Wednesday Skull Session

By Chris Lauderback on May 11, 2011 at 6:00a
Which is harder - the Lombardi granite or Spielman's glare?

Good Wednesday morning and welcome to what should be a rain-free, beautiful day for all you C-Bus residents stopping by for your daily dose of session de skull. To celebrate one of the rare dry days of spring, feel free to join me at my favorite outdoor bar aka Huntington Park tonight to watch the Clippers at 6:35pm. I'll be the dude swigging an overpriced Labatt down the 3rd base line thinking Don Mattingly was the baddest mamma-jamma baseball could handle back in the mid-80's before Bob Shirley jacked the Hitman's back.

While Mattingly is my all-time favorite baseballer, my all-time favorite footballer is also back in the news...

Spielman Took The Words Out Of My Mouth. Continuing to illustrate for Herbie how to execute having an opinion without coming off like a spoiled child, Chris Spielman made a pretty bold prediction Monday night at OSU-Lima's Spring For Scholarships event:

"I’d be surprised if he’s coaching next year (2011). Why I say that is I think there is more stuff coming out."

Spiels didn't elaborate on why he thinks this or what type of stuff might still emerge but even if nothing more does come to light, I do agree with him that there's a very strong chance Tressel will not coach a game this season. That punishment could come from the NCAA, the school, or Tressel himself. None of the three would surprise me in the least.

Amidst his comments, Spielman once again reiterated his deep feelings about Tressel while effectively reminding us all that the Vest's actions must be met with accountability:

"He’s a friend of mine. I respect him. I would be honored if my son were ever good enough to have him play for a guy like Jim Tressel. That being said, Ohio State is bigger than one individual. It’s bigger than the James Cancer Hospital. It’s bigger than the band and football and basketball and the Fisher College of Business. So what has to happen, in my opinion, is that the people in charge have to take an honest look and say, ‘What is best for the university moving forward?’ Then they have to make a hard decision. And I do believe Coach Tressel owes it to our university, he has to look in the mirror and say, ‘What is best for the university looking forward.?’

Spielman also noted that he's received a few threatening emails as a result of his comments but that they aren't about judgment, simply a belief that certain actions come with certain accountability.

I say, props once again to Chris for calling it like he sees it without trying to neither soften his point or preach from the mountain tops. Also, if you weren't aware (I wasn't) Hooley is writing a book in partnership with #36 about the family's journey (That’s Why I’m Here — The Chris and Stefanie Spielman Story) to be published later this year. I swear, I just want the honor of having Spielman tackle me someday even though I'll likely spend six months in traction afterward.

Worthington Adds More Commentary. Castel shared more thoughts from Doug Worthington on Monday and clearly he's not naive when it comes to the volume of players that might sell awards/memorabilia:

"You have to understand who those five guys are. You have Terrelle Pryor, you have Boom Herron, Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas—all those guys that you saw at the Sugar Bowl with big contributions to the team. They’re not just average guys on the football team. When some things go down like that, you have guys who never played a down at Ohio State who sold things and did things."

On one hand, it seems obvious that the star players would earn top dollar for their stuff but with Buckeye fandom at such an insane level, gold pants, championship rings and such from lesser players would still command what a broke student-athlete would consider legit coin.

Likely in response to some recent insinuations that his gold pants were sold, Worthington says not so fast, my friend:

"I never sold any of my items and I never gave anything away. I paid a pretty penny for my tattoos and all my stuff is accounted for and I’m proud to say that. No shame on anyone who had to, by my stuff is going to stay with the Worthington family and I’d be happy to show anyone who wants to see.”

Props for hanging on to your wares, D-dub.

Glad To Hear The Purple Team Locked Up Fitzgerald. It's pretty much un-American to not like like Pat Fitzgerald so I know I'm not going out on a limb here but I was happy to see Northwestern lock up the guy with a 10 year extension running through the 2020 season. As the stellar Wildcat blog Lake The Posts notes, it's a no-brainer for the school especially with Joe Pa not likely to coach past his upcoming 235th birthday.

In addition to being paid just under $2mil per season, Fitzgerald also made sure his assistants were taken care of after NU lost Kevin Johns to (gasp) Indiana. The financial moves coincide with the school's "Master Facility Plan" that should also help the Wildcats compete for athletes.

An awesome aside to this whole story is the bitter Twitter-feud that took place between the Trib's Teddy Greenstein and Chris DeLuca of the Sun-Times. They come off like Jersey hoes fighting over some hair-slicked gorilla in an adult x-small Affliction shirt laden with dragons.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does. I might as well admit I'm already aware that you think I'm a moron for linking this. I agree with you. Not only do I despise preseason football polls, I probably despise Dodd even more. Maybe I'm just dying to talk about OSU football instead of OSU drama.

In any event, OSU checks in at #9 in Dodd's Top 25, the best of the B1G, with Nebraska (10), Michigan State (11) and Wisconsin (12) right on our heels. Oklahoma is in the cat bird's seat followed by Bama, LSU, Oregon and Stanford.

Mixtape. Kirk Ferentz offered a HS freshman lineman...Some fluff on OSU's badass national championship volleyballers...Stop by Larry Flynt's Huster Hollywood on your next gameday trip to Columbus/Clintonville..."The Hangover" defense...The 13 worst horse names in Derby history...The deal of a lifetime.

You can follow Chris on Twitter


Comments Show All Comments

Carolina Buckeye's picture

Totally agree about Spielman. I hate to hear him say that, but I value his opinion greatly.  Like him, I always thought Tressel "owed" it to the university to take a hard look at himself and walk away if he knew the proverbial was hittin the fan.  We now know that we're dealing with an arrogant sweater vest (not criticizing at all) who is going to hold onto his job come hell or high water.  Once again, I'm not criticizing. I've actually softened up, I don't think Jim Tressel owes this university a thing, he's a man, whose pride and honor have taken a hit and he is reacting like the majority of most men do, probably with more tact.  As swankily as he is paid, buckeye football is his life, he asked for it, but he doesn't in my opinion, owe the university anything beyond what his contract stipulates....although, Tress, that does include reporting potential NCAA violations!


Lastly, hey DW...great you still have the hardware but, how did Kniffin finance that Denali? j/k...nothing but good things to say about DW!


elaydin's picture

So did anyone catch the big "nevermind" from the Dispatch w.r.t. Thad Gibson's car this morning?

The_Lurker's picture

Yeah, nice. Of course, it doesn't change the GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY meme, but those questioning Gibson's "free car" can suck it.

hangonskokie's picture

How much do you want to bet the this "story" **retraction** even makes it across the ticker on EPSN.

I think we have earned our shared of criticism and am not saying we're totally innocent in the dealership matter... but claiming a player paid $0, before looking into the BMV record or considering the financing situtation seems like a way for the Dispatch to make it look like their story had more teath than it really did... 

Not to mention, it hung this player out to dry all over ESPN as a rule-breaker when it would have been this easy to look at the BMV records and see that he wasn't. 

hangonskokie's picture

UPDATE: Actually noticed that ESPN just relayed the correct info across their hompage (via Rittenberg). Doesn't quite put the toothpaste back in the tube, but I'm glad they did.

Chris Lauderback's picture

Saw that article. Threw it up in buckshots.

M Man's picture

Good on the Dispatch for doing that as a story with its own headline, and not as some one-liner in a "Corrections" section buried on page 6.

About Speilman, who has reached the incomparable status of being adored in Ohio by all fans of OSU, and also adored in Michigan by all fans of the Detroit Lions...

I am familiar with this concept of major football alums (often the ones that are in the NFL or who spent a long time in the NFL) sort of cutting and running when they think that something might hurt their beloved Program.  We saw much the same -- much worse, really -- with former M letterwinners going apeshit over the fact that the Rodriguez-led Wolverines had two losing records back-to-back and a defense that was close to the bottom of the Conference.  And those guys were way ahead of the Athletic Department in throwing the HC under the bus.  Much too far ahead, as a matter of fact. 

I think those guys -- including guys like Speilman -- are just so competitive, and so hyper, that they can't resist putting their emotions into words when somebody asks them.  If Speilman knows (as he might) that there is more stuff coming, so be it.  That's one thing.  But I'm really not so sure that the Speilmans (or the Braylon Edwardses or the Mario Manninghams et cetera et cetera) are the best guys to ask...

Chris Lauderback's picture

Fair point on Spielman. I definitely see where you are coming from. No question he's the poster child for your comment about putting emotions into words. That said, I think (and it's admittedly just a thought) Spielman is probably significantly more connected to the program/university than some of the former UM players you mention so I tend to put increased stock in what he says. (That, and I blindly heart him like I did Alyssa Milano when I was a kid)

M Man's picture

True dat.  You're being polite to me, in my slightly cringeworthy placement of the names of Braylon Edwards and Chris Spielman in the same paragraph.  (Especially as I misspelled Spielman's name.)  Anyway, glad you got the basic point.

original buckeye's picture

M Man--ready to admit that your post the other day about the Dispatch fairly treating OSU was wrong?  Something, you know, like fact checking is a condition to fair treatment, no?

M Man's picture

No I am not willing to admit that.  I think that the latest development -- the Dispatch clearing the air about the other original title that reflects payment for the car -- shows that the Dispatch, while not perfect, is aiming to be fair.

The Dispatch didn't use a fake motor vehicle title; they had a real, genuine title.  They just didn't know that there was another one out there.  There's fact-checking, and then there's "additional information."

When I wrote earlier, it was assuredly not to pick on OSU or to troll the Comments thread.  I wrote earlier to expand on someone else's stray mention of the Detroit Free Press, vis a vis the Michigan investigation.  The takeaway from my comment was along the lines of, if you want to see a real newspaper hit-job, complete with anonymous sources, zero documentation and a known vendetta on the part of the author, see Michael Rosenberg and the Detroit Free Press...

This isn't the first mistake that the Dispatch has made, I am guessing, and it probably won't be the last.  I just think that the bigger point was the Dispatch's owning the mistake and clarifyng the record.  (When legions of people in Michigan were screaming at the Free Press on radio, on the 'net, and in every news-medium apart from the local newspapers, the Freep's Publisher actually weighed in, a week later, with an angry column defending Rosenberg and Snyder.  The Free Press has never once owned up to its exaggerations, mistakes and ethical lapses in its splashy front-page-Sunday story from 2009.  Compare and contrast.)

One last thing; while four or five Free Press columnists all joined in on the gang-bludgeoning of Rodriguez at various times, you've got.... Ken Gordon.  Now I'm not Ken Gordon's mouthpiece, but hasn't he at least been fair and circumspect about Tressel?  He's a better CFB columnist than anybody I know of in Detroit.

btalbert25's picture

M-Man, despite how fair you are.  Despite how respectful you have always been on this site.  There are some guys here that are just not going to like you because of your name and avatar.  It's unfortunate.  I totally agree with you by the way.  The Dispatch clearly isn't hell bent on taking down Ohio State.  Contrary to popular belief, neither is ESPN, but that's a whole different topic. 

M Man's picture

I'm really sympathetic to what you guys are going through right now.  It fits the pattern I knew all too well; battling with the press, seeing alumni players making hurtful pronouncements in the press, agonizing over stuff you know is inaccurate, worrying about the stuff you don't know about, waiting for the interminable investigation to exhaust itself.

I can share one thing with you, about long-ago coaching changes.  I remember the Gator Bowl versus Clemson, and the incident with Coach Hayes and Charlie Bauman.  Rather wildly blown out of proportion in my view, but we're not about to change that old story now.  Anyway, I remember that game very well because I had been at Woody's last game in Columbus, and I felt like I had an interest in the bowl game.  The general feeling at that time up here, when it was announced that Woody was out, was one of emptiness.  It was not triumphant.  It was sad.  Bo was personally very angry that Woody was being forced out.  I remember thinking how sad it was that it was the end of an incomparable era. 

Anyway, I like my avatar as it is.

M Man's picture

Oh, one other thing, having to do with inaccuracies in the press and the old line about how "A lie will be halfway around the world before the truth can put its boots on."

There was a story from about a week ago, about how there was a billboard on I-94 near Detroit Metro Airport, that was one line of gray all-caps writing on a scarlet background, reading:  LIAR LIAR VEST ON FIRE.  It went up on Buckshots.

Remember that?  And the whole world, from the Toledo Blade to The Lantern to television in Columbus and Cleveland, and a fair portion of the media in the state of Michigan, plus about a thousand sports blogs all over the country, from Nebraska to Texas to California all presumed that "Michigan fans" or even one "anonymous Michigan fan" had paid CBS Outdoor to place it on their billboard.

That was the story.  It went out like that, and got repeated a million times.

It wasn't true.

Sure, the billboard exists.  But it was put up by the staff of the CBS Outdoor Sales office in Detroit.  Who are mostly Michigan State alumni.  And who are NOT Michigan alums.  "Michigan" had nothing to do with the billboard.  No "Michigan fan" was involved.

It is just so hard for a true-but-boring story to beat out an inaccurate-but-titillating one.

original buckeye's picture

GMAFB.  You're bending over backward in an attempt to support the Dispatch.  They ran with the $0 story, and should've known the ripple effect it would have, without apparently doing a little research.  If that happened to UM, you would all be whining just like you all were when you thought the Free Press was trying to take you down about a year ago.  You were wrong about the Dispatch's fair treatment of OSU.  Own up to it.

M Man's picture

It's funny, at MGoBlog I get the same sort of attacks for saying the Dispatch is at least trying to be fair -- those guys think the Dispatch is just "shilling" for the Buckeyes.

Ah, well...

Anyway, to review:

  • The Detroit Free Press singlehandedly launched the Michigan '09 investigation, while the Dispatch did nothing of the kind in your case;
  • The Detroit Free Press story was substantially wrong about huge issues, and in fact they had no documents one way or another, while the Dispatch accurately reported on one document without knowing that another document was the one they should have looked at;
  • The Free Press has never, ever corrected itself or even entertained an opposing Op-Ed -- not one.  The Dispatch ran its own self-correcting story with equivalent space and equivalent headline importance to the first one.
  • The Free Press, in what was described as "journalistic malpractice" by Jon Chait (Full-time editor of The New Republic and part-time Michigan football fan), allowed one of its opinion columnists, Michael Rosenberg, to do the "investigative" hit-piece on Rosenberg.  The Dispatch, however, did the right thing and had two straight news reporters do the legwork on the car story.
  • The Free Press' story on Michigan relied completely on anonymous sources and no documentation.  By contrast, I can hardly think of any important sources that the Dispatch has kept anonyomous.  There probably are a few anonymous quotes here and there; just not any critical ones.  The Dispatch is doing almost everything right, that the Free Press did wrong.

Anyway, if you want to fight with some Michigan troll who simply baits you with Tressel trashtalk, I'm not your guy.  I like and respect Jim Tressel.  I wish him well.

btalbert25's picture

See, I can like a respect you for your comments on here.  I don't see M Man and think, Freakin Michigan fan.  Anyway, I totally agree with you, the Free Press was on a witch hunt.  The Dispatch, did nothing malicious.  They, perhaps, should have waited a couple of days to run the story or not run it at all as the 0$ title turned out to be a non issue, but they did put out the correct information after the fact.  The Freep tried to take down Michigan.  The Dispatch did nothing of the sort.

There are far worse "trolls" that come on here.  We've dealt with one from Penn State frequently this week, and I'm not crazy about Bamamatt.  You certainly are a different class than those guys.  Shame some people only see Michigan and automatically hate what you'll say.  We avoid politics and religion on this site, but really our football team and views about the teams are just as polarizing and we still get that, he's for that side he's gotta be anit-Ohio State.

M Man's picture

"...the 'investigative' hit-piece on Rosenberg..." should be, "the 'investigative' hit-piece on Rodriguez..."

I apologize for the error.

GoBucks713's picture

My goal in life is to become rich enough to buy TapOut, Affliction, and Ed Hardy just so I can burn the factories to the ground.

-The Aristocrats!

Chris Lauderback's picture

Hallelujah. Let me know if you need an accomplice.

Denny's picture

Make sure you're a few miles away before the glitter-vats explode. Demetri Martin is right - glitter is the herpes of craft supplies.


btalbert25's picture

Wait, so at the strip club I'm in danger of catching 2 different kinds of Herpes?


GoBucks713's picture

If you are going to those types of places, be sure to check your eyebrows bro.

-The Aristocrats!

Denny's picture



tampa buckeye's picture

Whats wrong with tapout?  I'll be back later got to go get my barb wire tat finished.

BuckeyeChief's picture

You know, i'm of the opinion of FTW right now. Keeping my mouth shut because it's smarter.

"2014 National with it!!!"

Backup Placekick holder's picture

I think everyone connected to the program directly and indirectly needs to just stop giving opinions, be quiet and support the program.  I understand they are in the media now but a "let's see what the August meeting result" is an answer.  I could understand if Coach covered up a murder or a rape, but a few jackass players sold some stuff that belonged to them.  Many former coaches have come out to say this happens a lot and it isn't a big deal.  Many talking heads go on record that it is a stupid rule. 

If the former big name players continue to give their thoughts then you give the college football world more ammo an the NCAA more reason to dig harder.  And like most of us, if you want to find something wrong, you are going to find something wrong.

Maestro's picture

I am in this camp.  I know that people are going to keep asking for opinions, but they aren't helping anything.  The more Spielman gives his paranoid stump speech about Tressel the more it sounds like he has an agenda.  Let the case play out and then comment.

vacuuming sucks

btalbert25's picture

I know everyone is bashing ESPN for not running updated information, but they actually did just report the new information on sportcenter. 

btalbert25's picture

You know what bothers me about this car situation?  It's not that cars and sales were made to players and their families.  What bothers me is that this Kniffen character seems to be a real shady character and the compliance department pointed players toward him to buy their cars.  It's looking like some of his sales practices maybe weren't lawful.  I'm just really not feeling good about a guy like this being ok in the eyes of compliance.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the situation a bit, and obviously Ohio State has nothing to do with his sales practices, but you would think the compliance guys would look into who they recommend or prefer players deal with.

matti's picture

fyi we are at double eddie today 2727 days over scum

Another Jason's picture

Also, 5+11+11 = 27.

RBuck's picture

In other breaking news, it is considered "obscene" to fart on a bus in Canal Winchester.

Long live the southend.

Colin's picture

My god, what is the world coming to.

The_Lurker's picture

Sometimes I wonder how many Dungeons and Dragons geeks accidentally stumble upon this website each year by making a typo in Google when trying to search elven warriors.

Chris Lauderback's picture

I am so thankful I have no F#cking clue what you are talking about!

bup bup bup's picture

i've done this, but in reverse. HECA, FIRIMAR! PELIN PEDI I LAM EDHELLEN!!

I am a Legend. -Will Smith, "I Am Legend"