Wed., 4:30 pm: UPDATE Ryan in talks to recommend Tressel as YSU president

WARREN — U.S. Rep. Timothy Ryan confirmed this afternoon that he and several business, union and community leaders have sent a letter to the board of trustees at Youngstown State University to consider hiring former Youngstown State University and Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel as the university’s next president.

“This would be a gigantic move on the part of the YSU board of trustees and certainly it would take YSU to the next level,” said Ryan today. “We want to collectively let the trustees know there is a lot of community support behind that move.”

Several area businessmen are on board.

“Congressman Ryan called me and I said, ‘Absolutely, I would support that’,” said Anthony J. Saadey, owner of Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center in Boardman. “Jim, he’s a great guy. In my opinion, he the common denominator that perfect ties the university to the community.”

Other businessmen, like Bruce Zoldan, owner of B.J. Alan Wholesale Fireworks, are solidly behind the idea, too.