Skull Session: Former Ohio State Players Continue to Get Paid, Football Season is Going to Be Ugly, and Kaleb Wesson Discusses His Improvement For the NBA Draft

By Kevin Harrish on September 3, 2020 at 4:59 am
The fields is here in today's skull session.

A few weeks ahead of the season, it seems Damon Arnette has reverted to his most natural form.

"... he did once play with a club at Ohio State" undersells it jusssssssst a bit. The dude played with a broken wrist the entire year and was arguably the most dominant cornerback in the country.

Based on what we saw last year, he should at least consider always playing with a cast.

Word of the Day: Stratagem.

 GET PAID. With Taylor Decker's fresh $85 million contract with the Lions, he's now the latest member of Ohio State's 2016 draft class to earn an absolutely massive NFL deal.

Combine the four deals of Decker, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Thomas and Joey Bosa, and the total is greater than the nominal GDP of nine different sovereign nations.

It's crazy how Ohio State uniquely equips all Buckeyes for their very different life journeys.

For example, years of rigorous training at the WHAC adequately prepared these fellows to immediately compete against the world's most elite athletes at the NFL level.

Likewise, five years of scrolling through Twitter during lectures in 105 Schoenbaum Hall adequately prepared me for this job, where I pretty much just scroll through Twitter professionally.

 BUCKLE UP. Whether it includes the Big Ten or not, it's become extremely clear that there will indeed be a fall football season. But if you choose to tune in on Saturdays, expect things to get a little weird.

The game also gave us a window into what we can expect from this college football season. Austin Peay’s best player was unavailable (DeAngelo Wilson) and a missing long snapper led to a run of fumbles and quarterback pooch kicks. The general sloppiness braced us for what coaches say should be expected this season, especially in the upcoming weeks.

With the FBS college football season kicking off Thursday – buckle up for Southern Miss hosting South Alabama and old friends Central Arkansas playing at UAB – Yahoo Sports polled 30 college coaches, coordinators and assistant coaches about what the on-field impact of COVID-19 restrictions will be. With most schools missing a majority of spring practice and both positive tests and contact tracing proving disruptive at more than two dozen programs, coaches have concerns about how all the inconsistency and instability will impact the product on the field.

Sifting through all the answers, it’s clear that coaches are bracing for a season like no other. The biggest on-field concerns have been overall conditioning, a lack of rhythm due to lack of consistent practice reps and the weekly prospect of potential roster chaos from positive tests and contact tracing. A majority of coaches expect some ugly and sloppy football, especially early in the season. Some are optimistic there won’t be a noticeable impact.

We've already seen a substantial number of players opting out (including playoff contender Georgia's presumptive starter), we've had multiple teams have to quarantine entire position groups (including playoff-contender Oklahoma), and the first game of the season had to be played minus one long snapper.

Shit's gonna get weird. I'm just sad the Buckeyes probably aren't going to be a part of it.

 WESSON GOT DRAFT READY. Kaleb Wesson entered the NBA Draft for real this time, and he thinks he's checked the boxes he needed to check based on his feedback from going through the process last time.

After entering his name into the NBA draft for a second straight year, Wesson posted what read as a goodbye to Buckeyes fans on April 1. On May 22, he signed with an agent in Jelani Floyd of Beyond Athlete Management and put his name firmly into the draft.

It came after a season that saw him lead the Buckeyes in scoring and rebounding for a second straight year after listening to the advice from NBA scouts, dropping more than 30 pounds and developing his overall game. He finished third in Big Ten three-point shooting percentage and averaged nearly a double-double per game at 14.0 points and 9.3 rebounds, earning second-team all-Big Ten honors as voted upon by the coaches and media.

“I put a foot in (the draft) last year and I got the feedback that they wanted me to lose the weight to see where I was,” he said. “They wanted to see how I could affect the game other than just shooting the ball, just putting shots up. I upped my rebounds, my assists, things like that, even showing them I can initiate an offense, be a focal point in an offense if need be as far as bringing the ball upcourt, going into dribble-handoff ball screens, things like that.”

I have no idea if he's an NBA player, mostly because I have no idea what an NBA player even is these days, but I do know that the dude went through an absolutely insane body transformation. And if that was truly the missing piece for scouts, mission accomplished, cause I don't think he's gonna get any leaner.

Even if he doesn't make it in the NBA, I can't knock the decision to leave. The dude was clearly Ohio State's best player for two years in a row, probably reached his ceiling as a college player, and is absolutely going to bank six figures playing basketball somewhere.

There are worse things than a $250,000 paycheck to hoop in Monaco. Like, for example, being a college student during a pandemic.

 FURLOUGHS HIT NCAA. Turns out, the NCAA isn't immune to the economic impacts of months of canceled sports – just the NCAA's senior executives.

The NCAA will furlough its entire Indianapolis-based staff of about 600 employees for three to eight weeks in a cost-saving move, according to memo obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

The memo from NCAA President Mark Emmert went out to the association’s more than 1,200 member schools Wednesday. The furloughs will not affect senior executives.

Starting Sept. 21 through the end of January 2021, all national office staff will be subjected to a mandatory three-week furlough, Emmert wrote. Some staff will be furloughed up to eight weeks, depending on position and “seasonal timing of their duties.”

Yes, the NCAA has made the difficult and brave decision to furlough every person on its staff with the exception of the highest-paid employees. This is so on-brand it hurts.

 POUR ONE OUT FOR THIS KID. No matter how shitty your day/week/month/year has gone, take solace in the fact that you are not this unfortunate fellow on r/OSU – or the poor, poor girl who witnessed his... misfortune?

Today, my class ended early, so I tried to save some time. Backpack on and listening to music, I set off for JO North to get tested 15 minutes earlier than my time.

I had gotten about 10 steps out of the door when a very attractive girl started walking in front of me, this is not usually a problem, because I walk faster than most people, but apparently she did too. She took corners, back paths, and was heading in a certain direction, but it was the same path I was taking. She had looked back a couple of times like I was a weirdo, but I wasn’t following her and I had other things on my mind.

I came up with the idea to save spit while walking so that way I could test extra fast.

so there I was, awkwardly following this girl, probably looking very weird. We had walked a long while (me 10 paces behind), when it just so happens she also turns into JO north. It was here I realized the fault in my plan. They asked me if I had done a test before, and all I could do was cryptically nod.

At this point she started looking at me with fear in her eyes, and I was still trying to pretend she wasn’t staring at me. I finished logging in on my phone and went in for the grand finale.

I spit. Too much. The spit filled the cup, it filled the cone, and then went fucking everywhere. She was looking at me out of the corner of her eye and I was entering panic mode. There was spit fucking everywhere. So to not look stupid, I sucked it back up. All of it. up to the line. And it looked like she was about to vomit. I sealed my cap up and turned in my test, nearly running out the door. I didn’t look back.

I don’t know if I’ll ever see her again. but if I do, it’s probably in her nightmares. If you are her. I am sorry.

The only thing that could have made the situation worse is if the test came back positive.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Two Ghosts" by Harry Styles.

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