Tonight we’re going downtown to some family New Year’s Eve thing. I’m almost certain that Rum and Coke will not be served. Bummer.
Anyway, football season ended Wednesday night as the Buckeyes beat the ever loving shit out of Oklahoma State 33-7. Of course it was hard to fully enjoy the ass kicking we gave the Cowboys with ESPN’s Trev Alberts and Mark May spewing ignorance from the ESPN College Football desk. If you listen to and believe Mutt and Jeff then you’d come away thinking:
- OSU is a dirty program that should be served the Dealth Penalty like SMU got back in the Dickerson era
- AD Andy Geiger will get fired
- Head Coach Jim Tressel will get fired
- Maurice Clarett was telling the truth!
I try to be as objective as I can with this stuff because I want OSU to be a clean program and I want the cheaters kicked out of the state. But Mike Tirico said it best on ESPN News after the Alamo Bowl when he said that anyone that thinks this will cost Geiger and Tressel their job have not followed this story close enough; he went on to say that calling for their job was the overstatement of the year. Being in Columbus and actually getting a lot more detailed local info than anything ESPN has “reported”..it leads me to believe that Alberts and May are just ratings grabbing. Here are some facts–stone cold facts–to consider:
- The Troy Smith case and the Clarett saga are unrelated. Completely and totally. Clarett could never name a name; could never name a booster or a tutor or anything. He then called Geiger and asked thet Geiger publicly say that Clarett was a good guy to get back in good with NFL people. In return Clarett would take back the story he gave ESPN. At this point you should believe anything this guy says at your own risk.
- The NCAA investigated the Clarett stuf and cleared OSU.
- Troy Smith accepted $300 from a dirt-bag booster because Smith’s mom had bills to pay and Smith took the easy way out and broke the rules. No excuses for Smith here, he knew the rule and chose to break it. This does NOT mean Jim Tressel was involved in any way and that has never been hinted at. Period.
- Controlling boosters that want to get too close to the program is the #1 issue that schools have to deal with and it’s almost impossible to fully police, which is why the Smith infraction is not even considered a major school violation. The NCAA rule in a case like this is that the player loses 20% of his season, and thus Smith will take his lumps by missing 1-2 games. Unless this gets tied back to OSU, then that’ll be the end of it. Why Alberts and May connect these dots without any evidence AT ALL..no one knows. Geiger and Tressel are not going anywhere, much to the chagrin of ESPN.
- Now, even though I fully believe Tressel is innocent of personal wrongdoing, there’s no doubt that players at OSU are not behaving like the Alumni (thad be me) want them to behave. A lot of them are, the OSU football team graduation rate has skyrocketed since Tressel took over and the team GPA is at 2.77, 2nd in the Big10 behind Northwestern (I mean come on..those Northwestern guys are smart!) but a few of them are acting like fools. Even so, ESPN says that Tressel needs to dish out tougher punishment. Well, we kicked 4 players off the team, including a 5 star TE recruit, for thuggish behavior. What else can a guy do but kick a guy off the squad?
- If you really want to know how a school gets drilled by the NCAA you should read NCAA.Org and learn why other schools got put on Probation. There’s one key link to all of them: the school was either involved or turned a blind eye. OSU has self reported ALL of this stuff. ESPN and the NCAA has not turned up anything that OSU has not already reported itself for doing.
So my take on all of this, based on what I know, is that Smith will take his punishment, Clarett will fade into sports history after being cut in mini camp after being a 6th round pick, and Jim Tressel will continue being the head coach at Ohio State. As much as that may piss off some people, I dont’ see a changing of the guard at OSU based on what the President of the university said this week.
It’s a real shame that these headlines dominated the game because Ohio State has really found its stride of late and I’d bet anything that OSU is a preseason top 5 or 6 team next year. I know a lot of you could care less about this but it’s a bit theraputic for me, and it’s partly my blog.
Oh, and is Ted Ginn awesome or what? 🙂