Do you feel lucky, Bucks?
For those Buckeye fans who are more than ready to talk some football, today was a good day.
First up, Ohio State Head Coach Luke Fickell joined Dan Patrick today and talked about his status,
- According to Coach Fickell, Gene Smith has removed the “interim” tag. He is the head coach… a great move, especially for recruiting. However, you’ve got to wonder if this will still be the case in January of 2012.
- He hasn’t talked to Coach Tressel face to face since Memorial Day, but has stayed in contact somewhat… no prohibitions on communicating with the former Head Coach.
- TP called Coach Fickell while he was at a Taylor Swift concert and left a message; Luke hasn’t called him back, holding that TP knows that the University wants the best for him and wants him to finish his degree.
- Was asked about “Changing the culture”- Wants to restore the focus, get back to “the things we believe in” and “they know exactly what expectations are”.
- To avoid a repeat of the problems from the past- Education (continued), holding students accountable.
- Patrick said that he has heard that the issue, at part, is the Buckeye fanbase- that they love the program and the players so much that it makes it hard to police or monitor these types of situation. Coach Fickell said that Buckeye fans do love the team, but often don’t understand NCAA rules. He went on to say that it’s up to the student athletes to know what’s right and to choose to do it.
- No doubts about being successful.
- Wouldn’t speculate on any NCAA response- it’s “out of our hands”.
- Patrick- “If I put all the Big Ten coaches in an octagon, who’s coming out?” Fickell- “Me.” He then went on to talk about his wrestling experience, although wouldn’t comment on whether or not he could take Brady Hoke (hint- he could). Our friends at Scarlet and Game take this a step further.
- Coach Fickell said that he didn’t have a plan to wear a vest during gameday, saying that “Some things are sacred.”
Seemed a lot more relaxed than at the BTN Interview and press conference… although, the Taylor Swift things makes me a little nervous.
This afternoon, the “conversation” continued, as four members of the Ohio State football team met with the media for a scheduled time of Q&A. Unscheduled, and welcomed, were comments from Coach Fickell, who joined Buckeye Seniors Joe Bauserman, Mike Brewster, and Nate Oliver as well as John “The Sandman” Simon.
Lots of great coverage from Marcus Hartman, the OZone, Buckeye Sports Bulletin, and elsewheres, but here are some comments that stood out-
- According to Joe, there have been more compliance meetings over the past few weeks than previous years.
- Bauserman has not spoken to Terrelle Pryor, and found out he was leaving when everyone else did.
- He’s deferring to Coach Siliano to mentor the younger QBs; doesn’t see it as part of his role, rather he’s worked on being ready to play when the time comes.
- Coach Tressel “didn’t take the playbook”- so there won’t be a massive offensive overhaul this season.
- He spoke highly of Joe Bauserman, holding that “he knows how to manage the game”.
- Mike is more excited for this season than any other, and is confident that the team is behind Coach Fickell, and is “pissed off” and looking to prove everyone wrong”.
- According to Brewster, things are “normal” in the WHAC, with everyone getting ready for the upcoming season. A lot of camaraderie and unity in the face of this adversity.
- Quoting Tony Gerdeman- “Mike Brewster mentioned being pissed about six times in a span of ten minutes.”
- Coach Tressel spoke to the team for about 10 minutes on Memorial day- it was, as they say, “a bit dusty” in the room. He still stays in contact with his former head coach and “father figure”
- The team understands that they are, in effect, playing for Coach Fickell’s ability to keep the job, and approach it with a “sense of urgency”.
- “Next man up” is this year’s defensive motto- emphasizing playing as a team and being able to respond to anything.
- Pryor’s decision to leave the team was probably the best; as he believes TP was becoming a distraction from the overall team’s goals.
- Simon was frustrated when his name was part of Sports Illustrated’s accusations, but he’s not allowed to discuss further. His family was upset (not a good idea).
- “You have to move on… Coach Fick is leading the way and doing an awesome job”.
- QB battle is wide open, and Bauserman knows that and expects it that way.
- Hopes to address the open staff position within next few weeks, but “has a good idea” who he’d like to hire (note- there is a lot of speculation that it will be former Buckeye Mike Vrabel)
- He’s been spending this off season, in part, getting more familiar with the offensive side of the Ohio State game.
- He also joked about loving to showcase his skills in a Big Ten MMA competition; building on Dan Patrick’s question from earlier in the morning.
Other Ohio State News
- Thad Matta has filled the open basketball coaching position, as former Buckeye and Cavaliers coach Chris Jent has joined the program.
- Amir Williams has been cleared to enroll at Ohio State, and will join the rest of the incoming hoops class for second summer session.
- Edward Rife plead guilty to drug trafficking charges today in court. His lawyer was adamant, though, that no Ohio State athletes were involved in drugs or had traded memorabilia for drugs at any point.
- Finally, there have been internet whispers all day today that Jonathan Newsome had requested and been granted his release from the program; sources at Ohio State said that he was still enrolled and they were unaware of any changes in his status.