Archives for December 2010

All five suspended players and Coach Tressel to return in 2011?

Since this whole mess has happened I have been avoiding the subject all together except a few poignant conversations with close friends. I said from the moment it was news that all 5 of the players (Pryor, Posey, Herron, Thomas, Adams) would just go pro and I was hoping that was the case so I didn’t have to hear about it for the next 9 months plus first 5 games from all the stupid talking heads.

Then something all together shocking and surprising happened today at the News Conference held in N.O. for the Sugar Bowl this morning. Coach Jim Tressel made what is still a startling admission to me and probably most everyone else in the world. “Tressel said he told the five they “have to make any decision based on the future and (leaving early for the) NFL prior to us leaving for our bowl game. It wouldn’t be fair if someone was able to participate” and then leave.”

Some are questioning the truthfulness of the players involved and some in Tressel (Screw you doubters of Tressel). I dont know if I fully trust the 5 guys involved in this but Tressel has 150% my faith in him so I am willing to take him at his words.

What does this mean at least to me in one fell swoop he has been able to turn this negative publicity nightmare into will a work of Tresselness. The players involved have a chance not only to play in the bowl game but also not take the sissy way out and leave early after that bowl for the NFL. When they all come back next year they will have a chance to earn back the respect of the fans and the public. It is a stand up decision and one that has got me ecited and happy about what this means for these players and the University. Tressel also said he would not be retiring or quiting after the bowl game no matter what a useless Chicago Blog was spreading.

I know most who read this believe Tressel and what he thinks is the gospel truth but do you all believe the players involved will live up to their promises and if they dont is their reputation ruined forever and their character tarnished even worse for the NFL draft?

OSU and Georgia to play in football.

Recent talks out of Athens, Georgia had the Bulldogs looking to improve their OOC schedule and were looking at teams north of the Mason-Dixon line. Well it turns out they did just that in 2020 and 2021 they will play a home and home series with the Ohio State University Buckeyes.

It is funny reading the info from the Georgia AD Greg McGarity “McGarity would like Georgia to play seven home games every season, but also wants to schedule a “big-time, traditional opponent” for a home-and-home series every 8-10 years”. Only in the SEC can you add 1 tough OOC series every 10 years and get to act like you are a great OOC scheduler what a complete joke but I suppose kudos to the Georgia Bulldogs for doing it once every 10 years unlike most of the SEC.

Suspended Buckeyes ask for Forgiveness (In Case you Missed it)

(Sheesh, you try to take a little break from the blog and the Buckeyes and Twitter and the Blogosphere blow up around Christmas Time with a rumor that Tressel is stepping down and the whole world melts down. Just days after the allegations of improper benefits turn out to be true. Now we’ve seen the brief apology by the five players involved and that’s where we stand.)

Every time I’ve had a discussion with a fellow Buckeye fan about college athletes in trouble (Reggie Bush, Cam Newton, [insert your personal favorite]) the conversation always come to the same conclusion: “Let’s be honest , I think we all know that this is going on in all major college programs around the country.” Secretly we all hope it’s not happening with our team but even more secretly, we figure something has to be going on.

Something at Iowa happens (and keeps happening) and the thought is phew, glad that’s not our team.

And then this happens.

The truth comes out. Five players broke the rules but more importantly lost a lot of respect and love of Buckeye fans everywhere. By selling their gold pants and other championship hardware, they ignored tradition and pride and sold their Buckeye Souls. Whether their circumstances or situation demanded it, most saw this as a slap in Brutus’ face.

And now they have come before Buckeye Nation, repentant and humbled.

Some fans were unmoved by these apologies but I think they should be taken at face value. They appeared to be sincere and can we really say otherwise?

Spare me your false indignation

In a world where helping your father try to extort $180,000 gets you a Heisman and a NC shot, it seems disingenuous to suspend a player for selling his school ring just so that he could have enough money to buy gas and take a girl to the movies.

So spare me the bumper sticker outrage.

Let’s read between the lines and put what transpired into plain English (based on what’s been reported as of this afternoon): back in 2008, several OSU players, all freshmen, sold some personal memorabilia for petty cash and/or discounts on other services. At the time, none of the players knew that this was technically an NCAA violation, as they had not yet gotten to that part of the “NCAA education” course mandated to them by the OSU Athletics Dept. Later, after taking this course and realizing that their previous actions were inappropriate, the players refused to volunteer their earlier misbehavior.

It was this latter decision that apparently influenced the severity of their punishment. After completing the course, all players are given an opportunity to volunteer any earlier misconduct. Not doing so puts a player at risk of having a more severe punishment later on. These Buckeyes, out of shame or fear, did not do so, and a five game punishment was the result.

Make no mistake: what these young men did was wrong, and was a violation of the “special benefits” clauses included in the NCAA rulebook. However, was it “five games suspended” wrong? OSU homerism aside, it’s ridiculous.

To this author, the suspensions aren’t as shameful as the false indignation being displayed all over ESPN News and college sports radio this afternoon. This wasn’t pay-for-play, agents with suitcases full of cash, or free housing for players and their families. These players simply sold items that they believed belonged to them. In their freshman year. To earn some needed extra money.

So here’s where the team stands: In no way, shape, or form is it likely that Pryor, Herron, Adams, or Posey will sit out for five games next season. Either the penalty will be appealed and reduced to a one- or two-game suspension, or all four players will likely just declare for the (possible) NFL draft.

If the latter is the case, then the Sugar Bowl will be the last time we’ll see the three most dynamic players of the past few years in Buckeye uniforms. And it’s not certain whether the distractions caused by the suspensions will help or hurt the team’s focus going into the game.

Several things are for certain, however. The Sugar Bowl will be a media circus, ESPN will continue its hypocrisy of deifying Cam Newton while demonizing Terrell Pryor, and PSU & UM fans will enjoy the ensuing schadenfreude (which is really just born from jealousy over not having any championship memorabilia to sell, or having some that nobody would want to buy anyway).


Pryor, Posey, Herron and others disciplined


Via Ken Gordon:

NCAA release: Adams, Pryor, Posey, Herron & Thomas will sit out 1st 5 games of 2011 season for selling awards, etc.

Jordan Whiting is also out.

They will apparently still play in the Sugar Bowl.

More to come later.

Rumor: Luke Fickell Finalist For Miami (Ohio) Job

Fickell, one of the best coordinators in the country could be taking his talents to South Beach (not really, but I couldn’t resist)

This would be a huge loss for the Buckeye’s as Fickell is one of their best coaches as well as one of their best recruiters.

Stay tuned…

The Growth of Boom

The first half of the 2010 season the Ohio State running game was under fire. Brandon Saine was the starting tailback splitting carries with Boom Herron. Both players seemed unable to get into a groove. The Ohio State offense turned to Terrelle Pryor to supplement the running game. The combination of Boom, Saine and Pryor along with Hall and Berry running well in mop up time have Ohio State respectable total rushing statistics nationally which masked the issue at tailback.

Many people, including myself were asking for more playing time for the younger Jordan Hall and Jamaal Berry. Saine after his good game vs. Marshall had dropped off averaging just over 2 yards a carry his next 5 games and Boom Herron who has always been a dependable back was averaging 4.6 yards a carry his first 6 games.

A change in the Ohio State offense was coming. Saine lost his starting tailback position to Boom Herron who was delivering steadily. Boom was made the primary tailback for the Wisconsin game and since that game Boom Herron’s performance has been outstanding. Let’s look at the numbers between games 1-6 and 7-12:

Games 1-6
Opponent Yards YPC TDs
Marshall 44 6.3 0
Miami 66 4.7 1
Ohio 27 3 2
E. Michigan 55 4.6 1
Illinois 95 4.1 1
Indiana 68 5.7 2
Total 355 4.6 7
Games 7-12
Opponent Yards YPC TDs
Wisconsin 91 4.8 2
Purdue 74 4.6 2
Minnesota 114 6.7 1
Penn State 190 9 1
Iowa 69 3.5 1
Michigan 175 8 1
Total 713 6.2 8

Not only did Boom deliver his usual steady performance, but he embraced his starting position and at times put the entire Ohio State offense on his back. What he did against Ohio State’s two biggest rivals is impressive. Penn State and Michigan saw Herron run for a combined 365 yards.

Some players tend to shrivel when the spotlight hits them and some players shine. Boom Herron as a starter helped make this Ohio State offense one of the most dynamic offenses in the school’s history.

He has proven me and many others wrong this year and that makes me happy. Happy because I think about him running the ball next year as the full time starter and senior captain of one of the best teams in college football.

In Case You Missed It

We’re not dead, we’re just hibernating.

After our (my) self-imposed hiatus, I’m trying to get back into the posting groove. Here’s a delayed round-up of some of news and goings-on in Buckeyeland and Blogtopia.

This may only affect a small percentage of MotSaG readers, but earlier this week Gawker (which owns tabloid sports blog Deadspin) suffered a major security breach that included the usernames, emails and passwords to their thousands of user accounts being hacked. If you have ever commented or registered at any of their sites, including Deadspin, you might want to see if your account has been compromised and then set about changing any passwords you might have in common with Gawker sites and other sites you frequent. Practice cyber-security!

The Big Ten Logo and the Big Ten Divisions were announced to much derision and mockery by the fans. We here at MotSaG HQ hate the Leaders and Legends names and will refer to them as “East” and “West.” until something better comes along. (Which might happen sooner rather than later)

Speaking of things I hate (in conjunction with the new Big Ten announcements), I’m not a big fan of the new Big Ten Trophies. It was as if they didn’t want to offend anyone, so they spread as big a swath of recognition possible. Welcome to the Everyone gets a Trophy League! (don’t even get me started that Speil’s doesn’t get a trophy named after him. I think we need to start a blog-movement to get a Chris Speilman trophy).

Iowa – What’s going on over there?!

With ESPN’s stranglehold on the broadcast rights of the Bowl Games you can also now watch them all on your Xbox 360. Something felt wrong typing that last sentence.

Buckeye Ballers has the top 15 plays of former Buckeyes for the month of November.

I’m not sure how many MotSaG’ers are also Cleveland Indians fans, but we lost a true Cleveland hero this week with the passing of Bob Feller. Joe Posnanski (probably my favorite sports writer) has an excellent tribute to Feller.

Buckeye Basketball is really good.

Let me start this post out by saying this I LOVE EVAN TURNER. Now having said that I want to go into a bit of a diatribe. Things I don’t miss about having Evan Turner on the OSU basketball team include the following.

1. His annoying voice.
2. His annoying facial expressions.
3. The way everyone on last years team stood around and watched and waited for ET to do everything on the court.

That is all I don’t miss about ET and honestly it is a very small list of things and the list of things I do miss about having ET on the team is longer than the ObamaCare papers.

Why am I talking about ET you may be asking yourself right now when this post is about the 2010 Men’s OSU basketball team? It is to just a way for me to delve into my thoughts on this years team vs. say last year’s one man show.

The 2010 Ohio State team is just that a complete team with a deeper bench and more talent than last year’s team. This is a team that is 10-0 now after just dismantling a South Carolina team that nearly beat Michigan State earlier in the year and was their only blemish. OSU has their fair share of cupcake wins but also a sweep of Florida and Florida State in Florida no less so far. They are playing well as a team and seem to all compliment each other nicely. There are no ball hogs (except when DeShaun Thomas is on the floor).

Jared Sullinger was all that was advertised and then some he had a 30 point and 19 rebound game today and that isn’t even his best stat effort in his first 10 games as a college player.

David Lighty is the heart and soul of the team and a defensive guru who can score and play 4 positions on both offense and defense.

Jon Diebler is nearly automatic from behind the arc.

William Buford is playing really well but I think he looks out of place when he is playing the point guard spot.

Dallas Lauderdale is still an enigma to me he is a giant who can’t hit a layup and often gets out rebounded by smaller guys but he has played better lately.

The bench is mostly Aaron Craft a true point guard and a true freshman who is playing great but most famous for helping to get Bruce Pearl suspended and Tennessee on NCAA probation. DeShaun Thomas is another true freshman who is a pure scorer and every time he touches the ball he is shooting it from all over the court. He is good but may need to be reigned in a bit and reminded this is a team sport.

The thing that impresses me most is this team lost a national player of the year in ET after last year and I really think this team is far better than they were last year. Turner may have been one of the best players we ever had but that was a problem with the rest of the team enjoying the ride while watching him be a superstar. This year’s team is more balanced and better prepared to step up and be a part of a winning team. It has been a while since I truly thought we had a Championship caliber team but I think this may just very well be that team if we can stay healthy and remain a cohesive team all year long.

So you tell me: which is the better team in your mind the 2009 OSU team with All-Everything Evan Turner or the 2010 OSU team with Jared Sullinger?

Florida Gators loss equals Buckeyes gain.

Since the news that Urban Meyer was retiring AGAIN there have been talks about if any of those unsigned recruits could be plucked away. Well yesterday we got good news here in Buckeyeland that 4 star recruit Ryan Shazier had chosen to back out of his verbal to the Gators and was going to decide between LSU and OSU. The winner of this contest was announced yesterday and OSU won over both SEC schools woohoo.

Here is a little bit about the newest Buckeye verbal commitment. Ryan Shazier is a OLB from Plantation, Florida. He is 6’3″ and 205 LBs. He runs a 4.5 40 and has a 34 inch Vertical jump. Both Rivals and Scout have him at a 4 star and he is a ESPN 150 recruit. He is a quick and powerful hitter and is a great edge rusher. He just screams of the kind of hybrid LB/DE that OSU is in love with in the footsteps of Gholston and Gibson.