Tuesday Skull Session

By Johnny Ginter on June 14, 2011 at 6:00a
"Donner Party Plate"

Happy Tuesday everyone, and welcome to your morning Skull Session. The big news of the day yesterday was of course the announcement of Luke Fickell as the head coach for the Ohio State University football team, and it was immediately evident that if anything, press conferences at least are going to be a lot different than they were under Jim Tressel.

There was very little senatorial coach speak, questions were answered directly and succinctly, and if any of you were participating in an "...and so forth" drinking game, unfortunately you were very, very sober by the end of everything. I'll get into my general impressions of Luke Fickell's performance in the first item of the day, but one thing is absolutely clear: of the last three or so press conferences conducted by Ohio State, this was by far the least cringe inducing. It's just too bad this particular press conference had to happen now, instead of about five years in the future.

Doug Breaks It Down You can find about 50 different reactions to the Fickell press conference by doing a google search for his name and then clicking on "news," but for the sake of brevity, let's stick with what Doug Lesmerises had to say about the presser:

[Referring to Fickell not being able to talk to Pryor about Terrelle leaving the team, Lesmerises writes that] If you're trying to hold on to the old QB, you find time to return his text or his call. But that one decision with Pryor showed what Fickell has to do in his only sure season as the head coach of the Buckeyes. He has to get out from under a Tressel Era that he, in many ways, clearly appreciated and admired.

I agree with this 100%. He isn't Jim Tressel, and as a head coach he can't make it his mission to try to be. Not taking time to seek out Pryor might be a bit callous, but it was also probably the right decision. Fickell can't be tethered to the past, and TP is firmly in the rearview mirror now.

Doug also seems to imply that perhaps Fickell wasn't as clear about how the program was going to approach the issue of compliance as maybe he should've been, and I agree with this point as well. Part of what Fickell needs to do is establish that he is a different coach from Jim Tressel, in terms of both X's and O's and compliance. Logistically it's extremely premature to expect Fickell to lay out a clear plan for how he was  going to instruct his players in compliance, but he still needs to make a concerted effort to show the public what will and won't be tolerated.

It'll be interesting to see what Fickell the head coach decides to do as far as wielding his newfound power; he more or less made it clear that Bollman is El Capitan on offense (which will continue to play toward its strengths), and it remains to be seen how much involvement he'll have on the defensive side of the ball.

The Internet Moves At The Speed Of Scandal Hey, remember CoachTressel.com? Type that into your handy dandy address bar and hit enter. Pretty crazy that the powers that be were able to get something like that up so fast, which might account for the two completely ridiculous pictures that they decided to use for the banner. Thanks to Adam Jardy for pointing this out, and thanks to me for taking the time to write up a paragraph about it and then include links in said paragraph.

Oh, and this site? Still up.

This Is More Than A Little Hilarious In case you didn't know, there's going to be an opening at the University of Tennessee for their Athletic Director position, and the one and only Phillip Fulmer has decided to throw his hat into the ring. Keep in mind that this is the same man who was fired (by the outgoing AD) for a poor coaching record and had a general blatant disregard for both actual and NCAA rules, so much so that the legendary Fulmer Cup is named for him.

Let me put it this way: let's say that the next coaching hire after Fickell is, oh, I don't know, Pete Carroll. Pete goes on to commit a trillion violations before bolting back to the NFL, leaving OSU in the lurch. Then Gene Smith retires. Then Jim Tressel decides to apply for the AD job, and it STILL isn't as ridiculous as what's happening at Tennessee right now because our mascot doesn't poop on the sidelines.

NCAA ’12 Team Ratings Revealed Tradition Sports Online has apparently hacked into the Cray-powered EA Sports servers and found out the various unit ratings for NCAA '12. Ohio State, in case you're interested, scores (for now) an overall A rating and an as of now pretty hilarious A+ on offense. It should actually be pretty interesting to see what EA does with the pretty extreme changes in the makeup of the current Ohio State football team; it also speaks to the fact that the transitory nature of sports in general can make it hell on programmers who attempt to churn out a new game in a series every year.


Comments Show All Comments

slippy's picture

I wasn't aware that the guys at EA actually tried to make new games every year...

cal3713's picture

I think Finkell didn't want to meet with Pryor because he was concerned that he might actually try to kick the kid's ass.

GoBucks713's picture

He probably would have choke slammed him. Or pulled out his autographed "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan 2x4 and broke it over his skull. Long live Fickell.

-The Aristocrats!

Doc's picture

Thanks for the laugh GB713.  I needed that.


CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

RoweTrain's picture

Or because Finkell is Einhorn and Einhorn is Finkell.

"Just bow up and go out and play." ~ D. Lee

"As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football." ~ B. Miller

GoBucks713's picture

is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

-The Aristocrats!

Maestro's picture

Saw that TP will address the media today at 2 ET.  Is this at Rosenhaus' direction or LeBron's?

vacuuming sucks

BuckeyeSki's picture

Either way, the world needs to know the TP will be taking his talents to Quebec

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

BuckeyeSki's picture

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

gwalther's picture

After watching his full presser, although his approach is different than Tressel's, you can tell he learned from Tressel how to speak in circles and dance around delicate questions. Props to Tressel for his media brilliance, and Luke for picking up on it.

Class of 2008

Rooster Buckburn's picture

dude the meat skull on the meat tray is just plain nasty.  Having said that I can't wait to put one out for my next party.

TKOSU24's picture

As per Gene Smith, rumors abound that he could be out by the end of June.

I know Tressel made some mistakes, (think they've been blown waaaay out of proportion), & the cover-up was worse than the crime.

But, I have a feeling that Tressel DID notify Gene Smith when he initially received the e-mails about the tatoos, etc.

I think the timing of this was to protect Gene Smith because of the fact that was head of the NCAA Basketball Selection Committee for this past season, (thanks for the crappy bracket placement, b.t.w. Gene). I think Smith (and the powers-that-be) wanted to protect himself and also thought it would be really bad PR for the university.

My hunch is Smith knew. Tressel is the scapegoat for (the dispensable) Smith. Hope it's wrong, but that's my gut feeling.

741's picture

I just don't buy into this theory (that seemingly won't go away) that JT is taking one for the team. Why would Tressel sacrifice his position to save Gene Smith? He had far more power and influence in this town than Smith will likely ever have in even the best possible case.

JT lied and his actions unfortunately have cast OSU in a negative light. None of us like it but the end result is the correct result - he had to go... It was just a question of when.

TKOSU24's picture

well, my larger point  is that it was NOT Tressel's idea for him to "take one for the team", but Les Wexner's and the Board.

William's picture

Any proof that it was Wexner and other board members who did this? I'm sorry but that's a pretty outlandish statement; you're throwing Wexner under the bus, and he by far means more to the University than Tressel ever could. I thought that Tressel had support from Wexner? 

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

JT would not take one for Smith, but he would for tOSU and the reality is, if this mess is all tied to Tressel, then we avoid the LOIC.  If Smith knew about this and didnt go to compliance, we would most definately get the USC treatment (or worse). We already know Tress didnt forward the e-mails to Smith, but I have had to let go of the idea that he didnt know at all. 

I just think Smith agreed with how Tress was handling it (which btw, I get it was against the rules (the benefits) and JT committed a major infraction (lying), but hey, did it or did it not work?  Pretty sure this stuff happened in 2008 and then the tattoo pipeline dried up and just like that, no more trading/selling.  Isnt that what punishment is about--changing the behavior? Just sayin').

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

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

I have long suspected the "take one for the team" theory.  However, it was not because he was protecting anyone in particular.  It was because if he took the blame, the school could avoid the dreaded Lack of Institutional Control (LOIC) designation.  And that could still be true.  But to think the BOT or AD were the reason...I doubt it.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.