The Mess Beyond Miami

Written February 20th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

The offseason brings us another variation from the format of your midweek news and notes, as a couple of big stories have dominated the college sports landscape. That being said, it’s not like I’m going to deprive you of your Wednesday motivational tunes.

Might As Well Get Comfy

Lack Of Institutional Control

For those of you waiting for the other shoe to drop in the Hurricane Situation, you can breathe a bit now.  Kinda.

On Tuesday, the NCAA finally sent their Notice of Allegations to the Hurricanes, after a week  that saw the folks from Indianapolis as the well focused center of national ridicule. We’d be wondering what was taking so long in this process, given that the NCAA had been “involved” in the investigation for over two years- turns out that the time in question had been spent violating the NCAA’s own principals and going against the advice of their legal counsel in their conversations with Nevin Shapiro.

In addition to paying the attorney who was questioning Shapiro as a part of his financial issues, the folks at the NCAA also provided him with a “burner” cell phone to contact them and financial resources to his prison account. Again, not the best idea for an organization who prides themselves on holding people accountable because the “should have known” what to do and dings them for not doing it.

The fallout was immediate- NCAA folks terminated or “resigned”, and folks calling for NCAA president Mark Emmert’s head, which, given the recent friends that he’s made across the nation, completely seems within reason.

The news of the “injustice” done by the NCAA to the fine folks in Miami ended up finding many fans in an interesting place- turning to Da’ U as their white knight in the fight against the evils of Emmert’s staff. Tuesday’s official response by University President Donna Shalala continued to create the dissonance- she is right that the NCAA has overstepped themselves extensively, but seems to forget that the University’s representatives were involved things that led them to receiving what many say is the “lack of institutional control” label in their Notice. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Comes Out Of Its Shell

Written February 13th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

No, it’s not time for the IlliBuck trophy again… Tuesday’s “news” was full of terrapin conversation, so we go where it leads. As such, here’s this morning’s soundtrack… I’m sure my folks will recognize it.

You want me to hang that WHERE?

Buckeye 411

  • Urban Legend- The world was a twitter yesterday with news that Urban Meyer had revealed that Woody Hayes once let a turtle bite him… well… you know. While I agree with Vico that it should have been immediately evident that the story was a playful fabrication, as it wasn’t weird enough, it should also be noted that Coach Meyer told the same story last year with Earle Bruce as the protagonist. Never the less, the Ohio State PR department decided that it would be wise to clarify that the story was merely a tall tale, lest the area’s extensive Testudines Advocacy Group (TAG) call down the thunder on the University.
  • Perhaps- That’s why the IlliBuck is a Woody?
  • Turtle Not Included- Thursday is a sacred commemoration for Buckeye Nation, as we celebrate St. Woodrow’s Day, which will be the 100th anniversary of his incarnation upon the earth. As part of the festivities, today the University will be unveiling a great statue of the man over at the WHAC, which is my only critique.  If other schools can have their statues by the field of battle, shouldn’t Woody’s be near his beloved and sacred Horseshoe as well? Perhaps some industrious student can make that happen.
  • Speak Loudly, And Carry A Winning Record- Last week, Coach Meyer made some comments about talking to the B1G Coaches about the conference’s recruiting and their national brand. Of course, the media and writers from other fanbases blew it out of context and presented it as “Urban going to tell the B1G how things should be done!” Well, come to find out, it was actually a well facilitated conversation that a number of coaches had already been a part of, and that a number of other reasoned folks agreed with. Interesting, that.
  • Oh, Mark May- Never change.
  • Vote Or Die- Seriously, I’m afraid John Simon will track me down, so I’ve cast my ballot numerous times already. Read More

The Curious Case Of Johnny Townsend

Written February 7th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

What Once Was

Wednesday was a memorable day for Ohio State fans, as the program again finished National Letter of Intent Day with a class ranked in the top three in the nation, with some calling it the very best for the 2013 recruiting cycle.

It was a memorable day for Orlando’s Johnny Townsend as well, although for different reasons. What he expected to be a day of celebration for his achievements was put on hold; parties and press announcements held up for a bit as things sorted themselves out.

Townsend was supposed to be a part of Ohio State’s record setting class, but as of this article he has not yet submitted his signed letter of intent. In fact, as of late Wednesday night, rumors were swirling that he would join Florida’s 2013 class on Thursday.

The reasons for that are difficult to pin down. Early reports were that he was having second thoughts, or that Ohio State had rescinded the offer at the last minute. However, comments from his family indicated that this last possibility was not true, and that he instead had the paperwork for a full, four year tenure at Ohio State.

There was even speculation that he had decided to attend the University of Alabama, where he was offered the opportunity to gray-shirt prior to verballing to Coach Meyer; to be a part of the team at his own expense until a scholarship was made available for him, typically within a year. Again, at this point it seems that this report was also inaccurate.

What happened on Wednesday? And how does Townsend’s situation reflect an under-reported aspect of the recruiting process? Read More

Silver Bullet Points Ain’t Goin’ Anywhere

Written January 30th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

We’re one week away from National Letter Of Intent Day, and the excitement (and chaos) is building.  We’ll talk a bit this week about the idea of “verbals” and visits, but let’s dig through the news bucket a bit first, shall we? Oh, and Mark Titus’ favorite band brings us our musical inspiration for the morning. Happy Wednesday.

Silver bulletBuckeye 411

  • Taking My Talents To… Tuesday night, we got another great shot of Buckeye alum Greg Oden, just as rumors were swirling about his work to rejoin an NBA franchise. In what might seem to be the most ironic choice of programs, speculation is that his return could either be with the Cavaliers or the Miami Heat… although, I’m sure he’ll be a lot more professional about how he makes that announcement. Either way, Ohio State fans will be excited to see him back in action, and we wish him nothing but the best.
  • As The Recruiting World Turns- Ohio State picked up a great wide receiver on Tuesday, but the recruiting cycle is far from over. We’re hearing positive things from Trey Johnson’s coach, but haven’t heard anything specific from him.  Ezekiel Elliott seems to be back on board as well, but has stated that he’s not willing to do interviews until a week from today, and announced on Tuesday that he would make his announcement at 3:00 PM at his school. Could this mean that he wants time to see what else happens with the OSU recruiting process before making his decision? Again, those who know feel confident that he will still be in the scarlet and gray, but that’s what makes this whole time of year so interesting, isn’t it?
  • RE: Cruiting, Part Deux- The two “big names” that are still out there are Vonn Bell and Dontre Wilson; the former seems to be torn between the hometown Vols, Alabama, and the relationships that he has made with Ohio State’s coaches and possible teammates.  Bell has a visit from Coach Withers on Thursday; he’ll then shut down his recruiting and make a decision some time this weekend.  Wilson, the current Oregon commitment, had a great visit in Columbus last week by all accounts, but it was announced today that he would be visiting his home school with a trip to Austin this weekend. Given that the Longhorns recruited the last two Heisman Trophy winners and tried to make them play defensive back, it’s hard to see an offensive threat like Wilson in Austin, particularly given that the offense Texas runs has little similarity to the Ducks or what Urban Meyer is building.

Commentary- Commitment Read More

Boxing Day With Silver Bullet Points

Written December 26th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Wonder if it's a metaphor for something...

Well, here we are, at the second biggest shopping day of the holiday and fiscal season. It’s kind of sad, really- all those unwanted or mis- purchased gifts being dragged back to the mall, where “Good Will To Men” is certainly in short supply.

That being said… how hard is it to follow a list? And what part of “bullets” looks like “marbles”… grumble grumble grumble.  Given what’s in the theaters beginning yesterday, you’ve got two choices for today’s soundtrack.

Buckeye 411

  • Perfect Ten- Well, not perfect, but the Buckeyes find themselves at the ten spot in the AP poll following losses to Duke and Kansas. Indiana and Michigan both hold their spots above the Buckeyes, who find themselves the highest rated two loss team in the country.
  • Great Dane? News Monday was that the Bears had dropped former Buckeye Dane Sanzenbacher, who only amassed 2 catches this season after 20+ at the end of last year. The good news is that he was immediately claimed by the Bengals, so congrats?  I’m excited to see if he will be able to make an impact on the playoff bound Cinci squad, or if this will be a short-term assignment.
  •  All Is Not Wells? Speaking of Buckeye alumni, Beanie is convinced that he’ll be traded following this season.
  • Ballin’- Elsewheres, Jared Sullinger had a pretty good Christmas Day game against the Nets: 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists. Well done, young fella.
  • Stars- They make no sense at all.  Case in point: This is the tape of a “four star” high school senior. Four. Not five. Four.  Without setting the bar too high, I hope Joey Bosa turns the “star snub” into the same kind of drive that created John Simon.
  • That Being Said- Bradley Roby was supposed to go to Vanderbilt to play wide receiver.  I guess the folks at OSU must know that they’re doing with recruiting and positions and so forth- here’s his sophomore video, in case you were wondering how things worked out for him. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Gets Apocalyptical

Written December 19th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Advent Calendar Of Sorts

This could quite possibly be the last SBP of… well forever. The Mayans have spoken… or the Aztecs, I always get them confused. So, of course there’s only one soundtrack for the moment… it’s been a good ride.

Buckeye 411

  • Something Significant- As exciting as this season was, I’d be willing to bet that the most important game that Urban Meyer coached this year might just be the one involving military veterans just back from tours of duty. It’s part of  the “Tostitos Homecoming” event that will air on January 3rd, but Coach Meyer once again found himself across the field from Bobby Bowden. The event also included stars from the NFL and pop culture… a great event for a great cause.
  • Longsnapper Update! It’s no secret that we’ve got a soft spot in our heads and a warm spot in our hearts for current Buckeye and Nittany Lion scourge Bryce Haynes. That why we received Monday’s news that Ohio State had gotten another verbal for the 2013 class on Monday with mixed emotions; sure, it’s a “preferred walk on”, but the position in question is long snapper. Thomas Worthington’s Nick Sharick joins the team by way of Tennessee- he took a grey shirt with the Volunteers after not participating in fall camp. Eligibility wise, he’ll be a freshman while Haynes and Makridis complete their eligiblity in the next two years- as a “preferred walk on”, he’ll have the opportunity to earn a scholarship during his tenure. This is definately a move that is impacted by Ohio State’s scholarship restrictions this season- we’ll talk more about that a bit later in today’s commentary.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye’-  Wide receiver Verlon Reed has left the program, and will transfer to a yet to be determined institution. It sounds as if the transition is “amicable”; Reed was recovering in 2012 from a knee injury after having a relatively successful 2011 campaign.
  • Mo’ Money, Mo’ Compliance? One of the interesting stories recently has been Ohio State’s “strengthened” compliance efforts following the self audit and issues in 2010-11.  As a part of that, student athletes are receiving valuable “real world” coursework, including budget creation and money management. Folks who mock these as unnecessary “jock” instruction haven’t worked with college students recently- I’d love it it my students leaders had the same requirements.

As a part of this, though, the University is requiring students to have “open” bank accounts- to allow the University to better monitor incoming funds to avoid no-show jobs and booster “gifts”.  Read More

The Ohio State Roster and Stefon Diggs

Written February 10th, 2012 by Eric

WR/DB Stefon Diggs (Photo by Tin Nguyen/The Gazette)

Just yesterday the official Ohio State Athletics website posted an updated depth chart for the Buckeyes.  There were some big changes, though many were fully expected.  Of particular note were the losses of Jamaal Berry (cut for off-field issues) and David Durham (transfer to Pittsburgh).

But the question that still lingers is the one of Oversigning.  Ohio State fans and media have been justifiably wringing their hands since the moment that Urban Meyer started recruiting like crazy.  It’s not unusual around this time for Buckeye fans to worry about oversigning, particularly considering how badly they view the practice.  To see the Buckeyes commit such an act would be incredibly shameful for nearly everyone.

Accounting for scholarships, though, is a tricky business.  Whether a player has maintained their scholarship over the course of time, particularly if they’ve remained a walk-on, is hard to figure out.  It’s also difficult to keep track of which walk-ons have managed to pick up scholarships during the course of time.  Plus, the constant addition and subtraction of players through transfer and recruiting just adds another level of complication.

With the Buckeyes still hunting after one additional recruit, we have been told by Urban Meyer that there are currently 81 scholarship players on the team.  Those numbers would leave one available scholarship in the 2012 recruiting class if his accounting is correct.  Of course, there’s still a player out there that Meyer thinks could fill that spot.

Stefon Diggs, a Wide Receiver/Defensive Back recruit out of Maryland, is scheduled to announce his college destination this evening.  Where he is going, currently a battle between Maryland, Ohio State, and Florida, has been a hotly contested topic of conversation on Twitter and college football recruiting boards across the country.  Diggs would be a huge addition to any recruiting class, and would be the kind of significant playmaker that could see the field quickly in a big way.

Read More

Silver Bullet Points To The Rafters

Written January 18th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

It’s hump day, which means the mid-week linkage and notes from around the world of college sports.

Flying High, As Always

Buckeye 411

  • Dennis Hopson’s number hasn’t been retired by Ohio State. As someone who grew up in Ohio during his reign, I find that unbelievable… almost unforgivable. So, like a lot of other folks, I’m 100% behind the #Hop2theRafters movement to let OSU know it’s time for jersey number 32 to be honored… you can get involved, too: http://www.change.org/petitions/retire-32
  • Mark your calendars- Right now, Ohio State’s spring practice is set to begin March 28. The spring game will be played April 21 at 1:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. While Urban is out recruiting the next wave of Buckeye legends, the fact of the matter is that the team might look very very different come March 28- particularly if February goes as has been prophesied.
  • Not Just Recruiting Players- Coach Meyer has an open coaching position as well, and the OZone’s Brandon Castel has a look at the candidates. My three “favorites”:
    • Chuck Heater, Temple Defensive Coordinator
    • Troy Douglas, former UNC DB Coach
    • Travaris Robinson, current Florida DB Coach
  • Vested Interest- Speaking of open coaching positions, the Colts has one.  And, you know our opinion is that they should look no further than the man upstairs. (No, Tim… not that one)

Read More