Monday Skull Session

By Luke on January 17, 2011 at 6:00a

Good Monday, my brothers (and sisters) from another mother (and mister? It rhymes; let's let it ride.) Some of you are off for Martin Luther King Day (right on); the rest of us are going through the motions in a (somewhat) convincing fashion and hoping 5 or 6 o'clock comes faster than normal. Of course there was a little basketball contest against the Nittany Lions of Penn State origin Saturday night. Those that tuned in were privy not only to Ohio State's awesomely understated new duds (the backs of which were captured to perfection by national treasure Jim Davidson of O-Zone fame and glory. Click on the truncated, shrunk down image to the right to be taken to Jim's photo in all its glory. The backs are really a sight to be seen.) but also a grown-a man doing his thing in consecutive trips down the floor to ice the puppy. While the new Agent Zero assuredly won't have the sheer size advantage he held against PSU in every contest, it was none the less awesome to see him take charge and essentially impose his will down the stretch to preserve the W. Big ups, kid.

 SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOT SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS (E'RYBODY) #1 with a bullet: That's where Ohio State figures to be after holding on late against a gritty Nittany Lions side. The 18-0 (5-0 in league play) Buckeyes are joined by Big XII leaders Kansas, Big East top-of-the-pack Syracuse, and MWC front runners San Diego State as the nation's loan remaining unbeaten sides. Certainly after the tough test administered Saturday evening, the probably completely out of touch with reality assumption that this Ohio State team even has a snowball's chance in hell at finishing the whole regular season unscathed has to be a feeling a bit more pollyannaish than maybe it did early in the week. That doesn't mean we can't enjoy the ride, however long we're privileged enough to have it last.

 Fortune Favors The Bold While the Buckeyes hoopsters' schedule probably isn't doing them many favors at this point in the process, Ohio State is slowly but surely climbing the ranks of the RPI as they continue to survive and advance. The Buckeyes find themselves squarely in the sixth spot nationally, according to's latest batch of projections, after this last week's two conference victories. The aforementioned other unbeatens all find themselves slotted higher as mildly curiously do one-loss Pittsburgh and Brigham Young as well. In all likelihood, Ohio State's 56th ranked schedule remains the weight keeping them from jumping the competition and slotting themselves higher in the mix with the rest of the group averaging mostly in the teens and twenties S.O.S.-wise. If Ohio State continues winning games, they likely won't need to worry in the least when Selection Sunday rolls around though maintaining sound footing on the possible one line could be all that stands between Ohio State and their first trip to the Final Four since Greg Oden was swatting game winning shot attempts as time expired. However, I'm a firm believer that you have to beat the best teams to get where you want anyways. "Bracket of death" be damned; the Buckeye's men's basketball team undoubtedly knows they'll have to get their hands dirty if they want to do something that puts them in the same rarefied air and in the same breath as the likes of Lucas and Havlicek.

 Associate Commissioners Be Writing The ever fighting the good fight got their hands on a correspondence from Big Ten Associate Commissioner Chad Hawley with respect to arguably college football's biggest glaring oversight. The AC is diplomatic as one may expect but certainly holds no barres with respect to his (and the league's) feelings on the matter:

I appreciate your interest in the issue of oversigning. As you may know, the Big Ten is philosophically opposed to the practice of oversigning in all sports, and our long-standing rules in this area reflect as much. Consequently, we are pleased to see that the conversation regarding oversigning appears to be picking up steam nationally. We’ll continue to monitor that conversation, and when given the opportunity, we will continue to share our position that our approach better serves student-athlete welfare.

I do believe that we are heading in the right direction nationally. For example, there is now an NCAA rule in football—effective for the first time this year—that limits the number of prospects who may sign National Letters of Intent with an institution (28 during the regular signing period). In general, the NCAA rule is not as restrictive as Big Ten rules, but again, it’s a step in the right direction—we voted in favor of the rule and will continue to vote similarly in the future.

I can’t say whether the day will come when NCAA rules prohibit oversigning in any or all sports, but we obviously would welcome such a day. Continued pressure from the media and the public certainly help the cause.

Taste the tacet zings. While the days of the 30+ recruiting classes have now been euphemized to a 'mere' 28, the problem still lingers and will continue to until the NCAA takes a hard lined unified approach to keeping kids from being sent packing like an underachieving 7th-round draft pick during training camp in the NCAA's alumni circuit.

 So You're Saying There's A Chance The Dispatch's Ken Gordon surveys the appeal process to come for the Tatgate 5 and his findings in terms of precedent probably aren't exactly what you wanted to read:

•  Sept.17: Georgia receiver A.J. Green's appeal of a four-game suspension was rejected. Green sold one of his game-worn jerseys for $1,000 to a man later determined to be a runner for a sports agent. Green claimed he was not aware of that connection.

After the hearing, Georgia president Michael Adams told reporters, "There's just not much that somebody in a position like mine can do on something like this. You can spend the money, you can get the best counsel and get the best advice you can get and make the appeal. I will say I think the university did everything to help (Green) that the university could."

• Sept.23: The NCAA upheld a four-game suspension for Middle Tennessee State quarterback Dwight Dasher, who had been given an impermissible loan of $1,500 from a community member.

• Oct.1: The NCAA upheld the suspensions of two North Carolina players, safety Deunta Williams (four games) and cornerback Kendric Burney (six games) for receiving improper benefits such as free travel and expenses.

Doesn't exactly sound promising. While they'd never admit it, the high profile nature of the case and perhaps even the role each of the five played in their controversial appearance in the Sugar Bowl might likely also force the NCAA's hand to try and maintain the illusion they're standing their ground. The Buckeyes' best bet may be to let the quintet serve their time and hope for some outstanding fill in work by the understudies.


Comments Show All Comments

dan_isaacs's picture

Yeah, I don't see them getting a reduced punishment.  Never did.  They ought to, but we ain't talkin 'bout justice.


The Jersey is sweet.  Thanks for that!  What's up with the Fair Use watermark?

Dan Isaacs

slippy's picture

Why the descrepancies in the suspension times?  I thought Green's was worse since his had an agent connection?


I feel like the board that decides on these things is like the bailout scene from South Park.

Luke's picture

4 seems to be the stock suspension. Why the five game figure I'm not exactly clear. Perhaps the lack of full disclosure by the athletes?

Chris Lauderback's picture

That's the way I heard it. It was basically 4 game suspension for the violation itself then another game for failing to disclose after OSU shored up their educational program explicitly talking about selling your own stuff.

Seth4Bucks's picture

You must've posted right after I hit the reply button :-p

Seth4Bucks's picture

I thought they had one game tacked on because they (the players) did not come forward when they found out it was a violation. I read somewhere (likely on this site) that it would've been four games if not for their silence on the violations.

Ian_InsideTheShoe's picture

Good catch on the oversigning bit. Wonder what it's going to take. 

KenK's picture

Thanks for the Ken Gordon piece. I doubt the suspension will be reduced. That's fine, it is what it is. I agree Like, this will be a good chance for understudies to get needed work. Fortunately, we know this going into September, so the "starting" lineups can be identified pretty early.

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

Bucksfan's picture

I'm a Boom fan like anyone else, but it was going to take an act of God or NCAA sanctions for Jim Tressel to play these young guys with any regularity.  And I've been wanting to see more of Hall, Hyde and I DEFINITELY want to see what Smith can do.  Young guys fumble the ball and I understand that can be an issue, but man can they fly!  These last 2 OSU teams were unreal at taking care of the football...we're already past due for a let-down in that department.

Even with the best talent, coach, coordinators, and media attention in the country, you're not guaranteed a shot at a national title by going 11-1 with a conference title.  So, it was going to be 13-0, or 12-1 with a lot of help, for Ohio State to get to the national title in 2011.  Lots of losses on defense, the o-line is going to miss some of its experience.

So, let's see what these young kids can do.  Sort of like opening your Christmas presents early...might be great to hone your Goldeneye skills before your friends, but also could be a huge let-down if it sucks.

BuckiGirl's picture

Awww...thanks for the "sisters" shout out!

Denny's picture

Hey Luke ur sister sounds hot.