Good Tuesday to you and yours. This is the Tuesday edition of the Eleven Warriors' morning cup o' editorialization we like to call The Skull Session.
All's quiet on the southern front what with the teams busy practicing and then about to head south for the winter to get acclimated with their homes for the next week in the Big Easy. The ghost of Woody Hayes demanded the team lobby Mayor Mitch Landrieu to rebrand the city "the Big Anything Easy Ain't Worth a Damn" but was rebuked (but not before teaching him the meaning of Christmas).
That being said, we've got a bit of quasi-artificial outrage, some genuine sticktoitiveness, and bit of other miscellaneous assorted goods to go around. Take off your shoes, put on your favorite sweater, and let's travel to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, shall we?
RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH. While a video of the sound of bickering from any dozen number of episodes of South Park were inacessible (darn you Viacom! *shakes fist*) for our purposes, the bolded text preceding this paragraph all but succinctly describes how much of what was written in the 5 days since #TatGate would sound if presented in auditory form.
While I don't think anyone (he included) would argue that he tends to run with the contrarian pack (we smell our own kind), Bruce Hooley took a somewhat populous stance on the chicanery surrounding Ohio State's latest and greatest scandal and proceeded to go full blown Finebaum/Travis with the ensuing 800 words. This is not entirely a good thing:
This time, the Buckeyes undoubtedly want to avoid a shellacking in the Sugar Bowl and an 0-10 mark against SEC schools. How badly do they want to avoid it? So much they’re willing to risk the Big Ten opener against Michigan State in 2011, which is the final game of the players’ suspensions.
Chances are, OSU has a guarantee from the NCAA the players’ suspensions will be reduced on appeal, or OSU assumes Pryor, Herron, Adams and Posey will each enter the NFL early and, thus, their suspensions will be nothing but window dressing.
You have to wonder, though, given their activities with Tattoo-gate, how many of the five players will score higher on the Wonderlic Test than the jersey numbers they’ll wear in New Orleans?
Heh. I'm not exactly sure the decision for when and how long was entirely on the University, but even just rolling with that as an established pretense, I still have a hard time embracing the idea the Athletic Department has hush hush knowledge the lengths of the suspensions won't stick or that they do any kind of game theory projections on who stays/who goes from their football program when major scandal breaks. While I definitely conclude with the thesis of the piece that "they didn't know better" is an exceeding weak alibi to attempt to play, to claim that all five of the guys are just unintelligent and/or illogical might be pushing it. Plenty of semi-intelligent-to-smart type people knowingly do exceedingly wrong things on a daily basis, but that hardly makes it permissible when they inevitably have to answer to the consequences of their actions.
"If that tats aren't scratch and sniff, you must acquit!" Gene Smith is sticking with his guns and continues to stress that, in his estimate, the punishment facing a few notable Buckeyes more than fits the crime. He also lobbies that the burden of having to go to class and be constantly judged by the court of public opinion and a jury of your peers is rather damning in and of itself, which hey, if nothing, else isn't something I personally had given consideration prior. For those still feeling strongly the players involved should have to sit out the bowl game, your wishes may yet be granted:
That said, Smith said he does not know if coach Jim Tressel will levy any further sanctions on the six players - offensive tackle Mike Adams, running back Daniel Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, defensive end Solomon Thomas and linebacker Jordan Whiting.
The Buckeyes had a team meeting yesterday as they returned from a holiday break. They will practice today and Tuesday before leaving for New Orleans on Wednesday.
"I don't know what Jim is going to do," Smith said. "We haven't talked about that."
The article a few folks around these parts mentioend in the comments with respect to the six players in question apologizing to the rest of the team also insinuated as much. I'll personally be in New Orleans for the game and even as a ticket buying attendee investing a pretty hefty chunk of change to make the trip a reality, I probably wouldn't have much of problem if The Vest elects to enact Tressel justice and sit them for some (or all of for that matter) of the contest. Where I have a bit of an issue is if the suspensions aren't reduced and the in-house punishment subsequently transforms the punishments into de facto 6-game suspensions.
Athletic Director Smith also took the opportunity to relay a zing from The Senator with respect to the busted mything done by our buddy in a Blackhawks jersey this past weekend:
As for the report Saturday by a Chicago-based blogger that Tressel was going to resign, Smith said Tressel joked about it to his players yesterday:
"He said, 'Unfortunately for you, I'm going to be your coach.'"
Not a bad problem to have if I do say so myself.
**-Is an interesting way to start bullet points While we prefer Block O's and quirky captions ourselves, SEC-country institution Mr. Football has his thoughts on the happenings from an outsider's perspective:
Again, there is a good argument to be made about the validity and the fairness of the rule but here’s the deal. My mother just turned 78 years old and she knows a player can’t sell a jersey why he’s still in school. If you let these guys play in the Sugar Bowl because you don’t want to hurt a multi-million dollar game at this late date, then just say so. If the players thought the rule was stupid and felt they deserved something more because of their status, then just say so. But don’t plead ignorance. It just doesn’t fly any more.
Folksy reference regarding a septuagenarian? Check. Overall moral compass that's none the less pretty difficult to take exception with? Yeah, well, unfortunately that too.
Good to know that even in a zombie infested wasteland like Atlanta, opinions and general lines of thinking don't sway too much from the acceptable. In an unrelated note, what are the odds that someone who's last name is Football would grow up to write about that very subject?! There are some things in this world I'll never truly understand.
Ending on a good note Nothing says hype for the Sugar Bowl like seeing something actually pretty awesome from an actual Skull Session to get you pumped up for what's to come a week from today. Dude absolutely crushes it: