Skull Session: NIL Legislation Could Hurt the Buckeyes, Michigan's Defensive Coordinator Talks Ohio State, and Jon Diebler Dominated in High School

By Kevin Harrish on March 5, 2021 at 4:59 am
Tyreke Smith is hitting the sled in today's skull session.
Ohio State Dept. of Athletics

Just a quick reminder that Pete Werner had a quietly incredible Ohio State career.

Hand up, I probably didn't appreciate him nearly enough while he was here. That's on me.

Word of the Day: Verve.

 “IT'S GOING TO BE A MESS.” Given that everybody involved had over a year to figure all of this name, image and likeness stuff out, I hoped against all hope that everything would go smoothly when it came time for everything to actually go down.

Turns out, my optimism was completely misguided because it's turning into even more of a disaster than I ever could have imagined, to the point that if something doesn't happen real soon, it's technically going to start hurting the Buckeyes on the recruiting trail.

In the meantime, states are in a race against one another, a concerning trend for many in college sports who believe chaos will reign come July. A handful of states will be operating under more lenient and athlete-friendly NIL laws while all others follow the NCAA’s more stringent NIL legislation, whenever it does pass.

“Some states will have an advantage early,” says Arizona State coach Herm Edwards. “It’s going to be a mess.”

It’s a “catch-22” for those schools in states that will have passed NIL laws, says Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

“It puts the schools in their state in a very difficult situation,” he says. “They’ll find themselves violating NCAA rules at the same time complying with state laws. It might end up in court at the end of it.”


What if a five-star football player, torn between offers from Florida and Ohio State, makes his decision based on NIL opportunities? Ohio lawmakers haven’t yet proposed a NIL bill, while Florida’s goes into effect July 1.

“It will be a huge advantage in recruiting,” says Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association.

I'm as shocked as you are that something that involves cooperation from both the federal government and the NCAA isn't going smoothly.

I'd say there's no way this actually gets to the point where these NIL laws vary from state to state, but honestly, this whole thing has been bungled so badly up to this point that nothing would surprise me at all.

Here's hoping the entire football team doesn't move to Florida!

 RYAN DAY'S NEXT VICTIM? Ryan Day bullied Don Brown for three years before the Wolverines had enough and kicked him to the curb (it would have been four this year, but).

Now, Michigan's rolling out a new, radically inexperienced coordinator that looks like a Boy Scout in a Smedium shirt. And he's already declining to talk about Ohio State, instead wanting to focus on "what's important now" – which evidently isn't ending the eight-year drought in the biggest rivalry in all of sport.

“In all honesty, we’re trying to get as good as we can get right now. It is a “what's important now” focus, from meeting to meeting, from rep to rep, from practice to practice. All the stuff in the season is going to take care of itself and we cannot worry about all of that until we get really good at what we’re doing right now. So those conversations - I’m going to leave those private to us and our guys.”

I don't know how the Michigan Men haven't grasped that the reason Ohio State's been dragging their team through a trail of broken glass for almost two decades is that "what's important now" is always – ALWAYS – beating Michigan.

Meanwhile, their new hire is already out here implying that game – The Game, mind you – is "going to take care of itself." The dude was asked directly about Ohio State and his answer included the phrase "we cannot worry about all of that."

Imagine if roles were reversed, with the Buckeyes going 1-15 over the past 16 years, and a fresh Ohio State hire gave that same answer in his introductory press conference. An angry mob would have him forcibly removed from the podium and burned in effigy.

And that wasn't even the most eye-popping part of his press conference, because he also straight-up admitted on the record that he was shocked Michigan even offered him the job in the first place (probably because he's never coordinated a defense in his life, but I'm just guessing).

Congrats on the new hire, Michigan. To be fair, it can't possibly be much worse. Or can it?

 TEENS MAKING SIX FIGURES. Tired: college athletes making a few thousand dollars off of their name, image and likeness.

Wired: teens making six-figure salaries for playing basketball against other high schoolers.

They will be starting a professional basketball league that will offer high school basketball players an alternative to college in preparation for the NBA. Overtime Elite will begin in September 2021 and will feature 30 of the nation's top prospects from ages 16-18. The athletes will be given a guaranteed minimum salary of $100,000 in addition to bonuses and equity in the league.

The league's athletes will also have access to healthcare and disability benefits. If an Overtime Elite athlete chooses not to pursue an NBA career, the league will pay them up to $100,000 to go towards college tuition.

Players that participate in Overtime Elite will forfeit their eligibility to play high school or college basketball if they join the league. The site for Overtime Elite games has yet to be determined, but the league has some big names backing it.

I will never stand in the way of talented people getting paid, but I feel like there's a solid chance the founders of this league are drastically overestimating how many people will be interested in an exhibition basketball league of high schoolers that have no chance of signing with their favorite college team.

But I'm also an idiot, so I'm probably wrong.

 40 POINT CLUB. Scoring 40 points in a game would make you a local legend at pretty much any high school in America. But averaging 40 points in a game makes you a damn folk hero.

112 40-point seasons have ever been recorded in high school basketball, and two of them came from Buckeyes.

42.39 – Jon Diebler, Upper Sandusky (Ohio)
Year: 2006-07
Games-points: 26-1,102
Best games: 69 vs. Bellevue; 67 vs. Shelby; 60 vs. St. Xavier
Note: Diebler became the state's all-time scoring leader with 3,208 points after a strong senior season. Went on to play at Ohio State.


41.95 – Allan Hornyak, St. John's Central (Bellaire, Ohio)
Year: 1968-69
Games-points: 22-923
Best games: 86 vs. Warren Consolidated; 73 vs. Union Local; 66 vs. Bellaire
Note: Hornyak played at Ohio State and led the team in scoring his final three seasons.

I'm not sure I could average 40 points if I played in a 4th-grade girls' rec league, but that definitely says more about me than it does Jon Diebler or Allan Hornyak.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "City Baby Attacked By Rats" by G.B.H.

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