Skull Session: Editors' Talk Brett McMurphy's Story, Ohio State Ticket Prices Going Up, and Terrelle Pryor Released

By Kevin Harrish on November 14, 2018 at 4:59 am
Urban Meyer

I awoke on Tuesday morning expecting a relatively quiet, uneventful news day as the Buckeyes prepared for a game against a mostly harmless Maryland.

But Brett McMurphy had other plans for our lives.

I could probably write a book on my #thoughts on Brett McMurphy, the ethical concerns I increasingly have with his reporting, and how quick he switched from a respectable college football journalist to whatever the hell he is now.

But for now, this is my official stance on the matter:


Word of the Day: Efficacious.


That's what my Journalism degree was telling me as I was reading it the very first time, that's what common sense probably told you as you were reading it, and that's the conclusion pretty much everyone else in media arrived at as they were reading it.

It was reckless, unethical, poorly sourced, and honestly just a waste of time to write and read, given that it never even arrived at any conclusions.

My good pal Ben Koo gave a very thorough review of the report, and I would implore you to read it in its entirety. The most fascinating thing to me is when he spoke to a few editors at other outlets about whether they would run the story and the responses were basically "lol no way."

From Koo of

But ultimately, this is a story that is shoddily duct taped together by one person with a very checkered background, whose known contact with his son is 15 minutes of calls and a possible night out at a B-Dubs. Given the gravity of both allegations, it’s not nearly enough to publish, and that’s a takeaway that is coming from all corners of the internet and not just the Ohio State eco-chamber.

Given Stadium is almost purely a video company with no written content and no masthead on their site in terms of editorial oversight, I took it upon myself to see if I could learn more about the editorial process that went on behind the scenes. I received the following comment from Stadium:

“Stadium has an editorial team that we utilize on all of our written content, in addition to consulting with legal counsel.” – Adam Anshell, Managing Director, Operations.

A similar inquiry to McMurphy yielded a bit of a testy exchange before the following was volunteered:

“Yes, we had multiple editors work with me on my report. Joe Sullivan, who was with the Boston Globe for 24 years, the past 14 as sports editor, was the lead editor on the story.”

I reached out to a handful of feature writers and editors about the story, and got a few responses with their thoughts. The few responses I got were resounding “no” votes, with one ESPN journalist (who did not want to be identified) chiming in with this:

“We would not publish this. I’m surprised Stadium did, but they are a startup and can play by different rules. Brett has made a name for himself covering Meyer and Smith and I guess you kind of just look the other way here because he invested a lot of time into this story and there are some interesting nuggets in here. But given what is alleged and the lack of anything concrete, it’s not something we could run with. They tried to downplay it and frame in a more responsible way, but that doesn’t really make it any better journalistically. I’d imagine we won’t be spending much time on this on TV or dot com because it’s just not a sound article.”

On the bright side, at least I didn't have to cite a longform on Facebook this time. I guess things are looking up!

 TICKET PRICES COMING UP. Ohio State's attendance is the worst it's been in memory, and the team has an absolutely brilliants plan to help make up the lost revenue: charge even more money to the few people who actually want to go!

From Emily Bench of Columbus Business First:

The Ohio State University Athletic Department is asking the Board of Trustees to hike the cost of reserved seats for the 2019 football season to $702, up from $639 this year.  Box and club season ticket prices for next year would cost $851, up from $789 this season.


The current student ticket price of $34 per game will not change, and will be maintained through at least through the 2020 season. Student season tickets also will stay the same at $238.

The game against Florida Atlantic would be the cheapest for fans, with single game reserved seats costing $60 and box seats costing $85. Penn State would be the most expensive game – $198 for reserved seats and $223 for box seats.

Also, you have to love the timing of the announcement. Ohio State released this news literally minutes after Bretty McMurphy ran his story, which is the absolute perfect way to dump this news to ensure minimal outrage. The made online people were already using all of their mad online at the moment.

I don't know if it was intentional, but if it was, tip the cap.

 WELL THAT WAS QUICK. Buffalo's Terrelle Pryor experiment was extremely short lived.

Ah, I see how this goes. You beat the Jets by 31 and then you act like you're an offensive juggernaut that can afford to be picky.

Though being honest, I have no qualms. He had one catch for -1 yards in two games, and dropped a pass that led to an interception. He wasn't doing much helping.

Now, if they would have played him at quarterback...

 NORTHWESTERN BRINGING TO STUDENTS. Northwestern hasn't claimed an outright Big Ten title since 1995 – before any typical student was even born.

So if the Wildcats pull off the upset of whichever team they meet in the title game, it will be literally a a once-in-a-lifetime event for the student body, and Northwestern is making sure they all get a chance to witness it, free of charge.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Northwestern is giving its sports-fickle student body two extra reasons to attend the Big Ten football championship game.

The school will provide undergraduate students a free ticket and transportation to the Dec. 1 game in Indianapolis. Students have to respond by Wednesday. Associate athletic director Paul Kennedy said Monday that students will receive a mass email about the offer with a link to accept it.

Good for them. I hope there's an army of Northwestern students there as a result. 

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