Skull Session: Brian Hartline Discusses His Three First-Round Receivers, Ohio State is “Line-U” of Both Offense and Defense, and Mark Emmert Steps Down

By Kevin Harrish on April 27, 2022 at 5:30 am
Brian Hartline watches today's skull session.

If this dunk happened in a video game I would complain it was unrealistic.

Word of the Day: Tenuous.

 THREE'S A CROWD. Brian Hartline is one sleep away from seeing three of his former players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft and he wants everyone to know that he absolutely saw this coming back in 2019, and there's more to come.

Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline will be in Las Vegas for Thursday night’s first round. Whose table he chooses to sit at remains to be seen.

“I don’t know,” he said Monday afternoon. “That’s called first-world problems. I also gotta figure out which afterparty I’m going to.”


And as for whether Hartline knew what he had back in 2019?

“I knew—I absolutely knew. It just came down to some variables,” he said. “COVID really threw things for a spin, season’s on, season’s off, we’re trying to make sure schematically we’re sound; we’re dealing with all kinds of things, A.B., as you’d imagine. But absolutely, I knew they were, and they all knew how I felt about them. … We knew exactly what great people they were, how great players they were; there’s no shock from me, or out of our room.”


“I want to make sure you know that—it’s not me, it’s them,” he said. “Coaches just suggest. Players apply. To me, I’d be remiss to not say how four years ago, when Chris came walking into that room, my first year ever coaching, this was my goal. We haven’t had a first-round receiver since ’07, since Teddy [Ginn Jr.] and Anthony Gonzalez. So that absolutely was on the forefront of our mind as competitors. We’ve had a lot of successful NFL receivers; it’s well documented. But I really wanted to get us back to having first-round wideouts.”

We’re 72 hours from it happening—and as Hartline sees it, this is just the start. Referencing Smith-Njigba, I mentioned to him that he might have another one coming.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “And there’s more after that.”

It's been 15 years since Ohio State had a receiver selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Now, I'm earnestly wondering how long it will be before Ohio State doesn't have a future first-round receiver on its roster, and I'm having a difficult time imagining.

 LINEU. It ain't easy to win football games without dominance in the trenches. Thankfully for us in Buckeyeland, Ohio State has been quite literally the best in that regard.

Now, offensive and defensive line starts in the NFL is obviously not a perfect indicator of how dominant a college team has been in the trenches, but it's probably as close as we can reasonably get, and I think they got it right.

Outside of Alabama, I'm struggling to even think of another program that could even remotely contend with this crown.

 DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD. I mean this without much hyperbole, I am not sure I can fathom somebody who could possibly be worse at their job the past couple of years than current NCAA President Mark Emmert.

He *should* have spent the past couple of years guiding the NCAA through a transitional time, preparing the organization for the NIL changes that were obviously going to happen, or being proactive in literally any way. Instead, he spent his tenure hoarding money and watching college sports burn around him.

Well, now that it's fully ablaze, he's leaving.

Today, NCAA Board of Governors Chair John J. DeGioia announced by mutual agreement with the board that Mark Emmert will be stepping down as president of the NCAA.  He will continue to serve in his role until a new president is selected and in place or until June 30, 2023.  

"Throughout my tenure I've emphasized the need to focus on the experience and priorities of student-athletes," said Emmert.  "I am extremely proud of the work of the Association over the last 12 years and especially pleased with the hard work and dedication of the national office staff here in Indianapolis."

"With the significant transitions underway within college sports, the timing of this decision provides the Association with consistent leadership during the coming months plus the opportunity to consider what will be the future role of the president," said DeGioia. "It also allows for the selection and recruitment of the next president without disruption."

NCAA member schools adopted a new constitution in January and are in the process of transforming the structure and mission to meet future needs.

To be clear, getting him the hell out of that role is extremely good news, but I fear it will take years if not decades to fix the absolute dumpster fire that has happened under his reign.

But on the plus side, this is a lesson of hope to anybody dreaming of one day earning a $3 million salary – you need not be qualified, skilled, intelligent, hardworking, personable, proactive, or forward-thinking.

All you really have to do is not give a shit about anybody else, learn to hoard more money than anybody really needs, and sleep blissfully as everything goes to hell around you

Did I just describe Mark Emmert or Smaug the Dragon? Tough to say!

 WILD WEST. Speaking of Mark Emmert, this is the current state of college sports:

What? You mean not having any sort of plan – much less a uniform policy or set of guidelines – before these law changes went into effect has been an absolute disaster? If only anyone could have seen this coming!

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Turn My Swag On" by Soulja Boy.

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