Skull Session: Chris Holtmann's Dayton Destiny, Gene Smith's Expectations, and James Clark Lands at Virginia Tech

By D.J. Byrnes on June 13, 2017 at 4:59 am
Dan Wallenberg observes the the June 13th 2017 Skull Session.
OSU SID Dan Wallenberg

I will never give the Golden State Warriors any props. They weren't that good, actually.

ICYMI: Ohio State introduced Chris Holtmann, the 14th men's basketball coach in school history.

Word of the Day: Recondite.

 WHAT'S HALFWAY BETWEEN DAYTON AND MARION? (ENGAGEMENT, LOL). Folks sleep on the Gem City, which is fine. It keeps rent low and the hustler's oasis vibe flowing.

But after an initial rebuffing of Gene Smith, Chris Holtmann and his wife met the Smiths at an "amazing" breakfast spot in Dayton, Ohio, which you might not know is halfway between Indianapolis and Columbus on I-70, the most boring interstate in the country.


Wednesday, Smith interviewed Ohio State assistant Chris Jent for the position. That night, Smith was in Omaha, Nebraska, to meet with Creighton coach Greg McDermott. He is not believed to have been officially offered the job, and after about three hours’ worth of sleep Smith was in a car pointed toward Dayton.

The two sides ultimately agreed on an eight-year deal that was announced Friday, and Holtmann came to Columbus to meet with his new players.

11W member EnonBuck79 offered possible breakfast possibilities. Here are their Trip Advisor rankings:

Let's hope Ohio State struck gold in the Hasty Tasty. No offense to the others but their names aren't as fun to say. I wonder if it'd be interested into franchising the Hasty Tasty Waffle Lounge. I've never been in a waffle lounge but it sounds baller.

Also in that thread, I learned people have hot takes about the Pine Club (4 stars). Some of you "people" are already dead inside and will never be happy, unfortunately.

 THE GAME REMAINS THE GAME. Ohio State football fans expect a championship every year, even though they don't always get it.

They want a national championship in basketball, too, but only about 10 people in Columbus would trade a basketball 'ship for College Football Playoff Trophy (the ACME-level branding has yet to stop amusing me).

Gene Smith, who just passed out an 8-year contract in pursuit of his man while operating under a limited timetable, doesn't expect that. But he does expect to see Ohio State competing for a conference championship every year.


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maybe as an Ohio State fan you have felt this in your heart, but athletic director Gene Smith put it on the record Monday after the news conference for new basketball coach Chris Holtmann.

"We should be in the hunt for the (Big Ten) championship, eventually, every single year," Smith told me. "We should be one of those teams, and Thad had it going for a window of time, where Ohio State has a chance to always be in the hunt for the Big Ten championship."

So, Coach Holtmann, that's your bar, in case it didn't come up during the negotiations with Smith. It's higher for the new coach with the eight-year deal than it's ever been for Ohio State basketball. It, in my opinion, is unrealistically and unsustainably high.

It might be unrealistically high. But those are the expectations when you make millions of dollars a year. Hell, those are the expectations when you make $20K a year.

Just don't expect too much from Ohio State this year. LeBron James is the only fix for that roster.

 HAPPY TRAILS TO JAMES CLARK. As expected, former Ohio State wide receiver James Clark will play at Virginia Tech next season:


BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente welcomed wide receiver James Clark to the football program on Monday. Clark is enrolled in summer classes today after transferring from Ohio State. He will have one year of eligibility to compete in 2017.


On the track, the New Smyrna Beach, Florida native was part of the second-fastest 4x100-meter relay team in school history (39:01). He recently ran the lead leg for the Buckeyes at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. He began competing with the track squad in 2016 and finished ninth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in the 60-meter dash (6.87).

Maybe we'll see Clark in the playoffs. (Hey, there's always one team that seemingly comes out of nowhere.)

 FLECK HUSTLING. Say what you want about P.J. Fleck, the man can promote himself. Now relegated back to "small fish, big pond" status, Fleck must get creative in his recruiting.

Most fans would see this video below highlighting recruiting camps as another piece of propaganda pumped out by a college football program. But it's more than that.


The video also features a number of recruits, which caused a bit of a tizzy. Per a source, a number of schools reported Fleck for committing a recruiting violation following his tweet. Institutions are not allowed to post videos of prospective student athletes for recruiting purposes, per NCAA rules.

However, per a compliance source, the Golden Gophers have found a loophole in an NCAA Interpretation that allows for the video.

Fleck is using the video as an advertisement for Minnesota's camps, which is allowed per NCAA rules: "It is permissible to post a photograph or video of a prospective student-athlete taken during the normal course of camp of clinic activities within permissible camp or clinic information and advertisements," the interpretation reads.

Will be interesting to see if Ohio State hits the same loophole portal with its own camps.

Props to Fleck and his NCAA bylaw legal eagles for figuring it out.

 LEGEND LOOKS GOOD. Brady Hoke, the (Dayton!) Ohio patriot who set Michigan football back a decade, looks svelte as Tennessee's defensive line coach.

Yes, you're damn right: Hoke teamed up with Butch Jones. The Vols are my SEC favorite now, too.

 THOSE WMDs. Marietta preserves its past as Ohio's oldest city... The bounty hunter of Wall Street... Video (NSFW audio): Ireland is a different world... The ties that bind George Orwell and Winston Churchill... Baltimore, 15 years after The Wire... They are Iraq's best soldiers.

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