Skull Session: Dante Booker Redshirt Question, Pat Elflein Speaks Out Against Heroin, and Ohio State Sues CafePress

By D.J. Byrnes on November 8, 2016 at 4:59 am
Curtis Samuel looks to sink his teeth into the November 8th 2016 Skull Session

Great news, America: Only 18 days until Michigan at Ohio State.

Jourdan Lewis tweeted yesterday about "disrespect" from a playoff poll that had the Wolverines No. 4.

Can you believe people aren't respecting a September home win over Penn State and a road win over Rutgers with a No. 1 ranking? Hard to believe.

Some of y'all believe bullying a six-loss Michigan team is more fun than knocking these clowns off their 11-0 high horse. Trust me, the euphoria from last year's dumping will look like a Kit Kat sugar rush in comparison to Nov. 26. You can take that to the bank.

 TO REDSHIRT OR NOT TO REDSHIRT? Dante Booker suffered a sprained MCL and PCL in the season-opening win over Bowling Green. It was a tough break for the former four-star St. Vincent–St. Mary's product who waited two years to start on defense.

Jerome Baker replaced him and is a Butkus Award semifinalist.

Booker has been "one week away" since the Indiana game, which means it might be worth redshirting him.


It isn't that Booker didn't play well. He suffered a knee injury in the second half of that season-opener, an injury that he has been slow to recover from. Booker has not seen the field since the Bowling Green game because of that injury, but he is now fully recovered and available to play. Now the question is would that be in the best interests of Booker or the OSU program, or would a redshirt year make more sense. 

"It’s something that we’ve discussed," said OSU linebacker coach and defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.

"Each and every week Dante and I sit down, probably on a Monday night, and kind of rehash and see where we are."

I feel like Booker would be back already if Baker hadn't blown up. As good as Booker must be, it's hard to believe he's that much better than Baker has been this year.

As long as Baker is performing at his current level, I don't see a reason to throw Booker back into the mix, especially if he's not 100%. It seems like he's destined for a redshirt unless Baker suffers an injury between now and the end of the season.

That's a helluva insurance policy on a Butkus semifinalist, too.

 PROPS TO PAT ELFLEIN. Pat Elflein has been the most consistent Slob this season, which was key considering the offensive line's sporadic performances earlier in the year.

But Elflein spoke about something bigger than football on Monday: His personal connection to the opiate crisis currently gripping America and his work with Tyler's Light in Pickerington.


A lot of "fans" want their athletes to shut up and score a touchdown, and it's not right. They're people with lives, thoughts, and opinions, and I applaud any of them brave enough to speak out on something besides the weekend's big game.

Let me also say this: The heroin/fentanyl epidemic is closer than you know. This junk is one phone call away, whether you're in Upper Arlington or Marion. Nobody is immune.

If you're struggling with addiction — and I know somebody reading out there is — you're not alone. And as long as you're alive, you can save yourself from the spiral. If you need somebody to talk to, please email me.

I will counsel anyone going through addiction and listen without judgment of past indiscretions. That is my oath.

 CAFEPRESS IN LINE FOR A HARD L. Ohio State plays no games when it comes to its trademarks. If you're a mom and pop bakery hawking cookies or a multinational conglomerate, the iron bank will have its due.

Looks like CafePress didn't heed cease and desist letters. On one hand, I respect it. On the other, Ohio State will bankrupt that ass.

From Tom Knox of

Ohio State University is suing the “pioneer of customizable retail products” for trademark infringement.

The suit in federal court in Columbus accuses Louisville, Kentucky-based CafePress Inc. of rampant infringement on its trademarks and that of football coach Urban Meyer.

Founded in 1999, CafePress is one of the earlier websites to allow customers to personalize and design items like T-shirts and mugs.

CafePress vs. Ohio State, baby! Can't wait to watch the local team ride on some carpetbagging profiteers next spring. OSU's legal department has a better record than Urban Meyer.

 BAD NEWS FOR ZEKE? Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing and is the No. 1 selling jersey. But he's apparently not 100% cleared from domestic abuse allegations.


The woman who accused Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott of abusing her for five days in July also called police on him months before the NFL Draft, alleging she suffered left shoulder pain from the force of Elliott pushing her up against a wall during an argument that turned physical.

An incident report obtained Friday by USA TODAY Sports from the Aventura (Fla.) Police Department said there were no visible signs of injury and that the accuser declined to go to the hospital after police responded to a call about an altercation at Elliott’s apartment Feb. 12.


It’s unclear whether the NFL, which continues to investigate the July allegations against Elliott that were reported to police in Columbus, Ohio, is aware of the previous allegation in Florida and whether it could influence a decision on potential discipline under the personal conduct policy, given the report was filed before Elliott was drafted in April.

There are times when, even though a big part of my job is to give opinions, I don't want to give an opinion. New facts could emerge that make me look like a jackass.

This is one of those times. So let's revisit this when the NFL finishes what is apparently the most thorough investigation in its history (which isn't a bad thing when it comes to domestic abuse allegations).

 LIQUOR SOUNDS LIT THO. People say the past was good. I used to think those people should go back in time and try polio on for size, but it switched. The past was good, actually:

Bad news for that liquor company, though, as Ohio State's legal team is now building a time machine to travel back 100 years to slap them with a cease and desist letter.

 SIGN HIM UP, URBAN. Thon Maker. Nigel Warrior. Luiji Vilain. 

I have an uncanny ability to spot a baller from a name alone. Let me introduce y'all without a Twitter to the hottest recruit on the market: Iguana.

Looks like those snakes need to hire Chris Ash to install rugby tackling, but that still can't take away from Iguana's silky smooth moves. If Urban signs him, I look forward to "the Iguana position" replacing "the Curtis Samuel position" by 2020.

 THOSE WMDs. TV's best worst show is 90 Day Fiancé... The Devil at 37,000 feet... Tent revival... Deep neural network judges books by their covers... Pogba and Ibrahimovic's super-agent.

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