Rise and shine, Ohio State fans, as the last Monday in June awaits you.
For many, it's the start of a new week but with the usual grind. For for the newly minted Mrs. Taylor Harrish however, her week is starting with the hopefully exhilarating reality that she's now married to Kevin. Props to Kevin for setting a new standard in outkicking the coverage. Nah... Kevin's obviously a great dude and I couldn't be happier for the diminutive duo.
I was unaware Kevin hired our very own Andrew Ellis as wedding photog but obviously that decision paid off in spades.
With Kevin and Taylor off enjoying the aftermath of their Saturday nuptials, you're stuck with me, Johnny and Ramzy until Kevin returns to the Skull Session on Thursday.
Word of the Day: Tittynope
REMEMBERING STUPID SCANDAL WITH STUPID NICKNAME. Can you believe it's been almost 10 years since Tatgate torpedoed Jim Tressel's tenure as Ohio State's head coach and dragged Terrelle Pryor, Devier Posey, Boom Herron, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas through the mud?
The truly despicable acts of the players, which included selling or trading their hard-earned memorabilia and getting free tattoos, resulted in five-game suspensions handed down by the NCAA. Four of the players would return for the back half of the 2011 season but Pryor never again suited up for the Buckeyes.
Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch caught up with some of the Tat 5 and would you believe it, Mike Adams thinks the NCAA is trash.
“It was so stressful,” Adams said. “It was terrible, being young adults and the way they treated us and the (expletive) that they put us through interrogations every day for weeks and weeks via phone or in a room. Treating us like we have literally (committed) some type of felony or crazy crime, (like we’d) just killed someone.
“They’re the judge, jury and executioner. I think it’s bull. I think the NCAA really needs a whole overhaul, top to bottom. I just think it’s an outdated system designed to take advantage of these kids and capitalize off of them every chance they can.”
Adams, among others, also expressed support for a relaxing of NCAA rules that would finally permit college athletes to profit from their own name, image and likeness, offering that he could've made upwards of $5,000 a week and someone like Pryor could've raked in millions.
As they say, timing is everything.
LEG ODEN. Yesterday marked the 13-year anniversary of Greg Oden's selection as the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.
The college kid who might've only looked 60 but unfortunately did have 90-year-old knees never found footing in the NBA thanks to roughly 237 surgeries.
Greg Oden and Kevin Durant went No. 1 and No. 2 in the NBA draft 13 years ago today.— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 28, 2020
Both went on to do great things pic.twitter.com/ztwd4Op1WH
Being labeled the biggest bust in the history of the NBA created some personal challenges for Oden and like the rest of us, he's not perfect, but the dude returned to Ohio State to get his degree, got married and had a daughter, and is paying his dues in hopes of making a mark in the coaching ranks.
Our own Dan Hope wrote a great piece on the big man just before graduation last year that's worth revisiting. It's amazing how Oden remained so positive despite his body betraying him on the path to what could have been.
Not exactly HQ footage here but wow was he a force when on the floor in college, even when playing with only one good hand. Just ask Florida.
A reminder Greg Oden made Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Marreese Speights look like children with ONE good hand in the national title game and was totally worthy of the No. 1 pick pic.twitter.com/N0kqStrsUJ— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) June 28, 2020
CLARETT'S CREED CONTINUES. I admit there was a time way back in the day when I was over Maurice Clarett. But there are few redemption stories greater than Clarett's, as he continues his crusade to make a positive impact on young people.
Among his many noble deeds since being released from prison in April 2010, Clarett's finest could be in starting The Red Zone in Youngstown. The agency specializes in assisting kids and adults with substance abuse and behavioral health issues.
Clarett's also a dynamic public speaker thanks to his past, brutal honesty, intelligence and an innate ability to relate to young people. As such, numerous athletic programs call on Clarett to address their athletes.
One such engagement blossomed into more after Clarett addressed the UConn men's basketball squad.
Head coach Dan Hurley was so impressed, Clarett is now an official consultant to the program. As detailed by the New York Post, Clarett logs a handful of days per month with the team. In the world of COVID-19, Clarett is still connected but in a virtual way. Clearly, this is a win-win as Clarett makes a difference to these kids and this type of work makes a difference to him.
“My thing isn’t to talk to them. My thing is to listen to them.”
“It’s meaningful work. You can’t beat meaningful work. If you’re not making a difference in somebody’s life, you’re really not living.”
Hat tip to you, Maurice.
BUCKEYES DOING WORK AMID COVID-19. Paying forward is a central tenant in Ohio State's athletic department and many current and former Buckeyes are stepping up in the face of the global pandemic. From an OSU release, here's a sampling of good deeds to hopefully give your Monday a spark in these trying times.
- Mike Conley gave $200,000 to five different community organizations with an eye on addressing food insecurity, remote learning and homelessness. Conley's gifts reached folks in Salt Lake City, Memphis, Columbus, Indianapolis and West Helena, Arkansas.
- Kirk Herbstreit partnered with Columbus-based Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) to help families struggling to pay bills in the face of coronavirus. The former Ohio State quarterback donated $100,000 in an effort to pay three months worth of bills in support of 60 KIPP school students and their families.
- Sam Hubbard's partnership with the Freestone Foodbank in Cincinnati has raised over $86,000 to date, enough for over 250,000 meals.
Check out the rest of the list here.
SONG OF THE DAY. "First Tube" by Phish.
NON-PHISH SONG OF THE DAY: "I'd Love to Change the World" by Ten Years After.
PEBBLES AND MARBLES. Crystal that looks like a chicken tender... The boy who became a World War II veteran at 13 years old... The sheer length of Vince Carter's career captured in two images... Fast food restaurants per 10,000 people in the United States... Mississippi lawmakers vote to remove rebel emblem from flag... Kirk Herbstreit joined Jeff Rimer on Saturday for an interesting 22-minute chat.