Tuesday Skull Session

By Luke on December 28, 2010 at 6:00a

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:


Comments Show All Comments

German Buckeye's picture

I hope people realize just how difficult it is to do what Jason does in that video.  You are right - he crushes it!

Orlando Buckeye's picture

I'd like to see him in a spin off action flick.  Where a group of thugs think he's a fairy and gives his kid sister trouble.  He then proceeds to whip their asses with his baton.

Normal Buck's picture

That was pretty frigging awesome.

builderofcoalitions's picture

Check out Along the Olentangy's take on the suspensions. The post indirectly makes Hooley look like a fool.


Because we couldn't go for three.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good article by AtO, but them presuming to debunk "conspiracy theories" associated with the tat5 being eligible for the SB is a strawman. Who said anything about a conspiracy, per se? A conspiracy involves two or more persons (usually surreptitiously) getting together and scheming an illegal or subversive act/plan. 

Obviously #1, the NCAA did not break any of its own rules in this case and did everything above board. The question is whether the NCAA's approach in this (and other cases) was effectively, if not technically, arbitrary; moreover, whether the NCAA, while ACTING LAWFULLY in a technical sense, is now effectively providing cover for the SEC cheating regime. Obviously #2, the NCAA never set out to create a system that would be completely ineffective against the determined, sophisticated cheating regime(s), which is/are led by mature adults in position of power, while delivering borderline draconian penalties to immature college kids; but that's effectively what's happening, right out in the open and consistent with all good/honest intentions.  

As the AtO article notes, Ohio State immediately suspended the tat5 for the SB. The NCAA effectively corrected or overruled that action by issuing its ridiculous penalty, which did not include the SB. Also note that the NCAA's rule is open to interpretation: 

NCAA policy allows suspending withholding penalties for a championship or bowl game if it was reasonable at the time the student-athletes were not aware they were committing violations, along with considering the specific circumstances of each situation. In addition, there must not be any competitive advantage related to the violations, and the student-athletes must have eligibility remaining.

Why have this special considertion for bowl games? Are we to believe it's because the NCAA has a soft spot for the kids?

We do not have to assume that the NCAA "authorties" are engaging in any sort of conspiracy to suspect that they might be uncomfortable with delivering ridiculoulsy severe 5-game suspensions to the tat5 that also includes a highly visible SB suspension right on the heels of the Cam Newton fiasco. The NCAA is facing a credibility issue in large part because it is ill equipped to deal with the SEC. The NCAA might not take in much money, directly, from the bowls, but to the 1A football system it governs (and serves), the bowls are big, big business. To be fair to the NCAA, the tat5 situation probably put them on the spot (and a tough spot, at that). Of course, just as ignornance should be no excuse for the tat5, obsolescence should be no excuse for the NCAA.    

dan_isaacs's picture

"Drum Major sells hat to pay for tattoo of your girlfriend" should be the name of that video.  Badass.

Dan Isaacs

iball's picture

"... zombie infested wasteland like Atlanta.."

+1 Walking Dead reference. Lots of logical problems with that show, but still a good watch. I remember thinking, "yes, no more SEC!!!"

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I apologize for my geekiness ahead of time.....It seems like a lot of folks on here enjoy that "show" but the fanboy in me doesn't think the show comes close to living up to it's original form. Anyone who enjoys this show who also got an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone for the holidays should download the comixology app and then purchase every single Walking Dead graphic novel. It's tons of awesomeness.

I thought I'd share this interesting little piece from a favorite website of mine regarding 7 scenes from the comic that should have made it to the show:


TLB's picture

Hooley is still grinding his ax because he was a fan of Boeckman and didn't like the way Tress handled the transition to Pryor.  Since he works for the station that carries games and talk shows with coaches, I wonder if the university will put pressure on them to get rid of him or quiet him a little.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

God, I hope so.  We don't need a bandwagon, homer reporting on the Bucks but as least let him/her be a fan, or want what is in the best interest of the program.  As much as I enjoy his rapport with Speils, his attacks on the school, coaches and players are getting old.  I remember the article he wrote attacking the desion to bench Boeckman for Pryor and was outraged.  I vote for getting rid of Hooley.


Take Herbstreit with him.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I disagree about Herbie.

poguemahone's picture

Hooley's show the past 2-3 years has been a couple hours of TP hate interspersed with hate for Eric Wedge (and after that, Eric Mangini, but I'll let Cleveland sports fans decide whether those are legitimate beefs). Dude's a hater. Listening to him is just awful because you know you're only going to get a couple hours of negativity.

ERIC OSU's picture

he has a strange love-fest with Boise St as well...

741's picture

Hooley = tool.

I am so ready for him to move on to whatever is next in his journalism career - as long as that takes him somewhere away from here.

Mike's picture

Bruce Hooley is a wet blanket

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Deleted - Jason already posted this in Buckshots.

theDuke's picture

"...a zombie infested wasteland like Atlanta." !!!!  GREAT!!! 


Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Funny that Mr. Football says claiming ignorance was not legit. I guess that only works if you are only punished for accepting $200,000 by winning the Heisman and don't get suspended for even one game. Oh. And you respesent the SEC champions....are SEC fans really that hipocritical? Or do they just have really short memories?

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

BuckPirate1981's picture

Really getting tired of this whole shameful mess, especially considering the "poppycock" (aka BS) excuse of these players selling these items to help their destitute families. Question, to the Tat5, what kinds of cars do you drive? How much were those other tats? Staying at nice apartments? How's the social scene? If you're really that poor and wanting to help your families that bad you'd be staying in dorms and busing/hooding it like the rest of us do. We're not idiots. That aside, who is? Let's start w the NCAA, an organization that gives these kids the equivalent of the collegiate career "death penalty" and gives Cam Newton a Heisman and Nick Saban not even a second glance when he is refurbishing a potential recruits HS during a contact dead period. NCAA, you are a dinosaur. And, of now, a joke.