Tuesday Skull Session

By Johnny Ginter on March 29, 2011 at 6:00a
The Evil Dread

Happy Tuesday everyone, and welcome to your morning Skull Session. We're screwed!

Or are we? Yes. No, that is silly. Maybe? Probably we are... not. Yes. NO. No.



What I am of course referring to is a truly epic trollbomb thrown down yesterday on Twitter by the elder Sullinger brother, JJ, that sent much of Buckeye fandom into a tizzy. In it, he intimated that despite all claims to the contrary (which we'll get to shortly), Jared "Sully" Sullinger was not going to be coming back for his sophomore year at Ohio State and would instead be entering himself into the NBA draft. A scary thought? To most fanbases, sure.

But to a Buckeye nation already on the most razor of edges, JJ's tweets showed us exactly how close we all are to completely losing it and locking ourselves in our collective basements with a tv, a 2002 Fiesta Bowl dvd, and six months of rations.

Look, it is entirely possible that the football program in more hot water as the months wear on in the offseason, and I would be lying if I told you I wasn't still smarting from the loss to Kentucky. But the one thing that you can count on at this point, like a tiny Werther's Original at the bottom of a 50 gallon barrel of horse manure, is the fact that Jared Sullinger will in fact be back next year, ready to slam some glass and whup some ass.


Yes. Or rather, "yes," assuming that both Jared and his father have not decided to make the New York Times look like fools in a spectacular father-son trolling tandem. The reasons given for his decision include wanting to up his skill set to better suit the actual position he would be playing in the NBA, which would most likely be power forward. Matta, who also commented on the situation, mentioned wanting to improve Jared's conditioning a bit as well. That's all fine and good, but if Sully's trademark rear end goes the way of the dodo, I am going to be angrier than I have ever been.

Also Satch Sullinger speaks entirely in sports cliches, so that's fun:

“Yesterday is history,” Satch likes to say. “Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.”

Y-Yeah. Yeah! Sure it is, Satch! Sure it is!

Pearls Of Wisdom ESPN's (collective groan) Andy Katz breaks down the various incidents that eventually led to the firing of Bruce Pearl as the Tennessee men's basketball head coach, and in doing so gives me a bit of a cold sweat. One thing that I want to make absolutely clear is that I do not think that Jim Tressel is nearly as dirty of a coach as Bruce Pearl was/is. But I will say this: even despite the incredibly egregious NCAA violations that Pearl had committed, the University of Tennessee initially stood by their man and dismissed firing him to be a possibility.

However, what appeared to be the final straw was a non-NCAA related incident where a student violated a substance abuse policy, and was held out of several games, but owing to an injury rather than a violation. Take note, Buckeye fans. That was all it took for the UT athletic department to turn on Bruce Pearl. If you want Jim Tressel to keep his job, pray that something similar doesn't come to light in the coming weeks and months.

How Can You Not Love A Man Named Shaka? VCU making a historic run to the Final Four is pretty terrific for a lot of reasons. First, it made Dick Vitale really, really angry. That should honestly be reason enough, but as an added benefit we now have the possibility of an 11 seed winning a national championship in something, the opportunity to watch America's coolest basketball coach, Shaka Smart, go insane for a couple of hours every time his team is on the court, and since we no longer have a dog in the fight, we can root for complete chaos with total abandon. The Wall Street Journal has nicely provided a breakdown of the great story that is VCU, and as a side benefit you do not have to make a Sophie's Choice esque decision on whether or not to read said article or leave it for another month.

In Which We Make Fun Of The Gopher's New Football Coach Some people have raised a skeptical eyebrow to new Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill's coaching techniques. To wit:

Kill made an example of cornerback Michael Carter for an undisclosed reason, making him sit out practice to do a strenuous workout while wearing a shirt that said, "I let my teammates down" and "Minnesota Lophers."

And yes, to many that may seem childish and silly and perhaps not a great way to endear yourself to young men in their late teens and early twenties, but on the other hand...

But he also sprinted up to players to reward great effort by patting them on the backside, telling them, "Good job."

See? Jerry Kill. Great coach.

Not To Pile On, But... Here are 1760 words about how the BCS is better than March Madness, as explained to us by The Daily Gopher, using prose that is Ayn Randian in both content and length. Have fun!



Comments Show All Comments

cronimi's picture

If Pearl and the Vols hadn't been blown out of the water by scUM, I daresay he might still have a job in Knoxville.  If he'd beaten Dook and made the Sweet 16, his job probably would have been secure.  As the old mantra goes, just win baby!  As for our situation, winning may be the only thing that keeps JT on the sidelines in Columbus -- assuming there are no more shoes to drop.

BucksfanXC's picture

Wrong. He was going to be fired as soon as they lost, no matter when or to whom. They just gave the players the benefit of having their coach finish the season with them. It was still a distraction, the writing was on the wall.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

bucki5's picture

You mean Charlie Sheen is a genius?  DUHH WINNING!

johnblairgobucks's picture

werthers in a drum of horse manure.  ha.

btalbert25's picture

The Sullinger stuff yesterday is exactly why I hate Twitter.  Kudos to JJ for a nice prank, but people following everything the players and recruits say, then hanging on their every word is just silly.  Sports fans and Twitter just don't mix well lol.


Bucksfan's picture

I still wouldn't blame him one bit for going pro right away.  He's a man amongst boys out there, and was easily the most dominant player on the court in that Kentucky game despite the loss.  It would be a nice story if he bucked the Matta 1-and-done trend, though.  It's fun to follow players for more than one year.

Scott K's picture

I'm probably late hearing about this but I guess Duron won't be coming back:


"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel

KenK's picture

The irony drips.. I love Chris' comments.

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

BigRedBuckeye's picture

And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes! 

Jason Priestas's picture

Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for Auburn (see how the double standards work), this case falls outside the NCAA's statute of limitations.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Yup. I LOL'ed when the author said/implyed we basically hired a prostitute though. When is the NCAA going to understand that they are policing the unpoliceable. This shiz goes on everywhere. From alumni and boosters especially.

741's picture

In all seriousness, what kind of person puts cash in a duffel bag and gives it to a recruit? What possible sane motive is behind something so obviously illegal and stupid?

Bucks's picture

In other news, the person linked better be a complete hack. I shall invoke the Brutus aka Bringer of Death to stomp on this guy/lady/spawn of satan/etc.


And I quote:


Jay March 29, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I’m certainly going to answer a few things here Steve:

    “OSU swears that they have investigated and continue to monitor Sarniak’s connection to Pryor, but did they really investigate or did they simply make sure that there wasn’t a trail of dollar bills connecting them?”

    - It is not limited to just Sarniak. OSU originally did the internal audit (cute phrase to mean OSU needed to open the drawers and see what was inside) with the mindset above. It became clear that there were too many ‘Skeletons in the closet’ once looked at.

    “What if the feds get everything they wanted out of Rife, drop their entire file and all of the evidence into a court record and we find out that Rife’s phone records reveal contact with Jim Tressel? Is that really hard to believe now?”

    - While it will not happen the manner described, yes. That is all I can really say on this point. There have been phone calls, texts, additional emails with person(s) & in person meetings. Not kidding. Wish I could claim April Fool’s. Can’t.

    “People aren’t pulling any punches with Tressel.”

    - The biggest word there is people. Money talks and bull—- walks. Right now, even knowing additional details & hedging bets … the university is choosing to take a money path. JT is money. In the bank. Signed, sealed & delivered. We can debate all day long. There are 2 dozen total people who actually have a say in this realistically. A bakers dozen know the full details and additional investigations to come (ongoing). They still back him.

    “OSU needs to prove to everybody that it holds the cards, not him. Gee and Smith made a huge mistake in showing such strong support when Act 2 of the Tattoo Story broke, but it’s not too late to do the right thing and terminate Tressel for cause.”

    - It is too late. There are additional details to be revealed. OSU has full knowledge of everything. The scope of issues will come to light at some point soon (my understanding is 1 sole journalist picked the right info request).

    “Gee needs to be reprimanded by the Board of Trustees in a very public fashion.
    Smith should probably go too. As AD his primary function is managing PR. When bad news breaks, it’s his job to get ahead of it and salvage the Athletic Department’s image.”

    - Don’t even know where to go with this. Gee was quite ready to fire JT. I use ‘quite ready’ lightly. The board made it clear it wasn’t going to happen in conjunction w/ the athletic dept. Gene has a endgame in mind, I’m convinced of it. This is not a stupid man. My guess and intimation is that once the additional information comes to light, Tress will be resigning. Smith will be the public face of that departure.

    A closing piece:

    Ohio State is absolutely screwed in the best sense of the word. Not only are we going to be hit hard, the internal audit has caused additional investigation(s). I don’t joke on that. NCAA is on campus right now, and has been for a while now.

    The ‘death penalty’ will probably never be used again. The semblence of that is coming, and comin’ hard.

    *To make it clear. Dan Wetzel was asked about future stories. One to come within this week I believe will be a 6. On a scale of 1-10 he rated JT an 8. When asked about the story breaking this summer … w/o hesitation he answered a 10 out of 10. I’m somewhat confident this 10/10 will be conference (and therefore all encompasing for a particular one)

    Wetzel is re-evaluating his scale with what he knows now.

JakeBuckeye's picture

I think that actually might be 11W's own "Brutus", to be honest.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Let's play hypothetically and pretend that "Jay" from Bruce Hooley's blog (and I think "Brutus" from here) pretty much hit the nail right on the head with this info.

The good news: We still have a great president and a great athletic director.

The bad news: Just about everything else. And by the looks of Jay's comments, I mean just about everything else with every fiber of my being.

Bucks's picture

It would surprise me if who we know as Brutus here is Jay there. Not the same style and why wouldn't he post it here if it were? Brutus posted here before anything came to light and because of that got a mention once it did.

If ... IF any portion of that is true, the most astounding revelation to me is the Board of Trustees. I have posted a couple times now that I think the board might make Gee & Smith eat their words. The board is now the principle backer in this? Sad if true.



Brutus's picture

Not me. Not sure where this is from, but I think Jake is intimating that it comes from Bruce Hooley. I'm not in cbus anymore and never listened to Hooley but based on the comments here and his tweets, he sounds like a complete f-stick, so f-him. Besides, I'm loyal to 11W.

Here's the extent of the information I've received which comes from someone who was directly involved in the interviews with Tressel during the investigation. I learned back in January that JT was being investigated for something. I didn't know what the transgression was but was told that he could be fired for it, but probably wouldn't. After the story broke, I was told that not only have we not heard the entire story, but that we haven't even scratched the surface. That sounds really bad, but keep in mind that this was according to the same person that believed that JT wouldn't get fired. This person knows the whole story and still believed that JT wouldn't get fired. So take that for what it's worth. I was also told that OSU implemented only half the sanctions that were recommended.

My take on only going with half the sanctions is that upping the suspension was always the plan. OSU was just waiting to hear about the TatFive and then they'd give JT the opportunity to suspend himself for additional game. It was a PR move. Had the story not broke before the self-report was submitted to the NCAA, Tressel probably would have gotten the five games right away. But this is just my theory.

I meant to comment on this last week but then Friday night happened and I've been too depressed to internet since. Anyway, after it was revealed JT forwarded the emails to Sarniak, a lot of people assumed this was going to make things so much worse. BTAlberts kept saying that this wasn't a big deal because the NCAA was already aware. That's correct. The Sarniak revelation was only news to us. OSU and the NCAA were aware who JT forwarded the emails to and his reasons. I don't know if he shared the information with anyone else besides Sarniak. But the NCAA already knows this. The question is whether the NCAA will be satisfied with Tressel's explanation. That might be what ends up screwing him and the program.

Smith and Gee both went on record and said that there were no more smoking guns. I have to believe that's true. From what i understand, the interview with tressel was a no holds barred affair and a lot of info came out. At that point, the gig is up. Tressel has been pretty stupid during all of this, but would he really continue to not disclose everything once he's being interrogated? I think he told them everything he knows and now the NCAA has all the information it needs to make a decision on the future of JT and the program.

As for Jay, don't know him, don't know if his information is legit, but we have no reason not to think he has some inside info. At this point, nothing would surprise me. But if this is just going to end up with JT resigning, why wouldn't that have happened weeks ago. Think about it. If OSU and the NCAA knew everything there is to know several weeks ago before the press conference, why would OSU drag this out first with a two game suspension, then a five game suspension, and eventually forcing Tressel to resign? Either OSU is satisfied with suspending Tressel and seeing whatever the NCAA adds, or the largest university in the country has no idea how to handle public relations and is knowingly and willingly making a mockery of itself over a prolonged period of time.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Brutus, the only reason I thought Jay may be you is because he mentioned being on 11W on one of his comments. You're the only guy I know on the internet who potentially has that kind of info, and since it was two Ohio State boards I thought it may be you.

Brutus's picture

No worries. Where is this from?

JakeBuckeye's picture

This was a series of comments on an article by Bruce Hooley on Bruce Hooley's blog. I'm not a Hooley fan either, believe me. The user name was just "Jay."