.”

Tressel also introduced linebackers coach Luke Fickell as his replacement for the games he’ll be suspended. The co-defensive coordinator is in his 10th year on the Ohio State staff.

Tressel is permitted to work with the team all spring, throughout preseason practice and even during the period of his suspension. He is only required to stay away from the Buckeyes on the days of home games against Akron, Toledo, Colorado and Michigan State and the road game at Miami, Fla.

MEN’S HOCKEY

UMAINE: Forwards Tanner House and Gustav Nyquist were honored by the New England Hockey Writers Association.

Nyquist, who signed with the Detroit Red Wings last week, was named to the Division I All-Star team for the second consecutive year. He led the Black Bears in scoring for the third straight year and was one of 10 nominees for the Hobey Baker Award given to college hockey’s best player.

House, who signed with the Edmonton Oilers, was presented the Frank Jones Award, given to the top defensive forward in New England.

 

HOBEY BAKER: Cam Atkinson of Boston College, North Dakota’s Matt Frattin and Miami of Ohio’s Andy Miele are the finalists for this year’s Hobey Baker Award. The winner will be announced in St. Paul, Minn., at the NCAA Frozen Four on April 8.

Atkinson, a junior, had 31 goals and 21 assists for the Hockey East-champion Eagles and has signed with the Columbus Blue Jacket.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

BOSTON COLLEGE: Junior guard Reggie Jackson made himself eligible for the NBA draft but said he won’t hire an agent, so he could remove his name from the list and return to school.

 

PURDUE: Coach Matt Painter, who talked with Missouri about its coaching vacancy, agreed to an eight-year contract with the Boilermakers through the 2018-19 season. Terms were not disclosed.

Painter has been selected the Big Ten’s coach of the year three times and led the Boilermakers to Sweet 16 appearances in 2009 and 2010. Purdue made it to the third round this year.

 

MARQUETTE: The school finalized a new contract with Coach Buzz Williams after he led the Golden Eagles to the Round of 16, their longest NCAA tournament run since 2003.