Happy Leap Day!! Today’s the day our female readers can finally propose to that guy they’ve been chasin’ around.
Buckeye 411… Sort of
Initially, this week was supposed to be “POPS”- Pink Out Penn State for Breast Cancer Awareness. While we’ve not heard anything more about that since things changed in Happy Valley, we’re more than glad to give our support. You know… given the circumstances.
Weekly update from Coach Fickell’s press conference as well as notes from around the world of college football.
Just the three years Coach Dantonio was here with him, probably the one guy that I stay most in contact with since he’s been gone. Just probably because we’re more similar people in general, family oriented guys, a lot of those kind of things. That’s very important for him, how you handle these situations, what’s really important, don’t forget about those kinds of things. We have a good relationship. If there’s one person I’ve talked to as much as anybody, it would be him.
I’ve said before, if I was playing my brother, I’d want to beat him as bad as I want to beat anybody. I don’t think that changes or factors into it.
It’s finally here… the first SBP of the 2011 season. No more preseason talk, no more countdowns- it’s time to squeeze the trigger. Let’s do this.
Come Sunday morning, the first thing I do when I come in is I put on the special teams reel and I’m going to put on the fourth quarter. I want to see what your body language is like, your competitive nature is like. I don’t care if you’re a third team, a first team guy. If you’re on special teams, I want to see how you compete. I want to see your body language looks like in the fourth quarter whether you’re up 35 or down 35, whether it’s a tie ball game or not. Those are the things we want to see. Read More
So I’m “on assignment” here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, trying to get away from all the scandal and stuff that we’ve been covering so far this off-season. Little did I know that I was walking into Mordor… Sorry ’bout that, Duck fans.
Following their story that Ohio State was working with the NCAA regarding Jim Tressel’s need for a Gmail account, the guys at Yahoo said that they were working on two other stories this summer… one a “7″ and one a “10″ (with OSU being an 8). So, we knew the “summer of love” would continue… and wow, has it delivered.
Yahoo today released the results of their “wide-ranging, multi-day interview” with the man at the center of the storm, “Scouting Guru” Will Lyles. Their documentation is pretty concerning if you love your ducks, and it’s joined by several other media outlets.
(Although, it should be noted that ESPN was late to cover this story- Please try to harness your surprise.)
The article starts with a pretty damning charge, and holds that Oregon coach Chip Kelly’s relationship with Lyles was more than just someone who provided scouting services. Rather, Kelly seemed to be paying Lyles to broker relationships and conversations with student athletes, particularly those in Texas-
Embattled scouting service owner Will Lyles told Yahoo! Sports that University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly personally approved a controversial $25,000 fee that sparked an ongoing NCAA investigation and was in constant contact as Lyles provided the Ducks with recruiting assistance that may have violated NCAA rules.
In a wide-ranging, multi-day interview, Lyles said Kelly “scrambled” in late February and asked Lyles to submit retroactive player profiles to justify the $25,000 payment to his company, just days before the transaction was revealed in a March 3 Yahoo! Sports report.
(Lyles) now says Oregon did not pay him for his work as a traditional scout, but for his influence with top recruits and their families and his ability to usher prospects through the signing and eligibility process. That dual role as mentor to prospects and paid contractor to Oregon is believed to be a focus of the NCAA probe.
Waaay back in March, right before Jim Tressel’s inability to use Microsoft Outlook’s “forward” feature became national news, we told you that there were some allegations regarding a “recruiting specialist” named Will Lyles. There were several programs that were alleged to be recipients of his particular “services”, but the most notable was the University of Oregon.
Today, following a number of the types of Public Records Requests that we Buckeye fans have, unfortunately, gotten pretty used to, the University of Oregon released a number of emails and documents to the media regarding this matter. Oh, to be a private school like Duke, Northwestern, or Southern Cal…
There’s a ton of them to go through, but here are a couple of the things that I found particularly interesting:
For full clarity- There is a little bit of satisfaction/relief that this story is not about Ohio State… it’s been a hard couple of months. However, as college sports fans, it’s important to not get our schadenfreude out of the bag just yet- this is a national issue, and one of the motivators (I’m sure) for the upcoming NCAA summit on the future of Division 1. Plus, we Buckeye fans don’t currently have much solid ground to stand on when we throw stones, and shouldn’t poke the karma gods.
We’ll continue to follow this story as it develops- I’m sure that Yahoo and George Dohrmann are headed to Eugene even as we speak to help keep us abreast of the full details in this matter.
Lots of things to catch up on… Some of this has been around for a bit, but we’re not all edgy and trendy and stuff.
The Story Of The Week
Although it’s not really sports related, the capture/death of Osama Bin Laden did have some ripples throughout Buckeye nation and the sports world, particularly on the twitterverse:
Quick look at a bit of coolness from yesterday’s presser, then onward into the fray-
Ohio State announced yesterday that they will be wearing customized helmets for the Spring Game, painted with a military design to honor American servicemen and commemorate the 75th anniversary Jesse Owen’s performance at the Berlin Games.
Most of these helmets will be re-painted over the summer, but the announcement goes on to read
Each of the 25 remaining “camo” helmets will be individually numbered, autographed by Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel and then sold, with the sale benefiting the Ohio National Guard Family Readiness and Warrior Support Program, LiFE (Learning in Fitness & Education) through Sports Program and the Ruth and Jesse Owens Scholars Fund. These helmets will be sold off-line on a first-come, first-served basis for $1,000.00/helmet (limit one per an individual).
which I’m sure will make the good folks over at Tiger Droppings extremely happy.
We talked already about Coach Fickell’s promotion, and other sites have good coverage of the press conference. We expect to hear more today following the media accessible spring practice period.
We haven’t talked about the “news” that Coach Tressel forwarded the Cicero email to Jeanette businessman and Pryor mentor rather than the OSU Compliance office or Gene Smith, mostly because it’s already been said. We all have our theories/rationalizations, but it doesn’t change the fact that it makes his “confidentiality” excuse hold next to no water, and the NCAA will certainly respond accordingly. I was a bit intrigued that the media responded almost wholeheartedly with a “well, now that we know this, he has to be fired/resign” theme, mostly because this doesn’t get to be decided in the media. We’re assuming that, if this information was leaked from inside the athletic department, that the NCAA was aware of this (and has been since the University found out about it). So, while it doesn’t appear positive in any way it’s not as if it was “proof of a greater coverup”. It’s like I’ve been told- just because I don’t know something doesn’t mean that it’s important for me to know it.
So, let’s get to the flavor of the day: The “HBO “revelation” that a former recruit at Ohio State is alleging that he received cash from a booster and “sexual favors” from a co-ed while on a recruiting trip. We’ll get to the context in just a minute, but it should be noted that this occurred around the same time that the athletic department was under a full investigation, and the University was not found to have any pervasive issues with this type of behavior (“pervasive” means “more than a one or two time thing”). If true, it’s indefensible and should have been dealt with.
Regarding the “sexual favors” aspect of the story, I’m shocked to hear that a student who was visiting a University might have had “relations” with someone during their visit. That type of thing never happens when high school kids visit Universities. Sarcasm aside, unless this was coordinated or tacitly facilitated by the athletic department or the coaching staff, I’m not sure how it’s relevant to the perspective that those two entities are “lawless”. Particularly when the reporting team at HBO sports has themselves stated they had no proof to back up the claim. However, since Ohio State is the target of the month, it’s the story that everyone’s been running with.
And now, the rest of the stories…