Archives for May 2011
Click the image to read the scintillating(*) Sports Illustrated story on the downfall of Jim Tressel. Marvel(**) at the hard-hitting journalism demonstrated by George Dohrmann as he builds his case on the back of a convicted felon currently serving time! Be amazed(***) at all the new allegations as SI plumbs the depths of the depravity of Tressel’s tenure at Ohio State.
(* just kidding)
(** really, the sarcasm is coming through, right?)
(*** Oh for crying out loud, where’s the good stuff?!)
The NCAA and the Ohio State University’s compliance office are conducting an independent investigation of Terrelle Pryor amid allegations that the star quarterback may have received cars and other extra benefits, sources told The Dispatch today.
Pryor has been questioned by OSU compliance officials in the past, but sources said this is the most significant inquiry to date. He already has been interviewed at least once by investigators within the past few weeks, sources said.
Pryor and the cars he drives have been an issue since he arrived on campus three years ago. Pryor has been connected to more than a half dozen vehicles during his time at Ohio State, according to sources.
Ohio State spokesman Jim Lynch wouldn’t confirm whether Pryor is being investigated.
“The university continues to work with the NCAA as they investigate matters involving our football program, and we will continue to do so until the conclusion of the investigation,” Lynch said. “We are unable to comment on specific players’ situations because of federal law.”
The investigation of Pryor off the field is separate from Coach Jim Tressel’s resignation, which was announced earlier today. Attempts to reach Pryor were unsuccessful.
OSU officials previously said that even before Pryor arrived on campus in 2008, the NCAA examined the ownership of his vehicle and how it was paid for.
Pryor came under scrutiny in December after OSU received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice. It said that during a drug raid, it had recovered Buckeye memorabilia linked to the quarterback and other players.
In the ensuing 11 days, OSU confirmed that Pryor and five other current football players had sold or exchanged memorabilia for cash and tattoos.
On Dec. 23, OSU suspended Pryor, running back Daniel Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, lineman Solomon Thomas and tackle Mike Adams for five games this season. Linebacker Jordan Whiting was suspended for one game.
In January, The Dispatch reported that three times in the past three years, Pryor was stopped for traffic violations while driving cars that were owned by a car salesman or a Columbus used-car dealer for whom the salesman worked.
The salesman, Aaron Kniffin, told The Dispatch that while working at Maxton in 2008, he allowed Pryor to drive his SUV to his hometown in Pennsylvania so that his mother could check it out. Pryor did not buy the vehicle.
Kniffin also said he arranged for Pryor to use a 2009 Dodge while Pryor’s car was being repaired at Auto Direct, a Columbus car dealership where Kniffin worked last fall.
About two dozen autographed jerseys hang inside Auto Direct’s office, including Pryor’s.
Pryor said at the time that he doesn’t remember the circumstances of him signing his jersey that hangs in the dealership, but “I sign a lot of stuff for Buckeye fans – I don’t like to turn down fans. But I don’t do it to get any favors or discounts.”
Kniffin also sold cars to Pryor’s mother and brother as well as dozens of other Buckeye athletes or their family members.
The car dealer has said repeatedly that the vehicles sales with OSU athletes have been legitimate and he has not offered them special deals.
As part of its investigation of Tressel, the NCAA wants to know details about Pryor’s relationship with Ted Sarniak, a 67-year-old businessman from Jeannette, Pa., the quarterback’s hometown.
Doug Archie, OSU’s director of compliance, said in March that Sarniak served as Pryor’s contact person during Ohio State’s recruiting efforts but is not considered a booster.
“Mr. Sarniak and Terrelle Pryor have been friends for a number of years, and their friendship dates back prior to Terrelle’s enrollment at Ohio State,” Archie said. “As the friendship developed, Mr. Sarniak is someone who Terrelle has reached out to for advice and guidance throughout his high-school and collegiate career.”
Sarniak has attended virtually every game, home and away, since Pryor enrolled in 2008.
Sarniak exchanged emails with Tressel last spring when the coach was tipped off that Pryor and others were selling memorabilia.
OSU released two of those emails but refuses to release any others, citing the federal student privacy law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
State courts in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and North Carolina each have ordered colleges in recent months to release documents that they had withheld after citing FERPA. In Arizona, a community college attempted to withhold emails among faculty members about a student.
“Court after court has said that not every cocktail napkin with a students’ name on it is an education record,” said Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center. “An email between a coach and an outside third party doesn’t qualify under FERPA.”
In addition to the emails between Tressel and Sarniak, the university also has censored the Justice Department letter that details by name what memorabilia the players sold and what they received in return.
Per the Columbus Dispatch:
Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has resigned, university sources told The Dispatch today.
The article also says that Luke Fickell will take over as head coach.
This is a lot to digest on this Memorial Day morning. We’ll have more later, but for now we’ll just stand stunned, jaw on the floor, trying to figure this all out.
We have this on repeat here at MotSaG HQ:
(We’re wondering if Dominic Jones is available for a reenactment. No reason.)
We’re back with another edition of the often imitated, never duplicated ICYMI. ICYMI is a semi-regular news roundup post here at Men of the Scarlet and Gray dot com where we post links to the various Buckeye news stories that have popped up since the last one. A eclectic mix of Ohio State football, basketball and whatever other sport is in season for your consumption with a smattering of other fun stuff.
Bowls, yep we got ’em. First off, we must give a tip of the hat to the Wizard of Odds for the work he’s been doing uncovering the seedy underbelly of the financials of the sacred Bowl Games. Start here and then go to the main site and keep scrolling. This isn’t new to readers of Death to the BCSbut definitely has more detail.
Bowls! What are they good for? In addition to that, The Big Lead Sports has a good article wondering who the Bowls are good for (here’s a hint: one cable network broadcasts 33 of them).
Where are they now? During the summer, we’re going to try a new series of posts here at MotSaG that will fill you in on what former Buckeyes are doing in their lives. You can start with this story about
Donnie Nickey and his Restaurant.
We’re Linebacker U. Yeah, we said it. We know it gets those prickly Penn State fans all fired up, but Tyler over at Along the Olengtangy makes the case that Ohio State’s Linebackers may be the best in the country. We would agree.
It is a school, afterall. Congratualtions to the 523 Buckeye student athletes honored as “Scholar-Athletes for this past school year. You can see the entire list beating Baylor to make it to the NCAA semifinals before falling to Virginia. So close.
Along with Men’s Tennis, we also want to point out Ohio State’s Baseball comeback this afternoon after rallying back from down three to beat Minnesota, 5 to 3, in the first game of the Big Ten Tournament.
We hate those Dukies, BABY. Last week it was announced that Ohio State’s opponent in the Big Ten/ACC challenge will be Duke. The game is scheduled for November 29th, smack dab between the Michigan Game and the Big Ten Championship Game. That is going to be one heck of a week (hopefully) for Buckeye fans.
Also, the Twittering Buckeyes page has been updated, and is finally in alphabetical order.
Here’s a little experiment: Pull out your preferred mobile device, fire up your Twitter app, and run a search on “Tressel.” What you’re probably looking at right now is a bunch of Finebaum retweets followed by around 100 variations of this:
If not, wait a few days until something else important happens in the world and try again. The basic formula is simple:
1. Pick something that happened.
2. Insert into this sentence “Jim Tressel knew about [thing that happened] but didn’t know who to tell.”
It doesn’t matter what the thing is; before Saturday it was that he knew the apocalypse was coming. I’m a little surprised that he didn’t “know” about Arnold’s love child, but maybe no one could spell “Schwarzenegger.”
If topical humor isn’t your thing, maybe you’d enjoy a reworked version of some moldy old Catskills schtick:
This is what passes for acceptable Ohio State hate these days, and the only thing insulting about it is the complete lack of creativity our antagonists are displaying. If you’re going to kick us when we’re down, at least have the decency to change out of your bunny slippers first.
Maybe it’s my fault for expecting to find the brilliant humorists amongst our detractors working in a 140-character limit medium. Perhaps they were busy with PhotoShop, or whatever cheap imitation they can afford. Here’s an example from Nebraska blog Cornnation:
Well, you can’t blame a guy for trying. The concept isn’t terrible, but surely there is a good synonym for “lying” that could have been substituted to make the title less clunky. The co-authors aren’t bad, but Satan is involved in so much evil that reducing him to a mere “liar” is a real slap in the face to the Lord of Darkness (and completely glosses over his fiddling skills). Also, would have been so hard to bump that font up a couple of point sizes and hit the “B” button?
(Feel free to head on over and check out the embarrassingly amateur face-pastes by a certain Hawkeye fan.)
Okay, okay, photoshopping isn’t exactly a high-brow endeavor either. Respected humorists are writers, like those geniuses over at McSweeney’s. I’m sure I’ll find a stinging piece of satire about our revered head coach in the world of the classic written word. Or not.
Is it just me? Anybody heard any good Tressel jokes lately?
After last summer’s addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten, one of the biggest issues became the nature of future football scheduling. More specifically, fans were whipped into a frenzy when the idea was floated that the traditional season-ending Ohio State/Michigan slugfest could be moved earlier in the season. The reasoning behind this consideration is understandable; with the two teams in separate divisions (itself an unpopular decision), the contest could conceivably be repeated one week later in the Big Ten Championship Game. The reasoning behind the outrage is also understandable; The Game is something that, regardless of the other 11 scores, the season builds up to. It is essentially a holiday among fans and you wouldn’t move Christmas to September, would you?
And you can spare me all the talk of messing with tradition and your fond childhood memories of whichever Game is most special to you. I get it; I really do. But the conference landscape just shifted in a drastic way. When Penn State joined the league, it wasn’t as big of a deal; it was just one extra team. But with Nebraska comes not just another extra team, but a whole new divisional structure. The Game will never mark the end of the Big Ten season again. It’s not unreasonable to expect that at least one of Ohio State and Michigan will be participating in the Big Ten Championship Game half the time (my guess would be more than that).
The question now becomes what is the best way to enhance the Big Ten’s national exposure/relevance and provide the most compelling product on the field? I believe the answer to that is a new method of scheduling the season that will give the conference a better chance to shine in the national spotlight and increase the excitement leading up to the championship game.
The basic structure would look like this:
2 non-conference games – These games will likely be the “cupcake” games, just as they generally are now. This gives our teams the best chance to rack up a couple of wins and build some momentum as well as work out the kinks.
3 cross-divisional games – These games bump up the start of the conference action and keep fans from becoming fatigued by too many uninteresting matchups early. For Ohio State, the last of these games would be Michigan, and the other teams would be matched up with their biggest cross-divisional rival (e.g. Illinois/Northwestern, Penn State/Michigan State).
2 non-conference games – These games provide a break before the end-run and give our teams a chance to schedule top-notch national programs at a time when teams are generally running at full steam, as opposed to early in the season when there are often still major issues to correct. One of these games will likely be a “lesser” team, but ideally this is a place for the Big Ten to make a case for itself come BCS time.
5 Divisional Games – These games provide a more playoff-like build toward the championship as each week will see major moves in the division races. I believe this is the best way to keep the conference at the forefront of the national discussion. The final game of this run could be used for in-division rivalry games (e.g. Michigan/Michigan State, Ohio State/Penn State).
I understand that this will not be a popular proposal among Ohio State or Michigan fans, but I do think that it serves the overall interest of the conference much better than the process in place for this season and next.
Okay, have at it.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. The day was a Monday November 6, 1995. I was working with my Dad at a company whose name I wont use out of shame. I was hiding in his office trying to avoid working. I picked up the Columbus Dispatch sports section and I saw a little article that said there were tickets still available for an OSU football game. I called the number and told them I wanted to buy 2 tickets to the game. The nice lady on the other end of the phone asked me for my Credit Card # and I politely said lady I am 20 years old and I don’t even have a bank account. I then looked at my dad and begged him to give me his CC. After 5 minutes of begging he conceded. The nice lady sold me 2 tickets at a cost of 26 dollars each tax and fees included. She told me I could pick up the tickets at the Will Call window any time I wanted. I decided to fake an illness and go home early where I picked up my friend and roommate and we drove down to the office and got our tickets.
The tickets turned out to be in the South stands when they were those old erector set of recycled aluminum soda cans. The day of the game we went down early to soak up as much atmosphere as we could after all it was our first game ever. We went to Skull Session and we drank alcohol at several places that didn’t care how old we were. I remember walking into the gates of the ‘Shoe and crying my eyes out. I was living a dream I had had for years as a child. I remember wearing shorts and a T-shirt and not caring what the weather would be that day. Turns out it would be a fricking horrible weather day it was windy and cold and rainy and snowy. We arrived at our seats feeling very warm I assume from the alcohol. We then watched as TBDBTL performed and they dotted the “i”. We booed when the Illini team took to the field. We Cheered when OSU came out of the tunnel louder then I had ever heard anything in my short life. Then something magical happened Eddie George took over the game he ran for 314 yards that day and OSU crushed Illinois 41-3 on the back of Eddie. That is my greatest memory of Eddie George and just possibly the greatest running game any OSU player has ever had. Eddie won the Heisman that year but really he won it that day. He also won a lifetime fan…… That day was November 11, 1995.
Today is May 16th, 2011 it is my Fathers birthday it is also the day that the College Football Hall of Fame announced Eddie George will be inducted to the HOF. There is no doubt in my mind that my father helped me to become the Huge OSU fan I am today and without him I wouldnt have been able to sit in those rickety old metal stands in the South End of the ‘Shoe and watch my first game there and witness what is to this day the greatest day ever for a Buckeye runner. It is very fitting for me personally that today on my Dads birthday we both get to talk about the greatest RB in my lifetime as an OSU football fan. Thanks Dad for the tickets that I promised to pay for but never did. Thank You Eddie for memories I will never forget. Congrats to both of you for a truly wonderful day to celebrate for 2 completely different reasons that will forever be intertwined in my life.
Ted Glover at Off Tackle Empire (formerly known as The Rivalry, Esq.) lets loose with both barrels, and it’s a beautiful thing. Be advised, the language is a tad NSFW but given the subject matter, highly acceptable if you ask me.
I demand that you read it in its entirety.
First he establishes that anyone who is a fan of a college football team outside of Ann Arbor joins us in our (completely justified) hatred of a certain school disturbingly close to Canada:
When I identify myself as an Ohio State fan, most people think ‘as a college football fan this guy is probably 95% asshole, but I can get along with the 5% of him that hates Michigan.’ First off, way to be a judgmental ass because you don’t know a thing about me, but it’s okay. Secondly, I’m cool with that, because the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
He goes on a bit (seriously, read the whole thing) and then he wraps it up with a sentiment only too many of us can understand.
And OSU fan, don’t give me this horseshit that ‘the rivalry is lacking’, and ‘it’s not fun anymore’. Really? Fuck you and your ‘it’s not fun anymore’. This is a bacon orgasm, and I don’t ever want it to end. I don’t know about you, but I’m having so much fun over Michigan’s current run of suck I’m singing zippity-doo-da out of my ass.
Why? Because I remember the Cooper era; it’s burned into my soul and will never go away. Some people talk about war vets that have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I have PTCED–Post Traumatic Cooper Era Disorder. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night screaming in cold sweats because RB Tim Biakabdfosdfasasdfsdcvcsdflguxfvbjkzxdfgtuka just scored again, or Shawn Springs fell again, or Desmond Howard did the Heisman pose again, or John Cooper pooped himself on the sideline–again. No, what’s happening to Michigan now can happen for another 100 years for all I care.
If I didn’t make it clear before, READ THE WHOLE THING. It’s beautiful, there’s a bacon reference, and I think it fits in with our new John Kreese, “strike first, strike hard, show no mercy” philosophy for OSU football going forward. Take an opponent who has been scuffling as of late and rather than offering a hand up, smack him in the face with an iron gauntlet. Then pee on him like R. Kelly.