Skull Session: College Athletic Programs Desperately Need a Football Season, Lincoln Riley Talks Trey Sermon, and Wyatt Davis Discusses His Actor Father

By Kevin Harrish on April 1, 2020 at 4:59 am
Gene Smith is pleased in today's skull session.

It is the unfunny lie day.

As usual, I will not be observing. If I wanted to feed you cheap fibs for my own enjoyment, I sure wouldn't wait for the one day everyone else is doing it, too. Stay frosty out there.

Song of the Day: “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny and Cher.

Word of the Day: Arduous.

 IF THERE'S NO FOOTBALL... If you thought you would be bad off without football this fall, just listen to the college athletic directors. To them, it's literally a matter of life and death for their athletic programs.

“There better be (a season) or many programs will be out of business,” an athletic director said.

“Quite simply,” added another AD, “it would be devastating.”

Another AD was more direct: “If there’s no season, we will be f*****.”


“This has been crazy with high anxiety,” a Power Five AD said. “The potential financial impact is starting to be understood.”

Added another Power Five AD: “As of right now, I have no clue if there will be a full season. But if we don’t, it will get ugly.”

“Most of the Power Five schools wouldn’t miss a beat,” a Group of Five AD said, “but it would be devastating to the rest of us.”

Yet another predicted an even grimmer outlook: “If we’re aren’t back (playing) by the fall, it will look like the Great Depression, and we will be in soup lines.”

As a full-time football blogger, I also empathize!

But this is also why I'm fairly confident college football will exist in the next 12 months, because I'm far, far down on the list of people who will be boned if it doesn't, and that's saying something because I would still feel it substantially.

Maybe the season won't start in August, maybe there will be limited spectators, maybe it'll be a shortened season, but I'm confident they'll work out something because the fate of most athletic departments depends on it.

They've got five months to figure something out. That seems like an eternity in COVID-19 time. 

 THE PORTAL GIVETH... The transfer process has given Oklahoma two Heisman Trophies, two No. 1 overall picks, and another Heisman finalist. But this year, the portal taketh away, as well.

From the sound of it, Lincoln Riley is sad to see Trey Sermon go, but after the way he's found his last three quarterbacks, he sincerely understands sometimes the grass is greener elsewhere.

There's a nonzero chance they meet again, and I pray Sermon makes Oklahoma's defense look like a revolving door (though to be fair, that hasn't taken much the past few years).

 KILL EVERYBODY. Long before Wyatt Davis was one of the most dominant offensive linemen in the country, his father was one of the most fearsome football players in television show history.

And young Wyatt had no idea.

Young Wyatt Davis didn’t understand. Years before he’d be maul opposing defenders as an Ohio State offensive lineman, Davis would walk alongside his father Duane and wonder why strangers would walk straight up to his dad and say “KILL EVERYBODY.” Then the mystery would deepen when they’d call Wyatt’s dad by another name.

“All these people would come up calling him Alvin Mack,” Wyatt says.

So eventually he asked. Exactly who is this Alvin Mack guy?


Once Wyatt was old enough to understand that the people on the movie screen weren’t actually mobsters or dinosaur hunters or pro athletes, Duane explained the job that had sustained him throughout his 20s and 30s. “I had no clue that he was even an actor,” Wyatt says.


Around the turn of the century, most of the roles Davis got offered required long stints in other countries. He had two young boys, David and Wyatt, at home, and he didn’t want to miss seeing them grow up. ...

So Duane changed jobs. He got to watch sons David and Wyatt grow up and become football players themselves. David played defensive line at Washington State and Cal. Wyatt grew into a five-star offensive line recruit whose first scholarship offer came from Alabama. By Wyatt’s senior season at St. John Bosco High in 2016, he was the top-ranked offensive guard prospect in the country. He started at right guard as a redshirt sophomore in 2019 and enters 2020 as one of the Buckeyes’ best players. 

Before long, Wyatt may be the most famous member of the family.

All I know is that I'm going to need Ohio State's video team to recreate this scene for me with Wyatt in the film room. It would truly be a service to the world.

 EXECS FEELING IT, TOO. I love nothing more than to blast the NCAA for its incessant bullshit, but today I have to tip the cap at least a bit because the organization's execs have decided to take a pay cut in response to the NCAA's financial crisis.

NCAA President Mark Emmert and members of the association’s senior management will be cutting their pay by 20% and the association’s vice presidents will be cutting their pay by 10% due to financial pressure the NCAA is facing from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a memo obtained  Tuesday by USA TODAY Sports.

Now, before you applaud too much, the NCAA cut distributions to the schools by more than 50 percent. So by only cutting their salaries by 20 or 10 percent, they're still making out better than the folks they represent.

But hey, it's better than nothing, I guess.

 BB FOR TIGHT END. We know Robert Landers has been training for the NFL for the past few months, but there's a solid chance he's been working at the wrong position.

I had no idea he had those hands, and I'm now furious we were never blessed with a BB Landers one-handed snag.

Perhaps the NFL will be more fortunate.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. The oral history of the 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie... Alcohol consumption has surged since social distancing... A woman found out her husband cheated on her with a friend, and is now in lockdown with him... The frontier couple who chose death over life apart... Inside the $500 million art heist that still hasn't been solved 30 years later... Nuclear bomb backpacks are a thing (and 100 could be missing)...

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