Skull Session: Gene Smith Wants NCAA to Enforce Rules, Isaac Likekele Only Visited Ohio State, and Jimmy Sotos Talks Social Media

By Kevin Harrish on May 6, 2022 at 5:30 am
We're in the end zone in today's skull session.

Happy Friday, and an early happy Mother's Day.

If you are at all able, please please please hug, thank, love, and spend some extra time with your mother this weekend.

Word of the Day: Matriarch.

 RULES ARE RULES. With the NCAA finally deciding to address the blatant bullshittery going around in the NIL world, it would appear that the Wild West phase of this whole deal might be coming to an end sooner rather than later.

That is, as long as the NCAA is actually willing and able to enforce these new guidelines.

Since the NIL concept began last July, college officials say there is well-documented evidence that boosters and collectives have arranged deals with prospects, many striking agreements before recruits signed with their new school. There is evidence of some boosters even hosting prospects at their homes and flying them to visit campuses, which all constitutes NCAA violations, leaders say.

“What’s happening now—I only know what I hear—is the inducements violate rules,” Smith says. “Hopefully this passes Monday and will give more clarity and guidelines. But then, [NCAA] enforcement has to enforce. The schools need to enforce, as well. At the end of the day, you have an institutional responsibility to enforce.”


NCAA enforcement has been less willing and perhaps unable to enforce existing bylaws, George and Smith say. For one, the organization is concerned that any enforcement will spark a bevy of antitrust legal challenges. Secondly, the NCAA enforcement staff is ill-equipped for a full-scale nationwide inquiry. It is down 15-20 members from COVID-19 pandemic layoffs. Smith says the association plans to eventually replace people.


“We pulled the police officers off the highway and everyone is now going 90 miles an hour,” Smith says. “Now we’re trying to put the officers back on the highway.”

From the sound of things, it also sounds like the NCAA is going to be very willing to punish schools who've bent and skirted the rules the past couple of months – which would be absolutely hilarious if it actually happens.

This whole situation is like parents coming home from vacation early to find a Project X-style rager going down in their house. These schools have kinda just been doing whatever the hell they wanted without even really considered that they could have to face consequences for their actions.

But hopefully, shit's about to get extremely real really quick!

 “STRAIGHT TO THE POTATOES.” I cannot express enough that I was simply not prepared to like new Ohio State transfer guard Isaac Likekele as much as I do. And his whole recruiting process just makes me love him even more.

Ohio State was the only school Likekele visited since entering the transfer portal April 26. Publicly, his recruitment was a quiet one. Privately, he said, schools from every major conference were calling but he wasn’t trying to seek the spotlight while picking his destination.

“I didn’t want to announce five schools and then drop it to four, then three,” he said. “I’m not with that prima donna type of stuff. Not saying anything’s wrong with it, but to me that’s just not my style. I wanted to get straight to the potatoes and handle my business like I knew I had to.”

At first, it didn't make a whole lot of sense to me why Ohio State suddenly went from targeting post players in the portal to deciding "actually, we'll sign this large guard who can't shoot instead," but the more I hear about him the more I get it.

 JIMMY'S WORLD. Jimmy Sotos played like seven minutes a game this year, didn't start once, and averaged about a single shot attempt per contest, but thanks to his TikTok thirst trap game, the dude absolutely raked in NIL money.

And with his 1.3 million TikTok followers, there's a very real argument that he – not the two future first-round picks – was the most famous player on the roster this season.

His career was certainly unique, and he has nothing but thanks to Chris Holtmann and Ohio State for empowering him and letting him do his thing.

The post was sent on Christmas to more than 165,000 Instagram users. The black-and-white, shirtless photo of Jimmy Sotos has, more than three months later, garnered nearly 69,000 likes and hundreds of comments including one from a user named “coachholtmann”.

“I’m gonna go ahead and unfollow, Jimmy,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann wrote.


“We’re still talking today about different ways I can grow my brand and any way he can help me out,” Sotos told The Dispatch. “I’m so appreciative for coach Holt and the way he welcomed everything that came with me. His comment was hilarious. He allowed me to feel comfortable being myself.”


“This whole world fell into my lap,” he said. “I didn’t go out looking to accomplish these things. I didn’t go on social media trying to become a content creator and become an influencer. I was bored over COVID. I had a lot of downtime over quarantine and I started making videos and it started resonating with people and I saw a life of its own take form and I ran with it.

“I saw ways to monetize it and fortunately through NIL rules I was able to capitalize off it. I was only able to do that for one year, but I’m excited for what it’s done for me.”

For those of you absolutely dying to see what his #content even is, I've got a sample video for you that's been viewed nearly 1 million times. But be warned – I doubt anybody reading this is the target audience.


Well Ill be damned

if yall keep doing corny stuff im deleting this - The lyric man

The dude managed to monetize smiling while driving his car. I have absolutely nothing but respect for that.

 THE CINCINNATI SAVIOR? The Cincinnati Reds are nearly unrealistically bad this season, but at least they've been bad enough that it left space for former Ohio State outfielder and ball-crusher to make his MLB debut yesterday.

I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that his MLB debut went amazingly – he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts – but looking at the lineup, there's just no way he's not going to be able to help this team going forward.

 HARRY TALKS, WE LISTEN. After I shared the snippet of Harry Miller's interview with 10TV in yesterday's Skully, a solid number of you either commented or reached out to me asking for the full interview.

I was at the mercy of what 10TV decided to post online yesterday, which is why you only got a 2-minute clip, but they've since uploaded the whole video.

Again, whenever Harry Miller talks, I will listen, and I will share it with as many people as I can. He has proven that he commands that type of respect.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Two of Us" by Louis Tomlinson.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. What do you do after you quit your job?... The mostly untold story of how the sports bra conquered the world and tore its inventors apart... The bidet is good, actually... All alone on a cruise to nowhere... There's a reason why aliens haven't visited Earth yet...

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