Thursday Skull Session

By Alex on July 28, 2011 at 6:00a

Good morning Buckeye fans and welcome to another Thursday Skull Session. Before you make the jump into the "Skully", let me tell you why this Thursday is different from all other Thursdays and that is because we can finally smell actual, real life football just around the corner.

That excitement starts today as the annual Big Ten Media Days kick-off this morning in the Windy City. While there won't be any voting on conference pre-season awards this year, we are still fortunate enough to bring you everything else you could possibly want and need, as both Chris and Jason will be in attendance making the B1G coaches sweat. Be sure to follow ElevenWarriors and Chris11W on twitter as they will be updating you live throughout the day. If you have any questions you'd like them to ask anyone over the weekend, feel free to drop a line here and perhaps your inquiry will make it onto national television.

In addition to using the interwebs and awesomeness that is 11W social media to track the events happening in Chicago, you can also tune in to the Big Ten Network throughout the day for live coverage of the coaches' press conferences. You can check out the schedule here and if you're super lazy I'll let you know that Luke Fickell is on the podium at 12 PM ET and if you like watching a larger man sweat, Brady Hoke is up at 1:15 PM ET.

Also, there will be opportunities to hear from various players from all 12 teams during the event. The full list of players attending can be found here, and once again for all you lazy fingers, the Bucks will be represented by Mike Brewster, Andrew Sweat, and Orhian Johnson. I'm sure they'll be subject to plenty of questions about how the off-field issues surrounding the program have effected the culture of the locker room and the attitude of the team-basically nothing you haven't heard over and over again over the last six months. Nonetheless it will be intriguing to hear from the guys now that they finally can get down to business on the field.

This is sure to be one of the more interesting media days in recent memory, as some subjects that will be on the docket include reform in college football, Nebraska making it's introduction to the B1G, the first year of two divisions and a championship game, new coaches coming to the party including Hoke, Fickell, Kevin Wilson, and Jerry Kill (and Pelini in terms of new to the conference), and for the first time in a while, there is some uncertainty as to who the heavy favorite is to take home the conference crown. While we're used to being the clear-cut favorite, there is something to be said about being excited about the unknown and I'm definitely interested to see what comes out of this weekend in terms of generating a buzz heading into training camp over the next two weeks.

That Eat Too Brutus thing is pretty awesome. In case you are a first time visitor or have lived under a rock for the past few weeks, I wanted to bring to your attention again our second annual Eat Too Brutus tailgate. The event is bigger and better this year, as it is sponsored by City BBQ (FTW!) and benefits the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

More information about the event can be found here, but the gist of it is that if you buy a t-shirt at the Bauserman level, you get an awesom ETB shirt and your$14 donation goes completely to the Spielman Fund. If you purchase a shirt at our Spielman Level ($36), you get an awesome t-shirt, your $36 goes completely to the fund, and you get VIP access to the tailgate, meaning you get to pig out on some City BBQ. If you donate at our Archie Level, you get a shirt, your $45 donation goes to the fund, you get VIP access to pig out on some City BBQ, and you get a nice Cheryl & Co. Cookies packagae and some other surprises. Finally, if you donate at the Fickell/Stefanie's Heroes level, you get the shirt, your $99 donation goes to the fund, you get City BBQ, you get Cheryl & Co., and the big kahuna, promotion of you or your company on (a $300 value).

Fear not if you cannot make it, as donations are still encouraged to raise money for this great cause, as well as to get you some awesome swag so you can at least feel like you're there. Also, if you can't afford Spielman level or above, you are still more than welcome at the barbecue to participate in the debauchery that will be taking place starting at 1 PM ET on October 29 ahead of the 8 PM ET kick-off against Wisconsin. There will be plenty to do throughout the day thanks to our sponsors for this event (City BBQ, Cheryl & Co., Oval Brewing Co., and Buckeye Vodka) including music, games, raffles (JT may or may not be conducting this), contests, and more. It should be one awesome event and I know you certainly don't want to be "that guy" who missed it.

 Jalen Rose behind bars. Back in March Jalen Rose was arrested after he drunkenly crashed his car in a suburb of Detroit. Yesterday a judge sentenced Rose to 20 days in prison and a year of probation for the incident. Rose, the former Michigan star who now serves as an NBA analyst for ESPN, had a BAC of .12 after claiming he drank six martinis, well above Michigan's legal limit of .08.

Two things here. One, drinking and driving is never a laughing matter, but come on Jalen-martinis, really? At least go down swinging with some Jack or anything along those lines. Second, I do feel bad for Rose as he has been one of the better Michigan alums when it comes to bashing Ohio State during their recent issues. There are some players (current and former) from TSUN that have taken some low-blows at the Buckeyes, but Rose has actually spoken after taking things in perspective and that is something I can appreciate. I'm not starting a #FREEJALEN campaign anytime soon, but I'm not going to gloat in his sorrows either.

Rewriting the rules. has taken a closer look at the current issues going on in NCAA football and as a result has come out with a two part piece on how to change things for the better. The first piece was written by Michael Rosenberg and suggests a pay for play system. The second article is written by Andy Staples and discusses changes including pay for play, agent issues, gambling issues, recruiting issues, transfer issues and punishment for violation of his proposed bylaws. Some stuff is a little bit over the top and won't ever happen, but if you have a minute, I suggest you give it a read as there are some really good points brought up in his writing. 

Chip faces the heat. Pac 12 media days are taking place as we speak and as you can imagine the last thing reporters are asking Chip Kelly about when it comes to Oregon is how he feels about being picked to win their division this year. Naturally, journalists are more interested in asking about the Will Lyles scandal, but Kelly isn't budging

The Ducks' coach has been side-stepping questions all week, but is deferring to an on-going NCAA investigation as the reason he can't speak in detail. The coach is doing a good job in what minimal comments he is making regarding the accusations that the school ultimately paid for recruits by speaking confidently that this is all just a misconception and that it will all be cleared up shortly after the NCAA does it's work in Eugene.

The best part of this all is that if Kelly thinks he's facing the heat now, just wait to see what happens when the Ducks go down to Cowboys Stadium to take on LSU, the other school accused in the Lyles case. Definitely going to be interesting to hear the press conferences during that week.

KC4 in it to win it. Think we forgot about 11W favorite Kurt Coleman now that he's in his second year removed from Columbus? Not a chance. had a nice story on Kurt, who is the front-runner to start at strong safety for a depleted Eagles secondary this season. Coleman, drafted in the 7th round by Philadelphia last season, ended up starting three games last season and recorded 20 tackles during those three contests. He will be competing with Eagles' 2011 second round pick, Jaiquawn Jarrett out of Temple, but we have a good feeling KC4 will get the job done as always when the season begind. Best of luck to Kurt to put the hurt on some opposing players this season.


Comments Show All Comments

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

First post for me on 11W.  Glad to be a Buckeye!

Pay for play is BS.  A scholarship covering tuition, books, food, and housing is enough.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

OSUNeedles's picture

The fact that anyone thinks that paying players solves this problem is a joke. The high profile players don't want an extra $1000 per month, they want to feel like the millionaire that they picture themselves to already be. The problem is entitlement, not payment.

BuckeyeMark's picture

spot on!  paying Cam Newton $1K a month or more isn't going to remove the temptation to ask for $180K.  paying players won't solve the problem.

DowntheSideline12's picture

Finally my first post on 11W. 

- I agree the pay for play isn't necessary, however a change does need to be made. The players receive a monthly stipend that more than covers their rent and miscellaneous expenses. With the assumption being made that a majority of meals are covered through scholarship (meal plan) /team meals, and supplements being covered by the program, those costs should not be deducted from the stipend. This leaves a significant amount of money that is left which is not managed well by the player himself. The problem there lies within the fact that most players attempt to live beyond their means. By enrolling the players in a basic financial management class, or bringing in a third party to do this could be beneficial especially with everything that has gone down recently. I think money management is a huge factor in dealing with the issue, however recognize greed brought on by all the temptations of being a division I athlete the major problem.

On the other hand, I do believe the players should be allowed to sell their autographs, time, and memorabilia if they so choose. The harm brought by signing autographs for cash is minimal. While it might bring unwanted outsiders around the program, if it were facilitated by the University through organized events, maybe that could work. I think a full fledged salary is unecessary and would take away from the allure of the NFL and kill everything college athletics, especially football stand for. The value of a degree coupled with the opportunity for an NFL career are huge. This also does not take into account the amount of one-in-a-lifetime opportunities DI athletics provide its athletes. I hope some sort of payment system is established, however it is going to be one that takes a lot of thought and effort to bring to fruition. 

Greg Jennings "I put my team on my back"

Brady's picture

I have to agree with Alex that the unknown is a little exciting this year.  Do I wish that the last 6 months had been spent talking about recruits and quarreling over the depth chart?  Sure, but we must play the hand that was dealt.  It is quite intriguing to have a new guy under center and a new face on the sideline.  For the first time in quite awhile, the Bucks will play the part of underdog.  I say bring it on!  It is a new era for Buckeye nation and I can't wait until the pads start to crack again.


AcrossTheField11's picture

There's way more upside this year... Seems like going back to 2005/2006 anything less than a MNC was kind of a letdown to some degree.  I think every game will mean more, or will at least be more intriguing than some of the games in recent years.  Its lets go out and show the world what we've got vs. we better not lose or our high expectations are out the window.  Might be refreshing unless we start dropping games.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

BucksfanXC's picture

I think the NCAA should adopt an olympic model, if you earn a sponsorship, in addition to your schollie, great, more power to ya. That way we have no Title IX issues, etc. Swimmers like Michael Phelps could go to college, Visa can give him his endorsement deal still, everybody wins. Hell, I'm sure someone in every sport could get some sponsorships of some sort. Brands and products some of us have never heard of, but would be huge for that sports fans. Guys like Pryor could drive whatever car they wanted and get whatever tats he wants with his huge Nike deal. Guys like Thad Gibson could even get discounted cars by doing a commercial for some random local dealership. It would all be perfect!

Except for the post-game interviews that turn into NASCAR victory lane speeches, "Terrelle, how does it feel to beat PSU in Happy Valley?" "Well, I couldn't have done it without my Nike Michael Vick cleats, everybody kills, murders people, but I couldn't rush for a buck 20 without these pimpin spikes!"

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

Steve_Not_Chad's picture

In my opinion endorsement deals may breed resentment within a team. While the star QB, RB, or WR is making money through endorsements, the players that do the dirty work (linemen and most defensive players) most likely aren't going to have companies knocking on their doors for endorsement deals. I don't see a scenerio where non-star players are going to not care that a few on their team get to live high-on-the-hog and they don't.

I understand that the stars get all the endorsements in the NFL. However, in the NFL, linemen on both sides of the ball are pretty well compensated. How are  linemen going to be compensated at the college level?

Also, the Olympic model seems to be geared more toward individual sports and not team sports.

BucksfanXC's picture

I get that, but I think that's the coach's job and those star athlete's job to make everyone feel equal, even if they aren't. So coach shows the lineman that the QB/RB/WR has to run just as many laps, and has to do just as many drills, and doesn't get any special treatment on the field. And the QB/RB/WR takes his lineman out to dinner once in awhile, buys 'em scooters to ride around campus, etc. I mean, it would become part of the game. 

The real problem with it is that big city programs would have the leg up on the Indiana/Purdue/Missouri/Kansas/etc's of the world. Players in big markets with big market exposure would get better and more deals, therefore better recruits, and it would be a self-perpetuating system. Schools like OSU, PSU, VaTech, ND, that may be in small markets, but get on TV a lot would do just fine. Maybe schools that are small, but are in big markets might improve, Rutgers, Northwestern comes to mind. You think ESPN runs the world now...

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


I agree totally. Even if the school isn't actually paying these kids, the possibility of these endorsements will be the number one tool used in recruiting. This will lead to every single big name recriut going to a school that can ensure that he gets an endorsement. Schools like West Virginia will have no chance at big name recruits. Now I realize that these schools may not get many top recruits now but if endorsements were allowed, they would get zero!

Basically this will ruin the competition in college football. We will be left with a major league baseball situation with a couple "yankees" and a couple "red sox" and the rest of the teams will have no shot.

elloyd1681's picture

And how do you prevent the endorsement deals from being de facto pay to play contracts?  I can see Oregon doing really well under this system.  "We've got Nike in our backyard!"

buckeyes763's picture

Good point, that would be a huge advantage for the ducks. Plus they'd be getting players cheaper than they are right now and thats not cool.

I dont think pay for play/endorsements will ever happen as long as college football is apart of the NCAA. Too many issues, especially title 9.

Steve_Not_Chad's picture

Overall the ideas of paying players and endorsements has to many holes to ever be implemented. With that said, I do think athletes (in all sports) should be given a fairly descent monthly stipend for their dedication to botjh academics and athletics.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

Coleman will start for the Eagles some time very soon. He may not be the fastest, most gifted etc, but the guy plays all out. It's the only way he knows. Good luck to Capt Kurt.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

GunnersApe's picture

B1G Live feed:

Your Coach is up at noon.

Bucks43201's picture

Tunnel of Pride :



(wish they'd do it for that night game against Wiscy, too -- that would pump everyone up ! )

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

Bucksfan's picture

My thoughts on BTN coaches news conference: That new Indiana coach sounds like a badass when he talks.  JoePa is still a gem.  I'm convinced that Hope's mustache is the real mastermind behind that football program.  Bielema looks fatter than normal.

That is all.

P.S. A conference championship game in this conference with the prize being the Rose Bowl could very well become the greatest thing in college football.

Bucksfan's picture

Update: Brady Hoke had a physical reaction to talking about the OSU-Michigan game, as if someone just busted out a box of twinkies...he almost jumped out of his suit.  So, I think it's safe to say that the guy gets it, and that intensity is very deserving of our attention.

Secondly, will that fucker ever use the word "State?"  Continually calling us "Ohio" is slowly gnawing away at my patience.

Nappy's picture

Jason should ask what it is about the Bobcats that Hoke hates so much

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

BuckeyeSki's picture

Closet tOSU superfan that is in no way pleased with the way the Bobcat treated Brutus after being invited into his home perhaps?

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

Nappy's picture

Or maybe he's mad that the Bobcat beat him in an eating contest?

Nah, that would never happen

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

TheHostileDwarf's picture

In a way, it's sorta nice to hate that hillbilly for being a Michigan Man instead of hating Rich Rodriguez just because he was such a massive, douchey tool who happened to coach at TSUN. At least with Hoke, it's a more organic hatred.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

mmmm organic hatred

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

BuckeyeSki's picture

I dont understand why organic hate costs so much more than processed hate

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

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

less pestcides. hate has a very thin skin and it pesticides can leach in and give you the cancer.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

741's picture

Hahaha - nice one Nappy!

741's picture

Maybe it's the University of Toledo (Ohio) they hate? BOOM.

buckeyes763's picture

it's not going to matter what he calls us when we beat them for the 8th year in a row

cal3713's picture

I'm sorry, but I really miss the random skully pics... and, regarding the new standard logo, the background grey is a little off from the background color.

Nappy's picture

I agree



I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

BuckeyeSki's picture

"Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love, I dont even want, none of the above, I want random skullies!!"


I like it personally

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


I like the new logo, but I also miss the random pics.

I suggest that the logo can be "the go to" but still throw a random pic in there from time to time.

Nappy's picture

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

NH-IO's picture

Michigan has a legal limit of .08 martinis?  That's f'd up, man.

Matt's picture

Theory:  Mark Dantonio is saying all the right things re: Tressel, thereby earning the gratitude of the vast majority of OSU fanbase who feel that Tressel got raw deal, and, assuming a good 2011 season with a fairly loaded MSU team, in the process setting himself up as the potential go-to guy whom Buckeye nation can accept as the new HC in the event that Fickell struggles to produce results on the field and on the road recruiting and Urban Meyer refuses to take the job.

NW Buckeye's picture

I don't know how many of you listened to JoePa, but he also said all the right things when it came to questions about Tressel.  The most amusing answer was to the question "How has Penn State avoided major NCAA sanctions?"  The answer - "I don't know, perhaps we're lucky."  Really takes the wind out of the PS trolls who venture on here occaisaionally.

btalbert25's picture

I have a problem with pay for play because even at 1000 per month there will be a small percentage of schools that can afford it and a bunch of school who will get crushed by it.  AND, I agree 1000 a month will not convince anyone to not take or look for more money.  1000 a month a guys are still going to sell their stuff, got to T-Town etc.  The only way to really get to the root of the problem is be extremely strict on Boosters and agents.  Really come down hard on these guys.  Players will still break rules along the way I'm sure, because someone will always try to break rules, but until they get the scumbags out of the game, things are always going to be a mess. 

I'm not sure how endorsements would work.  There is so much money for sponsorships coming into the schools and teams already, how would it be handled if Reebok or Adidas wanted TP when the school is so heavily paid by Nike? 

I say let the kids sign stuff and make money off of it.  I'm not talking about stealing helmets and Jerseys, but why shouldn't TP be able to make 20,000 to go to a card show and sign autographs.  Why should a guy be allowed to sell his gold pants if he wants to.  As long as their school work doesn't suffer and they show up for practices and keep up their end of team obligations they should be able to make money off of their name.

GoBucks713's picture

As you all know,I don't normally speak up much on here other than to say stupid crap from time to time, trying badly I might add, to make a funny, but this is how I feel about some of this.

The only way to hurt the Agents is to work hand and hand with the NFL to revoke their status for life. If the NFL would do this, then you could crack down on them, and maybe these Agents would leave the kids alone.

As far as paying these kids to play, they already get a stipend to cover monthly expenses. They already get around $1200 a month to cover them, and this is tax free, which would equate to having almost a $20,000 a year job, on top of no tuition or the debt that goes along with it, not to mention the free food, clothes, books, and tutors. If these kids realized that they get this as a benefit of being able to run, jump and catch better than us mere mortals that have tens of thousands of dollars in debt just from school, not including any other debt, then maybe most of them would lose this sense of entitlement.

I think maybe the Compliance department should point out these facts. Show them that even though they may not make it to the NFL, you can equate it to well over $120,000 when everything is said and done.

This being said, I don't think it's a bad idea to let them earn extra cash for autographs or selling their stuff, but they should do it through a Compliance Office monitored website, with a portion of the money going back to the university to help go to a general scholorship fund, or to the AD budget, or even to help keep tuition lower for non student-athletes. Maybe set a maximum for them to earn monthly, and if they happen to generate more "sales" then the rest goes into the fund.

-The Aristocrats!