Like many iconic coaches, Ohio State football’s head man Jim Tressel has parlayed his sideline success into the publishing world. Tressel’s latest book, Life Promises for Success: Promises from God on Achieving Your Best (Tyndale, 2011), debuted last month, but the timing has proved less than ideal. Revelations that the coach failed to report NCAA rules violations have landed him in hot water. Email exchanges prove Tressel knew that some of his players were selling team memorabilia in exchange for tattoos. The university has suspended the coach for two games and fined him $250,000.

That undermines the content of Tressel’s latest book, a collection of motivational sayings, Bible verses, and stories meant to inspire. More important, perhaps, than whether Tressel’s book sells is whether he ever should have written it. Why do so many great coaches feel compelled to publish books on Christian living?

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