Wednesday Skull Session

By Jason Priestas on March 30, 2011 at 6:00a
38 Comments
ARE WE DOING THIS RIGHT?Football program hit with bad news? Post a kitten.

It's a Wednesday in March, which means it's time for another punch to our collective gut. Tonight, HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel will air "College Sports in America", a one hour special that features this bomb:

Andrea Kremer to Stanley McClover: “What did you say to the guy when he hands you five hundred dollars?”

McClover: “Thank you and I’m seriously thinking about coming to LSU.”

Kremer voiceover: “But McClover says there were money handshakes from boosters at other football camps too. At Auburn for a couple hundred dollars and at Michigan State. All the schools denied any wrongdoing. And things really started heating up a few months later when he went to Ohio State for an official visit where schools get a chance for one weekend to host prospective athletes. McClover says there were money handshakes from alumni there too. About a thousand dollars. And something else to entice him.”

McClover: “They send girls my way. I partied. When I got there I met up with a couple guys from the team. We went to a party and they asked me to pick any girl I wanted.”

Kremer: “Did she offer sexual services?“

McClover: “Yes.”

Kremer: “Did you take them?”

McClover: “Yes.”

Kremer: “McClover committed to Ohio State right after that weekend. The recruiter at Ohio State who says he dealt with McClover that weekend denied the school was involved in any wrongdoing.”

How would you like to be Jim Tressel heading into a 1pm press conference to kick off spring football today?

McGlover's allegations, if true, certainly do Ohio State and Jim Tressel no favors right now, but if the Tatgate revelations were Fat Man and Tressel's stumble was Tsar Bomba, this is surely Little Boy, or perhaps even a bag of M80s. The college football commentariat will have fun with this, but as long as there's no institutional knowledge (see: Todd McNair), this won't have any practical ramifications beyond increased noise in some parts to have Tressel removed.

Look, I know we're all shocked to find out that a handful of well-to-do men in a metro area of two million have established relationships with players and provide said players (as well as recruits hosted by the players) with "money handshakes". Staffs at major football programs have to do their best to ensure a culture like that doesn't exist and certainly can't bury knowledge of that type of environment (as we're painfully finding out), but it's been happening forever and it will continue to happen, whether or not players are ever do receive paychecks from the NCAA. If a school is a major player and is winning a lot of games, this goes on. Yes, even at your school.

Ditto with the girls. As long as Jim Tressel is not personally lining them up like Dennis Hof at the Bunny Ranch, this is noting more than a group of ladies that like to party with football players, as callous as that sounds.

Luckily, the brunt of the report is focused on the culture of cash at Auburn:

Troy Reddick: “He (Auburn coach) said I got some mail for you up in my office.”

Kremer to Reddick: “Some mail for you?”

Reddick: “And I followed him up to his office and he gave me an envelope. I didn’t open there, I walked out to my truck, took off. … It was about 500 dollars.”

Kremer: “500 dollars in the envelope?”

Reddick: (nods yes)

NCAA Bylaw 32.6.3 [PDF] specifies a statute of limitations of "four years before the date the notice of inquiry is forwarded to the institution or the date the institution notifies", but can make exceptions for "a pattern of willful violations on the part of the institution or individual involved". Our glass house is falling apart, but there's a big difference between "money handshakes" from boosters and a coach taking on the role of Western Union. This is the same school that recently won a national championship with a player that was shopped for upwards of $200,000, after all.

"My salary? Why, that's not important." From Cam Newton, to Tatgate, to high-priced scouting services, if you feel like it's been one bad story after another in college football, you're not alone. And now, in a weird twist, the organization that holds a grip on your near-term happiness is under assault. Last night, Frontline took up the "should athletes be paid" issue, and although I've never really been a huge advocate of doing that, it's getting harder and harder to defend my position with the escalation in coaching and administration salaries (I still think Title IX will prevent paying players in revenue sports, however). Though you wouldn't know it from the transcript above, Real Sports will also explore this issue in depth.

You can watch the entire 21 minute feature online and it's encouraged if for nothing else than to see NCAA president Mark Emmert say anything to avoid disclosing his salary.

ARTIST'S RENDERINGLike this. But with a stripe and a facemask.

SPRING PRACTICE! Ready for a bit of football news that brings a smile to your face? To honor the men and women of our armed forces, the Buckeyes will don gray camouflage helmets. Tressel has a long history of honoring the military, including Navy Seal "Hell Week" a few years ago and a trip overseas that he said was one of the most important things he's ever done in his life.

We'll be at the press conference later today and will be covering spring football with the same mix of typos and hyperbole that you've come to expect from us when the hard work begins tomorrow afternoon.

Let's make this quick; I've kept you too long: Brewster and Adams were named to GoDaddy.com's 2011 Preseason All-America team, which makes one wonder when we started caring about the GoDaddy.com All-America team... Thad Matta said we could see Shannon Scott and Aaron Craft on the court at the same time next season, which means Craft could have a future as a two that can lock down the opposing point... Speaking of Scott, he'll be in action tonight, along with fellow OSU recruit Amir Williams, in the McDonald's All-American Game (ESPN, 10pm ET)... Andy Katz thinks Dayton and Kent State should take a look at our own Jeff Boals... Gerd ranks the Big Ten's offensive lines... George Reese is blogging and he caught up with Terence Dials... Meet Wojtek, the baddest soldier bear of all time.

38 Comments

Comments

thorvath22's picture

So are the helmets only for the spring game? I would like to see the helmets worn with the 1942 jerseys!

And as a college sports fan, if you are at all surprised that "boosters" still are handing out hundred dollar handshakes then you really are a blind fool, now the "Auburn coach" handing out hundred dollar letters...that's something to facepalm over.

The_Lurker's picture

What's funny is that I read where one of our athletes (Mark Titus possibly, but my memory fails, so it could have been someone else) recently said that recruits have a curfew on their visit and that it is upheld at Ohio State. Of course, that's basketball.

As for the McGlover thing, well, I'm not too worried about it and I'm glad he went elsewhere. There are far too many young women willing to hook up with athletes. Some are basically trying to "win the lottery" while others may just be interested in young, athletic dudes. That's going to be universal and it doesn't necessarily mean anything nefarious is going on beyond some rich guy finding said girls and inviting them to be in a particular place at a particular time, when the recruits just happen to be there. When I was at OSU, if someone had invited me to a bar where they were going to be bringing a bunch of prospective women's gymnastics recruits, I'd have accepted in a heartbeat. :)

Denny's picture

I like the idea of doing something different with the jerseys every spring game. I'm also hoping that those helmets don't make it onto the field other than in the spring game. 

Can't wait till 2k13 when Tress decides to honor Savile Row and busts out a nice gray/scarlet windowpane jersey design for the spring game.

Taquitos.

robert goulet's picture

Didn't the McGlover thing first come out a few months ago, possibly in the fall?  It was met with a load of "meh - recruiting as usual" and essentially dismissed.  If it was dismissed then, why would it be a big deal now?

Jdadams01's picture

Because the media didn't think our program was being run by a scum bag then.

btalbert25's picture

Right now it is extremely hot to run stories about the sleazy part of college football.  It has nothing to do with Jim Tressel.  Tress didn't have pimp hat on making it rain at the part for these recruits.  Some boosters that have no affiliation with the program supposedly did all this. 

Every outlet media outlet wants to be the one who cracks the big story to take down a school for a huge scandal.  This is real sports exposing Auburn for running a dirty program.  We also have to take some of what this kid says with a grain of salt.  I mean he was unhappy the whole time he was at Auburn, and he just had a law suit against the school thrown out.  He's pissed off and looking to get some attention and money.

Scott K's picture

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

The_Lurker's picture

When will Brooks' trolling end? Roughly...never.

Luke's picture

*Ding ding ding* No new information here.

btalbert25's picture

Is there anything really new in that article though?  We all pretty much knew everything that he said last week or maybe even earlier.

Neilwoodgables's picture

it wont end that is why the tressel era at OSU is over

I Hate Michigan.

Maestro's picture

This has about as much to do with JT as bowl wins did to Rich Rod at scUM.

vacuuming sucks

Maestro's picture

The real world exists in the college football world too?

vacuuming sucks

BuckAlum75's picture

tOSU has patrolled its $500 handshakes and envelopes... Does anyone remember Troy Smith's $500? Wasn't that uncovered and self-reported?  

By the way, there is a rule allowing the banning of so-called rogue boosters from any contact with an athletic program, but perhaps the NCAA needs some rules to ban rogue females from contact with athletic programs. LOL 

 

btalbert25's picture

Apparently, Brooks doesn't like people accusing him of lazy journalism.  I kindly mentioned that this story was put out by the dispatch 5 days ago and that there is nothing new and earth shattering here, and they took my comment down.

 

Roger's picture

He doesn't like it because he gets accused of it all the time. Not surprising since he's a bit of a hack that picks up current stories and tries to squeeze as much out of it as he can.

That's been his schtick for as long as I can remember.

btalbert25's picture

I never have really looked at his blog much.  I've heard him on the radio doing interviews before and he seems alright, but never really read his stuff.

 

Bucksfan's picture

You're gravely mistaken about whether Tressel actually has to be involved in the lining up of girls.  This is a lack of institutional control issue and Tressel would have to accept responsibility for that.  I've had a friend or two that worked in the athletic department over the years, the "escort" thing is real, and it is funded by boosters who pay these girls for the night to show recruits a good time.  I got this information from a nobody who worked at the front desk.  Tressel knows, and if not, his assistants know.

btalbert25's picture

This is not news though.  It happens at every school.  Self report what you know about and the rest you can't control.  Every school has this going on, and has forever, it wouldn't take much research by the NCAA to find that Boosters are dirty and conducting a lot of business to get recruits to their school.

Bucksfan's picture

BT, that doesn't make me any less ashamed as an OSU alumnus to know that it happens everywhere.

btalbert25's picture

I'm just saying if you are going to acuse Ohio State of lack of institutional control, than you must acuse every school of it because it goes on an all the big programs.  Who is to say how many of these fools throwing money around are even alums.  Rich people in C-bus who happen to love Ohio State can be doing this stuff just as easily as a rich alum. 

JakeBuckeye's picture

He's not gravely mistaken, because nothing is going to come punishment wise from this. By the way, I may sound incredibly stupid for this but rule is being broken when a recruit has sex with girls from a school he is considering? Does the NCAA really have a sex rule? Sex for big time athletes? GASP, I didn't know that was real. They wouldn't ever find out if booster's payed for the girls or not.

By the way, I too have a friend, that friend knows some dude who's cousin follows Gene Smith on Twitter. That's where I get all my insider information.

Bucksfan's picture

Jake, I can't understand what you're saying from all the water you're trying to yell through.  Please untie yourself from the mast and come back up to the surface.

First you're saying no punishment could come from this because in your mind there is no NCAA rule about boosters paying girls to perform sexual favors to football recruits.  Look, I don't claim to be an expert on the NCAA's rules regarding a form of prostitution funded by univesity donors (and I'm willing to bet quite a sum that neither are you), but you can rest assured there is a rule somewhere in their multi-volume manifesto that covers it.  All it takes is one whistle-blower, probably.

Thanks for being so dismissive of me and my source.  But considering what we've come to know about our program over the last 4 months, are you really wanting to take the "hearsay" approach?  It sort of makes you look like a clown.  But hey, whatever helps you sleep better at night, I guess.

JakeBuckeye's picture

"Thanks for being so dismissive of me and my source.  But considering what we've come to know about our program over the last 4 months, are you really wanting to take the "hearsay" approach?  It sort of makes you look like a clown.  But hey, whatever helps you sleep better at night, I guess."

Hey man, nothing personal and I'm sorry if it came off that way (It probably did.) I'm just not big on this new age of Twitter, Youtube, and "my friend" type comments on the internet being credible sources. That's my approach and it's pretty much going to be my approach unless you are proven a bit. See: "Brutus" here on 11W. He is now a source to consider because of his seemingly prophetic comments on Jim Tressel before the Yahoo! story ever came out.

And I'm not taking the "hearsay" approach, I'm just telling you that I don't think any punishment would come from this. Jason said exactly right in this skull session. I know damn well that recruiting violations happen at Ohio State. Some worse than others. Some from persistent alumni and boosters, and some from coaches. But I also know that recruiting violations happen at every major school, and that it is the absolute definition of unpoliceable.

Denny's picture

I think you're letting your fantasies run a little wild with the 'lining up of girls' bit.

Taquitos.

Bucksfan's picture

Denny, I was quoting the article above.

Dean's picture

You were not quoting at all, you were interpreting.  Here's the quote:

 

"They send girls my way. I partied. When I got there I met up with a couple guys from the team. We went to a party and they asked me to pick any girl I wanted."

 

It's completely unclear:

a) who "they" are - was it players sending girls his way? boosters? coaches?  If it was just players telling their female friends to treat that guy nicely, well, there are girls out there willing to do that for football players, and I'm pretty sure Jake was right in saying that there's no rule against that.

b) that the girls were paid for.  There's no evidence in the quote, or the rest of the article, that the girls were prostitutes.  In fact, he just "went to a party" and was told her could have any girl he wanted.  Sounds like a high-profile football player at a college party to me.

 

Your argument rests on these two assumptions, and there is no evidence to support them.  That's not to say it's not possible that they were paid, but don't be rude and dismissive when others don't share your willingness to jump to conclusions.

 

EDIT: Even if we accept that he perceived that it was boosters sending girls his way, it's unclear that his perception was correct.  All we know, if we accept all the factual claims, is that he went to a party, was offered his pick of the girls, and thinks that those girls came from the boosters.

Brutus's picture

I just finished watching the Real Sports piece. McClover and the others didn't exactly come off as very credible. I'm not saying their allegations aren't true, but a reasonable person could watch this and not be convinced. McClover said that he got paid a couple hundred per sack, but against Alabama, he made $1000 per sack. That seems hard to believe, but then again the closest I ever came to playing college football was riding pine for a crappy high school team so what do I know (as an aside, i did play against our new head football coach in high school so this clearly makes me somewhat of an authority on this). Some other player said that after Auburn games, they'd come out and there would be fans waiting for autographs and then other guys there giving out money hand shakes. Really? Money hand shakes right in front of other people? Sorry, but I don't buy it. The allegations against Ohio State actually read worse in the transcript then they sounded in the actual interview. I thought Kremer was sort of leading McClover. I think Dean's characterizations on how the whole hook up with the girls at the party happened seems much more plausible than someone hiring prostitutes and letting him take his pick. And this isn't me just being a homer. I would like nothing more than to believe that Auburn coaches and boosters were handing out money to all their players, but I really got the feeling that these guys were exaggerating.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I think McGlover threw tOSU in there so he wouldn't be throwing his school under the bus. And by school I mean the entire SEC. Cause its seems that they are all one big team that their fans root for. If that sorta thing was being done by folks affiliated with the school, or football coaching staff, I would be concerned. But I just don't see that happening under the Vest's eye....

Adolphus Washington is half grizzly bear and half dragon | Noah Spence kills quarterbacks, just to watch them die.

btalbert25's picture

That's the thing, Tressel can't police what boosters do.  They can only report what they know has happened  like they did with Troy.  There was no wrongdoing by the university with this kid.  It was boosters shaking his hand and the dude got laid.  It wasn't Tressel pimping out girls and giving the many money.

I don't believe these statements are a SEC conspiracy.  The dude wasn't at happy at Auburn, and I'm pretty sure I read that he just had a lawsuit against the university dropped.  If that's the case he has an axe to grind. 

Jason Priestas's picture

The end of this article indicates Cam Newton was going to be on the HBO telecast, but wanted money for the interview:

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/03/tommy_tuberville_other_coaches.html

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I wasn't suggesting a conspriacy. I was merely joking about the SEC fans becoming fans of the entire conference come bowl season. Alabama fans celebrating that Auburn won the title. Florida fans celebrating that Alabama won the title. And Florida celebrating when LSU won the title. The conference becomes one giant team AFTER the conference title game is played. I wouldn't be caught dead rooting for any B1G team to win a title. That would mean they got through us. I guess the SEC fans are more of a family of fans than B1G teams' fans.

Adolphus Washington is half grizzly bear and half dragon | Noah Spence kills quarterbacks, just to watch them die.

btalbert25's picture

lol sorry, yeah well they are all related down there so.....

Neilwoodgables's picture

they are more of a family due to the sharing of the same genetics than their fandom

I Hate Michigan.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

BWUHAHAHAHAHAHA. NICE!

Adolphus Washington is half grizzly bear and half dragon | Noah Spence kills quarterbacks, just to watch them die.

Conroy's picture

If a run of the mill four star end like McClover got a $1000 hand shake to come to OSU, there is no way Pryor and Posey would ever had to have sold their Championship Rings.

Kurt's picture

I'm not a big fan of this militarization of our lives.  And I think it gives athletes the wrong impression about what they're doing, and what people in armed forces are doing.  I don't see any connection, and I don't think putting camo, or anything else on a football jersey or baseball jersey or anything else somehow honoring them. 

Denny's picture

If they just would have gone with the 'a lot of people in Ohio wear camoflage hats' angle it probably would work.

Taquitos.