Skull Session: Buckeyes to Pay Academic Bonuses, Fans Will Love Isaac Likekele, and Harry Miller is Grateful for Support

By Kevin Harrish on May 5, 2022 at 5:35 am
Ryan Day is in today's skull session.

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all. Have a margarita or seven. You're worth it.

Word of the Day: Carouse.

 WELL, WELL, WELL... Y'all remember a few weeks ago when I blasted Ohio State and the Big Ten for not paying out academic bonuses to its athletes, even though it's been allowed to for over a year?

I called it "bullshit" and "hypocritical" and said, "you can't tout academic prestige and pretend that the classroom matters and then blatantly balk at your one chance to prove it."

Well, it sounds like some decision-makers were listening!

The Ohio State athletic department will start offering academic bonus payments to athletes this fall, according to information provided Tuesday to The Dispatch.

Schools have been allowed under NCAA rules to pay athletes up to $5,980 over an academic year for their performance in the classroom following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court nearly a year ago.


As part of the new permissible benefits, Ohio State plans to offer the legally established maximum.

“Funding will make student-athletes’ education more affordable while also incentivizing positive academic outcomes and graduation,” the school said in a statement. “The Athletic Department is dedicated to maximizing the number of students eligible for funding and emphasizing the academic, development and behavioral standards of this policy.”

To be clear, I don't *actually* think my morning blog where I once told an opposing coach to consume his own excrement is what directly led to this notable (and expensive!) institutional change, but I guy can pretend!

In any case, kudos to Ohio State for making the objectively correct decision here – even if it took getting publicly blasted online before it happened.

 ME LIKE(KELE). I'll be honest, I was extremely skeptical of the Isaac Likekele addition when I first heard about it a couple of days ago. Mostly because he was a *third* transfer guard when Ohio State desperately needed a post player.

But by the time he actually announced yesterday, I'd talked myself into him. The truth is, he's just too fun and versatile with way too many people saying kind things about him for me to not be at least somewhat excited.

OSU coach Mike Boynton still hesitates to label Likekele as a point guard.

“He’s a better competitor,” Boynton said.

Boynton first saw Likekele play as a freshman, but Likekele was primarily a post player. He still showed point-guard tendencies with his ballhandling, speed and passing on fast breaks.


“He has leadership qualities in him,” Boynton said. “That’s the most important aspect of being a point guard is understanding how to help people be successful.

“Then his size helps him make plays from the position that a lot of other people can’t.”

Likelele has something else. A drive to play for others. He’s not flashy or even loud.

He’s dominant in his own way.

I've since heard the dude described as "the linebacker at point guard" and it turns out that he's the only player in Oklahoma State history with 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 400 assists.

And then there's this, from a guy who's covered him for the past four years:

And he's even Tanner McCalister approved:

I'm not going to pretend he's going to be the Big Ten Player of the Year, carry the team through March, or be a first-round pick next June, but he's a veteran player, a very clear leader, and the type of guy that never needs to come off the court. He's invaluable on any roster, especially one that's adding four top-60ish freshmen.

Just uh... pay no attention to his free throw percentage, three-point percentage, or his general shooting percentage. You'll be happier that way.

 HARRY BEING HARRY. I sincerely hope Harry Miller never stops sharing his story, because it's so clear that it's already helped so many. So every time I hear him speak about it, it's gonna be an auto-share from me.

Miller even appreciated the gravity of just simply being back in Ryan Day's office.

"I know how easy it would have been for this not to be the case," Miller said. "I've seen many days recently that I wasn't prepared to see, like my 21st birthday. My friends were there, and I wasn't expecting that months ago. And I was there for that."

I don't think I could possibly come up with enough words to express just how much respect I have for Harry. 

 MESMERIZING. Y'all want to steal some of your boss's time at work watching some lines get longer? I got you.

Just keep your eye on that Ohio State line and watch it climb.

Shoutout to my new friend Ross Hazlett for bringing these to my attention.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, ft. Justin Bieber.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. The photographer who fought the Sicilian Mafia for five decades... Scientists want to send nudes into space to attract aliens... Could cities soon be made of mushrooms?... Canada proposes Space Law to punish crimes committed on the Moon... Meet the fearless women of the Lone Star Mower Racing Association... 

View 98 Comments