Tag:Ohio State
Posted on: February 22, 2012 6:35 am
Edited on: February 22, 2012 6:45 am

Please keep talking, Gordon Gee

Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee says the NCAA had no precedent for giving Ohio State a bowl ban -- and for a change, Gordon Gee is right.

Has a school ever been busted because its head coach knew about violations by the team's best three or four players, didn't report those violations, then built a BCS-bowl season around those three or four illegally eligible players?

Has that ever happened?

No. It has not.

So E. Gordon Gee is right when he says, and I quote, "I'm a lawyer. I take a look at precedent. There's no precedent for a bowl ban for us."

So true, E. Gordon. No precedent for any of this.

I bet you were one dandy of a lawyer.

Next, try public speaking. You're the best I've ever seen at it.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 21, 2011 11:40 am

Gene Smith sabotages Urban Meyer, keeps job

When Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith pulled Urban Meyer out of a hat, I thought he had saved his job. More to the point, I thought he should have saved his job. That was a huge hire, the perfect hire, and for being able to pull off that coup, Smith deserved to stay.

Until Tuesday.

And now I'm back to where I've been for the last year, wondering how the hell Gene Smith still has a job.

Other than the Meyer hire, Smith has shown the kind of incompetence that gets a guy fired in almost every other walk of life. If he was a football coach, he'd be Cam Cameron (NFL career record of 1-15, meaning he did win a game once). If he was a cook, he got the salad right but he burned the main course ... and the restaurant.

Never mind the incompetence, the inability to gauge a situation and respond correctly, after Smith learned Jim Tressel had lied to him and jeopardized the school's good name by playing Terrelle Pryor and others after those players had clearly broken NCAA rules. Smith's reaction was to stand by Tressel until someone else -- the NCAA, the school president, the board of trustees, someone -- made it clear to him that Tressel had to go.

That was so bad, I thought Smith should be fired. And I wrote as much.

Then he hired Meyer, a job-saving hire. As I wrote.

But now this. This miscalculation of NCAA penalties. This crazy, ridiculous, indefensible theory of his that the NCAA wouldn't give his football program a postseason ban for Tressel's enormous ethical lapse. That theory, which existed in Smith's mind and -- I assure you -- almost nowhere else, explains why the Buckeyes are playing in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2.

Because Gene Smith didn't think he should sacrifice the bowl game of this lost season to save a bowl game for next season. He didn't think he needed to. Gene, next time your phone rings, I can assure you this: It's not Mensa.

Smith was wrong about the severity of the NCAA violations, but it's more than being wrong: He was stupid. What Tressel allowed under his watch was worse, I'd argue, than the latest scandal at Southern California. Pete Carroll didn't catch a cheater, no, but Tressel caught one ... and let him play anyway.

And still, after the Trojans were hit with a postseason ban, Gene Smith thought the Buckeyes wouldn't be?

Thanks to his boss's misjudgment, Urban Meyer has to start his career with a postseason ban hanging over his first season, undercutting his first recruiting class.

If I'm running Ohio State, I'm firing Gene Smith today. But I'm not running Ohio State. E. Gordon Gee is, and that dude told the Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday, after the sanctions came down, "I have been a consistent supporter of Gene and remain so."

Then you should go too, E.

Posted on: November 28, 2011 8:27 am

Meyer to the Buckeyes

Urban Meyer has come out of retirement again to become the football coach at Ohio State, opening himself to mocking by most of the country -- but assuring that Ohio State will make a quick return to national power.

Meyer is that good.

And his story, of course, is that bizarre.

After retiring from Florida in 2009 for a whole day, then retiring again in 2010 for a whole year -- to be with family, he said -- Meyer is back on the sideline according to his most recent employer, ESPN, which reported the deal to be worth $40 million over seven years.

Seven years, $40 million ... sound familiar? It should. Those were the reported terms of this hire a week ago, when Meyer said he hadn't spoken to Ohio State and that no offer had been made. Of course he was using semantics, which will get him crushed today, just as his "retirement for family" will get him crushed today.

Those are valid points, but do not miss the bigger picture: Urban Meyer is a damn good football coach. Ohio State is a damn good football program. Together, they will do special things.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: July 14, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 3:50 pm

Georgia Tech punishment bodes well for (t)OSU

Good Lord, I think Ohio State might just skate after all.

Look what happened to Georgia Tech, for a similar scandal only with a much more nefarious undertone. While OSU coach Jim Tressel himself was the culprit in the ultimately unsuccessful Ohio State cover-up of violations, and that's awful, the Big Ten school as a whole acted in an upright manner afterward:

Tressel was forced out, albeit more slowly than I would have liked. The school vacated every victory from the 2010 season. The best player involved, Terrelle Pryor, is gone even though he has eligibility remaining.

Compare that to Georgia Tech, which -- like Ohio State -- was guilty of using star players even after learning those players could be ineligible. And then, apparently, the Jackets made it worse by failing to cooperate completely with the NCAA's investigation. Check out this ominous sentence from the Georgia Tech report by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions:

"This case provides a cautionary tale of the conduct that member institutions should avoid while under investigation for violations of NCAA rules."

And for all that -- for playing knowingly ineligible players, then for displaying conduct member institutions should avoid -- Georgia Tech had to vacate a bunch of wins (as Ohio State already has done), face some recruiting restrictions and a fine, and deal with four years of probation.

Four years probation, four million years -- that won't stop the Jackets from playing on TV this season. Or from playing in a bowl game, should they win enough games to get there.

Georgia Tech just made like Neo in The Matrix and dodged a bullet.

Ohio State's next.

As usual, BCS cheaters win. They damn sure don't lose -- not postseason eligibility or TV appearances, which is the only punishment that would leave an actual mark.

Way to be firm, NCAA. I've already noted the strongly worded sentence in the statement by the Committee on Infractions, but the follow-through was flaccid. As usual.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:36 am

First, Mike Hamilton. Next, Gene Smith.

For Ohio State, the roadmap to redemption continues to unfold in Tennessee. And I assure you, the people at Ohio State are paying attention.

Because Tennessee and Ohio State are connected forever, connected by the cons of Bruce Pearl and Jim Tressel, joined at the same broken hip that must be replaced.

Tennessee is getting there. Ohio State is next. That's how this thing has been, every step of the way.

First Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl breaks one of the biggest rules possible. He lies to the NCAA about a violation (his own, in this case). Then Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel commits a similar violation, covering up a violation (albeit not his own) within the OSU football program.

Despite the outcry, Tennessee thinks a long suspension is enough -- and keeps Pearl. Despite the outcry, Ohio State thinks a long suspension is enough -- and keeps Tressel.

Tennessee finally wises up, pushes Pearl out. Ohio State finally wises up, pushes Tressel out.

Despite the outcry, Tennessee keeps athletics director Mike Hamilton. Despite the outcry, Ohio State keeps athletics director Gene Smith.

On Tuesday, Tennessee finally wised up and pushed Hamilton out.

Your move, Ohio State, but we already know how this story ends. Eventually you'll figure it out too. You always do.

With Tennessee's help.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: May 4, 2011 5:58 pm

NCAA attacks Boise State's nickels and dimes

Ohio State employs a football coach who hid violations by his star player, violations that would have made that player ineligible -- an ineligibility that would have rendered Ohio State something short of the Big Ten champion it became.

The NCAA decided that Ohio State has institutional control.

Then along comes Boise State. That school saw 79 student-athletes in several sports receive excessive lodging, travel and meals worth $5,652 over four years. That might sound like a lot, but it's not. It's an average cost of $71 in excess items per player. That's one lunch here, one cab ride there. That's nothing, in the grand scheme of things -- and it's certainly nothing nefarious.

The NCAA decided Boise State lacks institutional control.

This, NCAA, is why so many people think you're so full of crap. Because you think Ohio State is on top of things. And you think Boise State isn't.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: January 2, 2011 11:19 am

Terrelle Pryor thinks you're stupid

Full disclosure: I want to believe in Ohio State. I live in Ohio, my two kids will attend college most likely in Ohio, and my goal is that they attend Ohio State.

So this question is not coming from a Buckeyes basher when I ask the following:

How stupid does Terrelle Pryor think we are?

The memorabilia he sold, against NCAA rules, basically got a free pass from me. Seriously, check out my reaction to the story that Pryor and four teammates would be suspended next season, but be allowed to play Tuesday night in the Sugar Bowl. I loved that reaction from the NCAA. If my reaction was pro-Ohio State, so be it. I'm an Ohio guy, and my initial thoughts were of other Ohio residents.

But this story ...

This car story ...

Complete garbage. Everything about it stinks, from the alleged NCAA crime to the announced excuse. All of it. Garbage.

In a nutshell, Pryor has a habit of getting his hands on cars -- nice cars -- from Columbus-area dealerships, and then getting caught speeding in them. Someone smarter than me, please figure out the odds on that:

Pryor has these cars -- nice cars -- for a day or two, and without fail, he gets caught speeding. In that tiny, day-or-two window of time.

Every time.


I don't believe it. Sorry, I don't. I don't believe Pryor had those cars for only a day or two. I don't believe the car dealer. I don't believe Ohio State. I don't believe any of you.

I still want my kids to go to Ohio State. But at the moment, I want Terrelle Pryor to turn pro after the Sugar Bowl. Don't come back next season. I can live with you avoiding punishment for your memorabilia "ignorance."

But I'm not sure I can stomach the sight of you in an OSU uniform in 2011. That'll be my kids' school, you know. And Terrelle Pryor is starting to make me sick.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Ohio State
Posted on: December 23, 2010 4:44 pm

Loving the NCAA's decision on Ohio State

Bowl games are for fans. That's all they are -- they're games for fans. That's why bowl invitations are awarded in conjunction with tickets, tens of thousands of tickets in the case of a bowl game as big as the Sugar Bowl.

This is why the NCAA made the right call, the Solomon-esque call, on Terrelle Pryor and four of his teammates. More than 10,000 OSU fans already have bought tickets to that game, which includes for many airfare, rental car (or other ground transportation) and hotel. Plus food for the duration of the trip.

Imagine being those fans, showing up in New Orleans, and watching the Buckeyes' backup quarterback. Whoever he is. And watching the Buckeyes' backups at receiver and running back. And watching the Buckeyes score three points.

T-shirt idea: I spent a week, and $3,500, in New Orleans -- and all I got was this lousy 21-3 loss .

Nonsense. The NCAA wasn't protecting the Buckeyes. The NCAA was protecting fans -- it was protecting you, if you want to know the truth. If you're not an OSU fan, embrace this anyway because the precedent is set. This could be your team in a year or two.

Pryor could turn pro after this season and therefore evade the punishment. That would be a shame, but what do you want the NCAA to do -- predict the future? More nonsense.

Stop complaining, just because you can. Stop complaining, and be pleased that the NCAA did something with us in mind.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Ohio State
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com