Tuesday Skull Session

By Johnny Ginter on April 26, 2011 at 6:00a
Shoutout to Ken, more info here

Happy Tuesday everyone, and welcome to your morning Skull Session. As you sit at your computer, bleary eyed and fuzzy headed, you might have fleeting thoughts that the inanity of yesterday might've just been a dream. Maybe, just maybe, the avalanche of opinions and commentary about what was essentially a non-story continuation of what we already knew didn't really happen. Maybe for once people took a reasoned approach to what was nothing more than a letter from the NCAA saying "Okay fine. See you in August." Maybe instead of reading fatuous articles by people with no real knowledge of the situation, Batman gave you the keys to his cave, and you and Alfred hosted the best Spring Break party Bill Bellamy ever saw.

But I am here to tell you that you're wrong. All of those articles and interviews happened. People really did go nuts. And Alfred is way too old to party (so is Bill Bellamy, for that matter).

The biggest problem now is that a timeline exists, beginning now, continuing on through the August 12th hearing and then lasting until whenever the NCAA decides to make their final decision. The media in general loves timelines, because that gives them the chance to construct a narrative well in advance of the story; if you loved reading about a relatively inconsequential letter yesterday, you're absolutely going to love the week leading up to August 12th and beyond, because it's going to be more of the same. And if you're holding out hope that maybe in the weeks and months after the NCAA makes it's judgment that this might fade away, keep in mind that Maurice Clarett, a guy who played his last game for Ohio State nearly a decade ago, is still considered a relevant topic for this issue.

Welcome to the butt end of the 24/7 sports media, Buckeye fans. In honor of our extended stay in the Bates Motel, today's Skull Session will be all about the terrific commentary from uninvolved parties near and far, as they hock their loogies of insight into the well of irritation that is our fandom.

The One You're Probably Most Mad About Herbstreit. I used to defend him, and still do, to an extent. As far as his job goes, he is in the unenviable position of having to apologize for his background while at the same time using it as the basis for his legitimacy as a college football commentator. I've never had a problem with whatever football analysis he's given pertaining to Ohio State because hell, not even Buckeye fans can reach a consensus about what OSU should be doing on the field 95% of the time.

Everything else though...


On his first point near the end here, about John Cooper, he's 100% correct. If this had happened to JHC, or almost any other coach for that matter, they'd be done. But Jim Tressel the person helps to mitigate a lot of the damage that Jim Tressel the coach has done (other people not understanding this is going to be a theme today, by the way), and that is honestly pretty fair.

On his second point... I have no idea where he's going with this. Don't recruit players like Pryor and Clarett? What are they "like"? Should he instead recruit guys like Will Hill or Jeremiah Masoli? The truth of the matter is that every major coach has to consider, at some point, the character of the kids he recruits. I get that. But nothing Clarett did should have reflected on Ohio State, and had Jim Tressel followed the rules, nothing Terrelle Pryor did would have either. Whatever childish back and forth Herbie enjoys playing with college players, what's happening to Tressel is 100% not their fault. Furthermore, Herbstreit is about as qualified to speak to the content of a player's character as our next great moralist...

He Forgot To Include A Hot Babe In His Article Sounding his clarion call for morality and sanity, Pat Forde makes a compelling and stiring argument concerning social morality and the consequences of hubris among the prideful. Haha no, just kidding, it's a terrible grandstanding rushjob.

His basic argument is that Ohio State should fire Tressel because if they don't that'd be like if they hadn't fired Woody hayes for punching a player. Okay fine, fair enough. But what Forde and others repeatedly fail to both acknowledge and understand is that, in the eyes of OSU administration and fans, the actions of Jim Tressel the man mitigates a lot of the actions of Jim Tressel the coach.

If recent history tells us anything, it's that the NCAA doesn't look kindly upon dissemblers. Ask former Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant, whose college football career ended by misleading the NCAA. Former Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl will find out the same thing eventually, when the NCAA could hit him with a show-cause order that prevents him from college coaching for some period of time.

Apples and oranges. Dez Bryant was a player who actually didn't do anything wrong until the NCAA freaked him out enough to lie about it, and Bruce Pearl repeatedly broke NCAA rules, lied about it, got caught, promised not to do it anymore, gleefully broke more rules, and then lied again. What Tressel did was stupid and he should be punished for it, but for him to be put in the same category as Pearl is ridiculous.

Mandel & Forde, Best Buds 4 Lyfe Stewart Mandel over at SI.com believes that Tressel is now all but done at Ohio State... but I'm not really sure why he thinks this is the case, especially since, as he says:

Tressel has given no indication he would consider stepping down voluntarily, and the school isn't likely to ax the revered coach on its own.

Beyond that, Ohio State can breathe a little easier knowing the NCAA found no basis to levy lack of institutional control or failure to monitor charges against the school. Therefore, it seems unlikely the school would face future penalties like a postseason ban or reduced scholarships...

So, in other words, basically the only thing that would lead to a Jim Tressel firing is the NCAA throwing down their "show-cause" penalty, which is their harshest and would prevent Tressel from coaching. This is pretty unlikely, but like Forde, Mandel makes the Bruce Pearl comparison and shrugs his shoulders.

His greatest flaw, they might say, is that he cares too much about his players and was genuinely concerned for their safety. Yet here in writing, with little room for interpretation, is the NCAA flat-out saying Tressel failed to act with honesty and integrity. ...

Again, what Mandel isn't picking up here is that both can be true. Did Tressel gain a competitive advantage by not reporting what he knew? Of course. Was that his intent? Who knows, but if not, then lumping him in with Pearl is blatantly unfair.

Rally Cry One thing is for sure, however, and that's that Jim Tressel's players are right behind him.

Gotta love it (even if two of those guys might have reason to be more thankful than others). PLAY US OFF, KEYBOARD JAMES!


Comments Show All Comments

Scott K's picture

It's times like these, with writers and commentators like these listed, that I'm glad I live abroad.  At least this way I get to choose when I subject myself to their bs (as opposed to living in the US and being swamped by it 24/7) as I'm a confirmed sports junkie.

That said, I'm here almost every day to get my fix, and generally have a lol moment at least once per article with the fantastic humor contained within (see: Gauntlet)

Thank you 11W boyz for doing a great job covering our favorite team(s).

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

Scott K's picture

oh, and F-U Kirk Turdstreit!

Man, go to his twitter account and have a read.  It's hilarious. That cat is living in a dream world....

some of my favs:

"how do I bash osu?"

"The tp and mc connection had nothing to do with their character and everything to do with their hype and eagerness to get to the league"

@K_Herbstreit Your ESPN comment about how Tressel shouldn't recruit players like Clarett and Pryor?! What does that mean? "@MJ_Sand tress seems to struggle with high profile 5 star recruits that could go to any school in the country."

@K_Herbstreit Did u mean JT shouldn't recruit players like that (b/c he can't handle them), or OSU Fball program shouldn't? "@twtwtw12 can't handle em " 

and another user then follows up with: @K_Herbstreit So, which coach could have "handled" Mo C.?

Kirk's answer?  silence


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

Pam's picture

That was me that asked the Mo C. question.  I also asked him after he wrote the "hype and eagerness" to get into the league, how Mo and TP would have been different had they played for Coker or Kelly.  Less hyped and eager?  No reply

The_Lurker's picture

Excellent work, Johnny. I'm not really sure why you're using logic and reason though. That'll get you nowhere on these interwebs. C'mon, don't you want a bazillion followers on Twitter? zOMG!!!!111!!!

Matt's picture

Keyboard James:

No words.  

No words to describe it.


They should have sent a poet.


Bravo, Bup, you made my morning with that conclusion.

Jason Priestas's picture

Keyboard James bends reality to fit his views. He's an inspiration for all mankind.

Kurt's picture

I had the same thoughts about recruiting a guy like TP way back in December.  It's a point worth debating I feel, and it probably does sound like Chinese to fans who believe talent dictates all.  It can be definitely argued that you'd be better off with 3-4 star talent guys that work their asses off are semi-responsible with great coaching and great schemes.  I think Tressel is a coach that needs all of this superior talent to make up for poor schemes in order to win games.  Thus he recruits guys like TP, Maurice or Seantrel Henderson (anyone arguing we're not better off w/o him?!), bsically drama queens etc.  Even though I've come to not like what we do offensively in the past 3 years with TP, it cannot be stressed enough what a spectacular job Tressel did with guys like Krenzel and Smith.  Clearly lesser recruited players.

Carolina Buckeye's picture

I'm not bashing any of the players...but Troy Smith did was a lesser recruited player who accepted $500 from a booster in 2006.  He is one of the reasons that we could be treated as repeat offenders.  My point? Even lesser recruited players (ie Jordan Whiting) can get in trouble.

That being said, Herbstreit isn't worth my time.  Pryor isn't worth it either.  Tressel, made a mistake.  I think that this mistake has shown us that there is a little more arrogance, selfishness and (we've always known this) pride that drives Jim Tressel.  I believe his arrogance and selfishness led him to lie.  I believe his arrogance and selfishness led him to  believe he wasn't going to get caught.  I believe his arrogance and selfishness didn't let him apologize at first.


I'm not bashing Tress, he just is showing (and rightfully so) that he isn't the ultimate team player, that he does things for personal gain and makes decisions for personal gain.  This isn't a bad thing, but Tressel does not always have the best interests of the program at heart

BuckeyeChief's picture

What area of Carolina are you in? Seriously considering moving down there from VA Beach...they don't tax military retirement...

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

Carolina Buckeye's picture

Im over in the Western part of the state in the foothills of the mountains, just north of Hickory.  I actually did some work over in Murfreesboro, NC (bout an hour south of VA Beach) not too long ago.  Don't have many negatives about the state, except you're in ACC/elitist country for basketball, then they all jump off the bandwagon and follow the SEC for football, tough sledding for a buckeye.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Cool...I would be in the Gates county/ border station area. I am really tired of Va Beach politics; my housing assesment has went down over $90,000 in 4 years but my property tax goes up. SO GLAD I am an Ohio resident still.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

slippy's picture

I feel like a lot of people forget that at the end of the day, Tressel is getting paid very handsomely for one thing only: to win football games.


Obviously if he was a scumbag that did lots of other stuff he could lose his job over that.  It's a bonus if a coach is regarded as a good person and actually helps his players out in more ways than just football.  


But as we've seen around the country...even guys with National Titles under their belts it only takes a bad season or two before the guillotine drops.

Carolina Buckeye's picture

Agreed. and I'm not calling for Tressel's head.  I respect everything he has done on and off the field.  I had blind faith in him running a clean program (knowing that wasn't always true) but I think when we loo kat the nature of the violations committed and also, how absolutely poorly Tressel handled his "cover up" and indiscretions, it should be noted that he was so akward and fumbled it so poorly that he must not do it often.  I know it happens here, it happens everywhere.  When you get caught, you get caught.  IF Ohio State chooses to part ways with Tressel, I don't believe it should be BECAUSE of the violations but rather, because the violations have had a significant affect on his ability to maintain and advance the program beyond the level of success he has built it up to.

Denny's picture

Thinking about collecting as much cat piss as I can handle and then mailing it to Forde. What a high-horse piece of shit. Anyone have really little bags?

Forde's talking about moralistic issues, completely overlooking Tressel's track record of acceptance (Outlook Columbus interview) that on the surface may not jive with his outward religious beliefs. I've always been a big fan of Tressel as a person, but the interview where he talked about his willingness to support any gay players on his team still impresses me.

And Herbie? I think LeCharles Bentley rightly pointed out that Herbie is really toeing the line and may have waded into subtext that he shouldn't be going near. What the hell is 'players like Pryor and Clarett' supposed to mean? Talented? From poor areas? Highly-touted? Black? It's an absolute mess of a statement to make. For guys like those two (everybody's favorite examples of BAD BAD O$U PLAYERS), there are guys who come through the program that very publicly grow up and become better men. 

There's an insinuation there in what Herbie's saying that's ignorant. I can understand 18-22 year olds making stupid comments, but not people in their 30s who talk for a living.

And if that twitter account really is Herbie's, he's a goddamn moron.


BuckeyeChief's picture

One is his, another is a fake. I would like to point out that he is a moron either way. I hope to god he is perfect, because when you are 30 something, and start calling out 18-22 year olds, engaging in pissing contests, well...you better not be banging Erin Andrews on the side, you know?

He just has so much hate for Tressel...I don't know why. Is he mad that he was an All-American in High School and SUCKED at Ohio State? Is he pissed that JHC got fired? Maybe he lost a bet with Erin Andrews over the Florida debacle and she pegged him...that's gotta be it.


"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

BuckeyeChief's picture

A few personal things I would like to state:

1. We have no control over what's going on; Some but not all of the ESPN staff is giddy over this. (Stu Scott, Cowherd, Herbstreit, etc) but guys like Van Pelt are fairly objective when it comes to the Buckeyes and have even defended them on occasion.

2. It's been said over and over, 1 f*ck will erase a thousand that a boys. What Tressel did was stupid. Should he lose his job over it? No. Will he? Maybe, and that sucks. If it happens, I may have to walk away from sports as a whole for a while. The University will go on, as will the program, but JT is a helluva a guy. Would ANY other college coach (JHC even?) stop what he was doing, and go to their own football camp late, just to meet up with some random troop (me), and give him a few moments of time? Not really. I had Bama and Gator fans tell me they hate tOSU, but that was a class act  and they really respected him for that.

3. People disappoint, you know? I have no connection to my blood family because they are f*cked up. One of my in-laws recently did some real shady sh*t and embarrassed the whole fam. This was a guy I put on a pedestal, and I was shocked. It happens, nobody is perfect.

4. The best thing we can do, at the end of the day, is get up off the mat, dust ourselves off, and represent our state and university to the best of our abilities. (I didn't quite graduate and all, but I am a BUCKEYE). Use this as a teaching point to young folks you mentor. Use this as a lesson when tempted. Use this as motivation to be your best. If you are the mailboy at work, be the best mailboy you can, you know?


Sorry for the length, but hopefully this inspires someone.


"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

btalbert25's picture

I keep reading that Tressel was lying for selfish reasons and he has no credibility etc.  I have to ask though, how do we know he lied to make sure his players were elligible.  We know he wanted to protect the players.  Also, he got info from a source who certainly shouldn't have been communicating that info to ANYONE.  There is likely some relationship between the attorney and Tressel, coming forward with that info, which obviously has been plastered all over the place, would've and has certainly landed the guy in hot water.  On ESPN they asked the attorney if it could all be done again do you think coach Tressel may have handled it differently.  He said to heck with coach Tressel, I would've never shared the information at all.  Not to mention Pryor's mentor would've been dragged into this as well, and that could open up a whole new can of worms in terms of just accusations alone.  Then you throw into it that, the players would not have been elligble and you have a whole lot of reasons to just sit on the information, and not mention it. 

Was it the wrong thing to do?  Sure in hindsight it was.  Was it all totally selfish?  I don't think so.  I certainly don't think it's the most deplorable thing any major D1 coach is doing.  I think some of the recruiting practices of Saban, Miles, and Kiffen(which are legal) are much more deplorable than what Tressel did.  Either way, he broke the rules and got caught.  I hope he survives this.  If he doesn't, I like Buckeye Chief, may have to walk away from college football for a while. 

Tressel is a good man and college football is much better for having guys like him and Richt at Georgia.  If a man like him takes a fall for something like this, but assholes like Kiffen, Saban, Miles, Chizik, and Chip Kelley still get to roam the sidelines, I don't think I care to devote my time, attention, and passion to the sport any longer.

Carolina Buckeye's picture

"Also, he got info from a source who certainly shouldn't have been communicating that info to ANYONE."

Why should he have not shared the information with anyone?  Cicero was not and is not Edward Rife's attorney.  Attorney client priviledge should be cleary established by both attorney and client.  Rife was not Cicero's client, their meeting was preliminary at best.  It was probably in Cicero's best interest to just stay quiet but his behavior was not unethical or illegal.

I like Tressel, I do, but people need to stop with the Tressel the "man" and Tressel the "coach" separation.  A very very small minority of us fans know Tressel the "man" and irregardless of if we do, it doesn't matter if you're a nice guy or an asshole when you break the rules.  Yes, Ohio State is going to offer it up as mitigating circumstances but objectively speaking, the NCAA should look at the case as coach X broke rule Y and receives punishment Z based on precedent involving similar cases.

I don't want to see Tressel leave, I'm still enjoying the ride and am not ready to jump off yet.  However, there are no mitigating circumstances or silver linings involving this case.


Jim Tressel committed MAJOR NCAA violations for ethical misconduct and lying to NCAA investigators.  Period.



btalbert25's picture

"the NCAA should look at the case as coach X broke rule Y and receives punishment Z based on precedent involving similar cases"

You are absolutely right, they should, but when has the NCAA ever done that?  The NCAA never rules objectively on things.  If they did, Auburn would've never been in the BCS title game and none of the Tat 5 would've played in the bowl game.  At the end of the day, no matter how you look at it Tressel broke rules, got caught and will have to pay for it somehow. I do, though, believe that a man's track record and how he has carried himself on and off the field should be taken into account.   

Carolina Buckeye's picture

Now you're just way off track...

As far as Auburn is concerned...Aubrn wasn't the institution that was even involved in the allegations of a pay to play scheme.  At no point during the NCAA investigation did they uncover ANY misconduct by the University of Auburn.  The NCAA also found no concrete evidence, heck no evidence period, that Cam Newton was aware of the scheme. Was he? Probably...but the only thing that matter is if there was evidence to prove he was, and there just wasn't.  So at the end of the day, are you going to punish a University that had no involvement, and a student-athlete who had no involvement, in a pay for play scheme that actually never came to fruition? The NCAA applied the rules with the evidence they had.


At the end of the day, no matter how you look at it Tressel broke rules, got caught and will have to pay for it somehow. I do, though, believe that a man's track record and how he has carried himself on and off the field should be taken into account.  


Let us please take a look at Jim Tressel's track record:

1988-91: Ray Isaacs and Mickey Monus. Isaacs has admitted to receiving more than $10,000 in benefits including $3,800 during the 91' national championship. In January of 1994, the University received a NOA from the NCAA. In March of 1998, Monus was on trial for tampering with a juror and testimony re-opened the Isaacs case.  Youngstown State was cited for a lack of institutional contol and docked scholarships, Tressel escaped punishment but at the heart of allegations against him was denying knowledge of improprieties and non-compliace. Tressel and YSU were allowed to keep their national championship from 1991

11 months after the NCAA decision, Jim Tressel was named coach at Ohio State.

3 days later Maurice Clarett signed with Ohio State.

2002-03: The Maurice Clarett saga.  Sure, the NCAA found no "violations" on behalf of Tressel or the university, however, this story smelt an awful lot like the Ray Isaacs tale.  At the core of these allegations (primarily from Clarett) was that Tressel "didn't want to know" and set up meetings with certain individuals without proper oversight.  Tressel again dodged any sanctions but a pattern of a lack of knowledge involving players actions off the field. No violations were found, Tressel and OSU were allowed to keep the 2003 national championship.

2005:-06 Troy Smith is suspended for 2 games for receiving improper benefits from a booster.  Now, this story did not have all the smoke and mirrors of Ray Isaacs and Maurice Clarett but the evidence was pretty telling, it was open and shut.  It would mark the third time a star player had been accused of receiving improper benefits under Coach Tressel. As coincidence would have it, Smith went on to lead OSU to a national championship apperance.  THIS incident also currently has ohio state on the hook for a repeat offender tag.

2010: Brings us to TP.  With a national championship season on the line, Tressel covers up direct information that players had violated NCAA rules in order to keep them eligible for the coming football season. The players? STAR QB Terrelle Pryor and STAR WR Devier Posey. What was potentially on the line? A national championship season. Once Tatgate broke, Tressel sat infront of the national media, the ncaa, his own athletic director (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=1920867 - read A DIRECT QUOTE from YSU AD and tell me Gene Smith doesn't feel the same way) and university president and claimed he had no prior knowledge or information regarding the incident. As we all know, it gets worse...


So when you look at Tressels track record you see, that he is either stricken with coincidence in that on four seperate occassions, four rogue players acting on their own accord without any knowledge whatsoever by Tressel, received improper benefits DURING or BEFORE a national championship season....or he has a history of non-compliance and unethical behavior and it finally caught up to him.


So sure, he portrays himself as a Christrian man, a leader of young men, a model citizen. I believe a lot of it is true, I think Jim Tressel is a good man.

However, I guarantee that there are more FACTS in past NCAA investigations about potential unethical behavior than there are FACTS about him being a "good man" to tip the scales in favor of his track record.


I don't mean this post as a slam on Tressel.  I love what he has done for this university but lets open our eyes here, 4 separate incidents involving potential MAJOR ncaa violations.  Saban, Stoops, Meyer, Carroll, Bryant, Paterno, Bowden, Hayes, Spurrier,.....sure some of them have had their problems (Bowden = academics, Carroll = bush) but NONE of them have been investigated for major violations multiple times, let alone 4 separate incidents....is Jim Tressel's luck REALLY THAT BAD?

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

How many young men do you think Tressel has coached in this time period? Hundreds? More? Yet you point to these four separate incidents as some kind of smoking gun as to JT's character.  Dont call him a good man and then cite examples of why he is not.

Yeah, I mean 2002 really shaped up to be a MNC year. We were coming off a stellar 7-5 season.  Of course after the season began we just started blowing everybody out of the water so no wonder JT was trying to keep MoC's transgressions under wraps.

You are factually incorrect regarding the Troy Smith situation.  Troy got in trouble in 2004 which saw him suspended for the Alamo Bowl in addtion to the Texas game.  You cite this as 05-06 when in fact it is 04-05.  The reason this is important is because Troy was NOT THE STARTER when he took the money and was suspended.  He and Zwick competed thru the 2005 season, thus consider your theory that Tressel protects his stars "during or berfore a National Championship season" debunked.

You speak well, but in all honesty, you kinda suck at being a conspiracy theorist.  Too bad JT was only 11 years old in November of '63 or you could have pinned that one on him too.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

Denny's picture

Agreed on the first point. There have been other instances (Irrizary and Holmes come to mind), but four relatively well-known cases over 10 years do not make some sort of horrible situation.

Athletes screw up, just like normal college kids screw up. It doesn't matter where - it happens.


Carolina Buckeye's picture

You are right, I am factually in correct, it was a blog post and I did not take the time to review my timeline but I do know that the university was not sanctioned until 2006 in the matter...the reason we are being viewed as a repeat offender.


I do suck at being a conspiracy theorist because I am not trying to be one.

In looking at what I said I suppose I didn't make my point clearly.  Tressel's "leash" to his "doghouse" has a lot more slack in it for star players.  Sometimes that slack involves tolerating potential NCAA violations by those players. I am not trying to paint Tressel out to be a bad guy, I haven't tried to do that through out the entire process.  What I was trying to establish why my post is that Tressel has a history of non-compliance allegations dating back 23 years. I am not judging him for his "lack of knowledge" at all.  I still support him as a coach, I don't want anyone else on our sidelines. Much like Ramzy's most current article, all along my biggest issue with this whole situation isn't that we cheated, but that we got caught and caught ourselves.  I don't believe we do anything any other program doesn't do.

My post was in response to a previous post that called for mitigating his punishment based on his past behavior in contrast to "assholes" like Chizik and Saban (the SEC in general).  I was being objective and trying to point out that when the NCAA reviews his past they will see negatives as well as positives.  In this society, and to the NCAA, the negatives are what matters the most.

Finally, for all of you that claim Tressel has helped hundreds of student athletes.  I am not criticizing Tressel or the profession in general but head football coaches at major division 1 football programs don't rub elbows with the players on a daily basis outside of football. I do believe that Tressel has a relationship with some of his players, but by and large, he is not intimately acquainted with or involved with 85% of his players everyday lives (like most major d1 coaches)

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

My understanding is that Cicero did represent this man in a prior unrelated case.  Also, if you read the last e-mail answer (that was released anyway) Cicero does indicate that his information pathway had closed up because the gentleman had reached some kind of conclusion in the matter indicating that his info came from somewhere other than the gentleman himself.

No matter the case, attorney client priviledge does not apply, however there are some violation of ABA rules and would not be surprised to see some action taken against Cicero.

Also, there IS a mitigating factor--an ongoing federal investigation. Yes, once it was concluded absolutley Tress should have disclosed what he knew and when, HOWEVER at the time he signed the NCAA letter in September, the investigation had NOT concluded--another mitigating factor.  Not saying this clears him in any way, but I think it may prevent the Show Cause and repeat offender sanctions.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

Hamsterdam's picture

And if that twitter account really is Herbie's, he's a goddamn moron.

Herbie not only disappoints me as an Ohio State alum, but also as a former journalist. I can only hope GameDay comes to Columbus this coming fall ... perhaps for Wisconsin on Oct. 29.


741's picture

Yes! That will be awesome to see Herbie getting trashed relentlessly by a mob of his home town fans. (Perhaps a little bit embarassing, but awesome.)

OHIOinME's picture

All we need is Glenn Beck to add his two cents; tell us to buy a survival pack, dehydrated food, stock pile water and buy a lot of Vaseline for the BF'ing that going to happen to Buckeye Nation.  


All kidding aside, I support JT.  I don't know when it happened that people aren't allowed to make mistakes but it's getting scary.  It's not like JT was dealing drugs to kids, setting up deals where his football players could sale their gear for tattoos with sketch balls.  It's not like he dances with the devil in the pale moon light.  The national media is stoking the fire.  They acting like some gossip mag that doesn't care about intent or what actually happened, just about getting the publics attention so they can sell add space and subscriptions.  Blood sells.

M Man's picture

Here's one more for the compilation, Johnny:  Detroit Free Press columnist (and sometime Sports Illustrated feature writer) Michael Rosenberg.  Explaining to the world why Jim Tressel must be fired for the sake of honesty and professional standards:


Recall that the Detroit Free Press is the institution that gave us Michigan's "Stretchgate."  After a lengthy and seven-figure investigation, Athletic Director David Brandon now declares that the Free Press' reporting (including most prominently Rosenberg himself) was false and misleading.  Brandon didn't have to weigh in on the Free Press.  Michigan conceded the silly and hypertechnical stretching-time and graduate assistant job-description violations.  And Brandon wasn't even part of the Athletic Department at the times relevant to the investigation.  Brandon could have given the paper a pass, in the interest of letting bygones be bygones and looking forward to better p.r. in the future.  He hasn't done that.  He said he personally went through Rosenberg's writing with a highlighter, noting the errors and inaccuracies.  And he was left with more errors than information.

The Free Press also gave the world Mitch Albom's infamous column in which he made up and reported a story that he was with Mateen Cleaves and Jason Richardson in the stands at an NCAA tournament game.  (Albom was suspended and then promptly returned to the paper.)

And most recently, Free Press columnist Drew Sharp falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh quotes about "slavery" when Limbaugh's name surfaced in connection with a sale of the Rams.  Sharp's column had to be changed and redacted.  He was never otherwise disciplined for his mistaken use of the false quote.

So this is the paper that stands behind Michael Rosenberg, as he tells The Ohio State University that it needs to fire Tressel in the name of honesty and professional standards.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Thanks, M Man.

What this episode has underlined, more than anything else, are the sorry states of the NCAA and the sports media, respectively.

Yes, JT made mistakes and, no, I do not consider individual NCAA officers and/or media hacks to be particularly bad people, per se - they're just part of wayward "institutions." However, if I'm going to jump on a high horse and start comparing the relative "social welfare" contributions of Div. 1A football versus the NCAA and the sports media, I'll take the "football factories" anyday, in spite of their many flaws. To all you paragons of Platonic virtue who get paid by the NCAA (Iowa State alums?) or by eSECpn/Yahoo/fishwraps/etc.: the great majority of y'all aren't 1/100th the man that JT is.

The NCAA should be disbanded. If the non-AQs take the BCS to court and win, that would be the perfect opportunity to jettison the deadweight NCAA.

Can't do much about the media hacks altogether, of course - their garbage sells. But when the NCAA gets jettisoned, there might also be an opportunity to slightly weaken eSECpn.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Speaking of non-AQ's...did you know that JT and the Peguins of YSU beat a certain non-AQ when they where I-AA for the National Title? Found that pretty funny when I saw it last night, while watching "We are Marshall".

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good catch. YSU beat Boise 28-14 to win the 1994 1AA championship.

BuckeyeChief's picture


We have a winner!

That was pretty awesome to discover.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

BuckeyeChief's picture

Would this be the same Mitch who admitted to giving C Webb multiple loans while he was there?

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

M Man's picture

That particular allegation says too much, and also too little, about Albom and the Fab Five.

What Albom reported in his book, "Fab Five," was that Chris Webber was so cash-strapped and needy, that while he'd see his Number 4 jerseys in store windows with high price tags on them, he didn't have enough money for a pizza.  And Webber supposedly begged Albom for pizza money, which Albom says he refused.

What Albom NEVER reported in his book was that Webber got some substantial money from Ed Martin, the low-life who had ingratiated himself with Webber and his family since junior high school.  Martin was a minor numbers racketeer, a former Ford assembly line electrician, who never went to Michigan, never coached at Michigan and who had no other University connection, other than being friends with some of the hottest talent in the Detroit Public School League.

Albom claims he never knew anything about Martin's nefariousness with certain players.  Despite the fact that Albom prides himself on having practically lived with the Fab Five for most of a year.  And that was the crux of the case against Michigan.  Michigan never paid Webber anything.  Ed Martin did.  Michigan, like Mitch Albom, didn't know what all Ed Martin was doing.  But Michigan, unlike Mitch Albom, was punished for what it did not know.

When Albom was given the Red Smith Award, there were howls of protest:



BuckeyeChief's picture

I think he admitted it on the documentary the was on ESPN.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

dmurder's picture

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

hangonskokie's picture

So according to ESPN the "honorable" thing to do would be to fire Jim Tressel in order to skirt major sanctions from the NCAA and hire Urban Meyer next spring.






DarthSweaterVest's picture

I want Tress to stay.  Yes, he messed up but with all the good he has done, I don't think that necessarily deserves a firing.  And if they bring in Urban I will seriously think about not following Buckeye football during his tenure because I think he is just ultra-sleazy

BuckeyeSki's picture



But we might get some of God's Recruits with Herb-an

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

btalbert25's picture

There's absolutely no question Ohio State would succeed with Urban Meyer, but in what world does he not "recruit players like Clarrett and Pryor"  Do we really need to run down the laundry list of criminals that Meyer has recruited over the years?  Not to mention I think Meyer is an absolute douchebag.  If guys like Herbie and other talking heads from ESPN think that Meyer is more a character guy than Tressel, they believe Meyer is a better man than Tressel, well that makes me question their judgement and the ability to do their jobs objectively.  If they are going to jump on Ohio State for having a coach like Tressel, well Ohio State will be getting drilled every day for the kind of athletes Meyer recruits and the kind of program he runs.  Tim Tebow is 1 example of a great kid he has recruited, but there are a lot of examples of terrible kids he's recruited.

I said it earlier and I'll say it again, if there's no room for Tressel in college football, I'm not sure it's a sport worthy of my fandom.  The system is so sleazy and there are so many seedy characters in and around the game, that it would be a crime for a man like Tressel to be the one who takes the fall.  I hope Gee and Smith stick to their guns, despite what lazy journalists and morons like Herbie think.

Backup Placekick holder's picture

There was a very strong rumor in the state of florida that Mr Myer was out’ed by Mrs Myer for he having extras with a grad student last year.  This started his emotional ups and downs in January of 2010.
I cannot say whether it happened or did not – but in general and mostly in college sports, where there is smoke…

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree, Herby's comment was absurd. To satisfy Herby's silly standard, the coachers would either have to employ gypsies with crystal balls who could gaze into the future behavior of would-be student athletes, or they could only recruit kids who had such impeccable records in h.s. that Ohio State would never win another BT championship again. We'd basically be Harvard football, but without its internationally respected academic programs in subjects like Queer Studies and Womyn's History. Actually, though, I did grad school at an Ivy and became acquainted with several kids who, on paper and in the faculty lounge, appeared to be the exact opposite of Herby's stereotype of potential character problems, but who turned out to be ethically challenged and, in at least one case, a real nasty piece of work.    

I'm very slow to play the race card on someone, but since Herby has been such a punk of late, maybe he deserves it this time (go LeCharles!).

Also, I once despised Urban Meyer, too, but now I wonder if part of the reason he left Florida is that he was uncomfortable with the modus operandi there. After being held hostage in Gator country for several years, his anxiety attacks woke him up from a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome (and/or it was his exit excuse), and he managed to escape the putrid swamps. The reason that he loved Timmy Tebow so much was that the two of them had that shared experience in captivity. Now, if Urban ever returns to Buckeyeland, he will be able to draw on his first-hand experiences in the belly of the Gator, as he applies the Principles of Tebow to a new Midwestern empire. Because Urban will be working for the Great O Satan U, his friends from eSECpn will turn viciously against him (sort of like the media used to love John McCain until he became the GOP nominee), but the lessons Urban learned from the belly of the Gator will make his new system invulnerable to the NCAA.   

If my rehabilitation of Urban seems a bit convenient, well, yes, it would be. I'm just practicing the new narrative (i.e., rationalizations) for when the Urban Meyer regime begins at Ohio State . . .     

btalbert25's picture

When Calipari decided to take the UK basketball job I kind of laughed at the fans.  When he was at Memphis all I ever heard was, he's a cheater, a slimeball, only recruits thugs, 1 and dones will never win a championship, and so much other garbage.  Now, you bring up any of those thoughts, ideas, or beliefs to UK fans and you are raked over the coals.  They blindly defend the man to no end.

That's what success and winning does.  Urban may not be everyone's favorite pick, but once he gets here and they win a lot, you won't dare talk bad about Urban if you are from outside Buckeye Nation.  Fans of all sports and teams are hypocrites and most in the Buckeye fold are no different than anyone else's fans.

DarthSweaterVest's picture

Nope, sorry there is more than just Ws and Ls, I want a coach that actually stands for something.  Would not want an Urban, or a Lane or a Nick Saban, ever.

btalbert25's picture

I agree with you, but the fan base as a whole would be huge Meyer fans.

DarthSweaterVest's picture

You're probably right that a large number would be happy to have him, but I think there would be a large percentage that would be unhappy as well.

William's picture

What does Meyer stand for that is so nefarious? He doesn't oversign, he treats his players well, and oh wait he's never LIED to the NCAA. He seems like a pretty decent guy to me. He may have had quite a few punks on his teams, but then again so have we.

btalbert25's picture

For one thing, the guy is a scarry investment.  Between his wife and health, I'm not sure the pressure of coaching Ohio State + Urban Meyer would be a long marriage.  Second, he has recruited more than just a couple of punks.  He has quite a few players with nice rap sheets.  Not to mention some deplorable acts on the field, like trying to gouge someone's eyes out.  It took forever to live down the choking of Wisky's QB,  Brandon Spikes wasn't talked about too much because he was on a Tebow team and it was impossible to give them bad press.  If this were an Ohio State player, We'd still be talking about it 2 years later.  He may not oversign, but he does resort to a lot of the same tactics as Nick Saban.  He's not affraid to promise a kid the world or convince a kid he was willing to die to get them to come to his school.  He's not a friendly guy either.  Personality wise and recruiting wise, he is so similar to Saban.  If you don't mind that, more power to you.  Like I said, he'll be a wild success for the 4 years or so he'll last in Columbus.  

Plus, do we really want a love story between Urban and another QB get plastered all over TV for four years?  We've seen the original with Alex Smith, then the sequel with Tebow, I don't care to make it a trilogy with him on Braxton's nuts.  I'd love to avoid Vern Lundquist getting all googly eyed on National broadcasts as we talk about what's on Braxton's Eye Black this week. 

William's picture

I never liked the Tebow saga, it was annoying; and everyone discusses the promising a recruit the world thing, but what coach doesn't try to sell themselves and their university to a player? The Spikes ordeal was ugly, then again David Boston didn't mind making Woodson look like a bobblehead, and you also mentioned the choking of Wisky's qb.. Personality wise he doesn't seem terrible, in fact after the past few months I'd say Tressel is one of the more arrogant coaches in the nation. Discussing the rap sheets, at Ohio State there have been quite a few run ins with the law, and while they were mostly less violent than the Florida situations, what was done by our players was still illegal, and breaking the law is breaking the law. I understand the caution that many feel when mentioning hiring Meyer, but when some state he is sleezy, to me it just doesn't seem to add up.

The_Lurker's picture

I'd say Tressel is one of the more arrogant coaches in the nation.

Tressel wouldn't even be in the top three most arrogant coaches in the SEC West.

Luke's picture

I take it you missed the video of him addressing Buckeye Grove's Ari Wasserman? If Jim Tressel isn't amongst the most arrogant coaches in the country, he's certainly one of (if not) the most patronizing.

William's picture

He couldn't even apologize at the original presser when the scandal originally came out. He's a great coach and all, but to me it seems like he thinks he's above everyone else, especially with how he has treated this ordeal.

741's picture

Link to Wasserman video?

741's picture

I do remember this. Not JT's most arrogant moment in my humble opinion.

I like it when he gets a little feisty and defensive.

William's picture

Pretty patronzing or arrogant to me. "You've obviously never played the game" pretty patronizing at the least. Guy was being sincere when asking the question.

Scott K's picture

Patronizing perhaps, but that has a lot to do with intention.  I don't think that's his intention here, although it can certainly be insinuated by his remark.  To be honest, as a former player, I think he's right in how he followed it up.  Some times you need to yell and be yelled at...this is the truth.  It's a man's/warrior's game, and that's just fact. Controlled chaos. Can you imagine how Woody would have reacted..

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

The_Lurker's picture

Having watched the video, that was a lot more mild than I was expecting, based on your description. I like Ari and I know what he was basically trying to ask but coaches and players, particularly when they're agitated or after a loss, routinely punish poorly worded or stupid questions. It wouldn't be hard to find dozens of examples of Nick Saban or Les Miles doing worse. I've experienced much worse from high school volleyball coaches, minor league hockey coaches and certainly from every coach we had during my 5 years with the Florida Panthers.

BuckeyeSki's picture

Tim Tebow is 1 example of a great kid he has recruited, but there are a lot of examples of terrible kids he's recruited.




Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Backup Placekick holder's picture

Don't recruit players like Pryor and Clarett...
I think Kirk is a racist.

Irricoir's picture

Race card is lame. Matter of fact, so are you for using it. I don't like Herbstreit one bit but just because two kids have helped to cast tOSU in an unfavorable light and Herbs says something about those kids doesn't equate to racism. If he said "those people", nah... not even that is an automatic identifier of racism. It was certainly a stupid thing to say but debunk his statement with something more intelligent please.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

btalbert25's picture

I certainly can't speak for the guy who made the comment, but I think it was meant to be tongue in cheek.  I have seen a few comments that said what does that mean, poor?  Good? black? etc.  I don't think anyone actually believes it was racially charged as the overwhelming majority of kids that are recruited by a program as high profile as Ohio State are black. 

Backup Placekick holder's picture

A little cynicism to the hypocritical statement herbstreit made.
He raves about a Cam Newton but then bashes a Terrell Pryor.
What’s the difference?  About $178,000 ...

And as for me being lame - maybe a few too many steel chair shots to the head on your part.

Kyle's picture

James Louis had a doozy today about being in class with the teacher next to him but she was mad at him and so he had to hold in his fart.  If they kid never plays a meaningful snap his twitter feed and outlook on life alone are worth the price of admission.


As I told some of my OSU friends today, we as a society, and in the sports world people are especially guilty (looking at your Worldwide Leader) of building up a sports figure to iconic hero status very quickly, oftentimes overlooking criminal activity or ethical lapses (Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, the list goes on) but love to tear them down as soon as they make a human error. 


People hate Jim Tressel because he's been built up as this holier than though do-gooder, but HE isn't the one who perpetrates "The Senator" persona.  That's ESPN and others.  He isn't, nor has he ever claimed perfection in his coaching career or personal life, yet people attack him as hypocrite because he wrote a book and encourages people to live the right way and do good by others.  He messed up, his intentions in doing so we may never know, and he deserves to be punished.  I'm not a Tressel apologist or one who thinks he walks on water.  I also don't think he deserves the degree or voracity of villification he's gotten by the national media.

Bucksfan's picture

When it's all said and done, Ohio State has an opportunity here to assume a position that they've always preached - and that's a "LEADER" - and give a big "Fuck you" to the NCAA.  If the NCAA does, in fact, issue a show-cause on Tressel (and there's no indication they will), all it does is put Ohio State in a position to defend its coach.  And in what fashion is that an impossible job?  Any 5th grader with a 3rd grade reading level can put together a Jim Tressel resume on construction paper, written in Crayon, that would be longer and more impressive than any other coach in the country.  This includes community service, standing in the community, stature with alumni, graduation rate improvement, Ohio State football's reputation as a top-10 API program, the endless list of NCAA disclosures in the last 10 years, etc. etc. etc.

Basically, what I'm saying is that the University could go out and say something like this" "We like this man, A LOT, and we think he does a better job than anyone could ever do.  Firing Jim Tressel is not going to change any future coach's behavior anywhere in this country, as indicated by the 27 dismissals since 2006.  We do not feel that this one transgression in a career of transparency is grounds for a firing in this case.  We do however feel that suspending him from his job and docking his pay is a hefty price to pay.  If you feel that a precedent has been set by other universities to fire a coach over one transgression, then your problem is not with us for sticking with our people, your issue is with them for not doing the same.  I encourage you to ask your respective universities what good it did to fire those coaches, whether it truly deterred behavior at any other university, and whether you can prove that the integrity of the school was ever in jeapordy and exactly how it was preserved by their decision.  We feel that Ohio State's reputation is not in jeapordy by sticking with Jim Tressel, and ultimately feel that we're stronger for it."

What could anyone say to that?  Does Ohio State expel students for a first-time plagarism? Loss of scholarship? Yes.  Failure of the course?  Yes.  Academic probation?  Yes.  Kicked out of school?  No.  And I'll be damned if they look at a student with straight A's the same way as a student with a 1.7.

Type G's picture

Good speech. I would very much like to hear it at the presser given by Gene Smith defending Tressel.

"No time for love, Doctah Jones!"

Scott K's picture


Amen brother.  Well said.

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

Kurt's picture

I was positing more of a continuation of the debate over 5 star players versus 3 and 4 star guys.

Matt's picture

Rex Ryan slams Big Vern in his new book:



"Truth be told, I didn't like the kid coming out of college," says Ryan, claiming he did his best to coach Gholston once he came to the Jets in 2009. "He's a good athlete and a smart guy, but I thought he was a phony."