Skull Session: Ohio State Learns From a Mat, Keita Bates-Diop Plays It Coy, and Wire Fraud Remains a Bad Idea

By D.J. Byrnes on February 22, 2018 at 4:59 am
Johnhnie Dixon and K.J. Hill celebrate the February 22nd, 2018 Skull Session

I read the comments of yesterday's Skull Session with tears in my eyes. No, I did not awake to the first comment torpedoing three hours of work with a three-word javelin skewering a typo in my lede.

Quick aside: Bless everyone that has no clue what a "lede" is. It's worthless jargon the media conjured to make our work look more important than it is.

I cried after witnessing testimony from office workers unaware of what a standing desk offers their livelihood. Friends! It's time to wake up.

Sitting through a shift is worse for your body than smoking, and Big Data offers ample avenues to leverage your boss into buying one for you. 

Back pain isn't a problem you want, and a standing desk paves a golden path towards helping you avoid that.


Piqua Whitney's Word of the Day: Circumlocution

 WORKING OUT: STILL A THING. We're in the darkness of late February. Next week heats up with the NFL Combine and Big Ten tournaments in three sports. For now, we feast on highlight reels of the football team enduring the training of strength sensei Mickey Marotti:

Winter workouts is where it switches. Yes, every fan wants their team to win the championship. It's one of life's greatest euphorias.

But that championship becomes a liability when the calendar flips. Teams rarely repeat for a reason.

 C'MON NOW, KDBD! Keita Bates-Diop said he has put no thought into turning pro, which is a curious statement for a man that walked on Senior Night.

Obviously, The Game must be played. Despite a recent slump, KBD has solidified his status as a first-round draft pick. Whether that's in the lottery remains to be seen.


“I truly do love this place,” he said. “This place is my home now. I will forever cherish every time I’ve had here in Columbus. You guys took me in with open arms and accepted me for who I am, through all the ups and downs, through my inconsistent play, all the losses, you guys always stuck with me and I love this place. Go Bucks.”

It took only a few games this season for the thought that Bates-Diop could play himself into the NBA to take hold with the coaching staff. He has averaged 19.0 points and 8.7 rebounds, the only player among the top three in the league in both categories, and is on the watch lists for multiple national awards.

I'm not sure how KBD will perform in the NBA. He may choose to be a superstar overseas. Either way, it will be quite the head start on life for a 23-year-old after graduating college free of debt. The older I get, the more I appreciate that.

 WIRE FRAUD: STILL A BAD IDEA. Criminals deal in cash because banks, for the most part, frown on money laundering. So that speaks to the culture of untouchability under which the college basketball recruiting underworld operated.

Unfortunately for them, banks keep receipts for situations just like these.

From Pete Thamel of

Financial records, documents and wiretaps tied to prominent former NBA agent Andy Miller and featuring his former associate, Christian Dawkins, have provided a detailed window for authorities into how the college basketball underworld operated, sources with knowledge of the ongoing federal investigation have told Yahoo Sports in recent days.

Sources familiar with the probe told Yahoo Sports that there’s a surprising level of specificity in the documents, bank records and wiretaps involving Miller’s business. They include exact dollar figures and intricate documentation of payments to the families of college players. There are also conversations brokering deals between Dawkins and the clients he was recruiting.

“There are spreadsheets detailing who got paid, how much they got paid and how much more they were planning to pay,” said a source familiar with the investigation. “The feds got everything they wanted and much more. Don’t think it will only be players who ended up signing with ASM that got paid. Those spreadsheets cast a wide net throughout college basketball. If your school produced a first-round pick in the past three years, be worried.”

Here's why this probe is one to watch: None of the bagmen ever thought of going to jail, and they didn't get paid enough to go to the grave with their secrets. Everybody is going to sing, because nobody wants to forsake a previously cushy existence in the suburbs for years in the clink on behalf of their unappreciative boss.

Coaches across America are sweating right now, and Chris Holtmann isn't one of them—and neither is Thad Matta.

Bartender... pour the house's finest cabernet. We intend to watch the world burn.

 A SLOB SPEAKS. Minnesota Vikings All-Rookie center Pat Elflein, whom the Browns could've drafted in the top of the second round last year but didn't, recently returned to Columbus to testify about the impact of Real Life Wednesdays:

Being corny for betting on the favorable fortunes of the 2018 offensive line based on this video won't stop me from doing so.

 MEANWHILE. The local team's offense wasn't perfect in 2017. But for all the criticism, at least we aren't wondering if its multimillionaire coach is capable of organizing an offensive staff and deploying it in the development of his players.

Such are the questions lingering in Ann Arbor.


On Tuesday, Michigan announced Jim McElwain as its new wide receivers coach. Some people like the move. Others hate it. More demand further change, specifically with regard to who gets the title of "offensive coordinator." 

But that's not the point. Harbaugh has made his staffing decisions. The names have never been the main question. That's always been something else. 

What, exactly, are you going to do about the disorganized, disjointed operation U-M called an offense in 2017? And will these coaches be the group to fix it? 

Look away, Michigan fans. Look away.

 THOSE WMDs. Worst roommate story ever... The life and death of the Library of Alexandria... Internet isn't forever... Tom Crean's ultimate gap year... Greyhound race track in Macau meets its demise... Quote Investigator: “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

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