The Ohio State Saga: Tressel Resigns

May 31, 2011

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On a day with relatively no sports news, Jimmy “the Vest” Tressel decided to proclaim his resignation from thuh ohio state university as their football coach.

Nothing like picking the day that we honor America’s heroes of military service to slip into the night – – because of your dishonorable actions.

The real issue here is not what the Buckeye players did that was wrong, it was the fact that the head coach knew about it, then lied that he knew about it, and then took another year to basically confess his problems. More strangely, he waits another 3-4 months from when the entire charade completely blew up earlier this year. But, he waits until NOW announce that he is stepping down? Why the wait Jimmy?

Coming clean earlier would have avoided a lot of embarrassment for the University, and its program. It would have also given the Athletic Director a chance to do a broader coaching search and perhaps look at other interested candidates. That is no longer a possibility with the Spring football camps wrapped up and summer conditioning well under way.

Ohio State will have a number of players sit out the first 5 games of the year to start the 2012 season due to them essentially trading autographs and memorabilia for ink. That is right. Tattoo em up boys with a alleged drug trafficker….Classy.

A number of other players are still under investigation and could face yet to be determined disciplinary action. More investigation into sold bowl and conference championship rings and sweetened deals to purchase cars from local dealerships have the boosters squirming in their overpriced seats at the Horseshoe.

Amazingly I have not heard an apology from Tressel to date. The Vest in his owns actions cares so much about his players that he would cover up infractions and cares so much for the University that he felt that keeping the head coaching position any longer would be an unfair distraction. How about a simple – “I am sorry” from the former head honcho.

The next weeks should be more interesting as further details unfold. Ohio State has to appear before the NCAA infractions committee in early August. Maybe the club should have done their homework and recognized that this was not Tressel’s first tussle with allegations. While coaching at powerhouse Youngstown State, talks of improper recruiting were in the air. Tressel left those allegations while they were still under investigation and went on to be the head coach at Ohio State.

No where to slip to this time except the golf course for Tressel.

Until next time,

Stay classy Columbus!

How Will the NCAA Punish Ohio State?

April 26, 2011

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Big problems continue for the beloved Ohio State Program. Not that it is any big shocker, but the NCAA the fastest yacht in the boat race, finally made a public statement yesterday that they are looking into “alleged” infractions. The violations in the Ohio State case happened a basically 12 months ago. The news splash came out in late December right before the bowl game, and then further escalated about 2 months ago with Tressel’s admission he knew about the problems with the five players trading equipment and awards for tattoos. Heck he even had the email train to show for it.

Now the Buckeyes have until July 5 to answer questions for the NCAA. A hearing before the infractions committee is scheduled Aug. 12 in Indianapolis.(coincidentally one day before Johnny Goodman’s Birthday) After that, god only knows how long this will drag on. Heck it took the NCAA 5 years to nail USC for Reggie Bush and other violations of basketball players taking place during the same time span.

The lingering question is will the NCAA think that the penalties imposed by the school are strong enough, or will they wield a heavier hammer? Hard to tell. The scuttlebutt in the coaching fraternity is that “The Vest” is in deep doo doo. Heck even Nebraska increased head coach Bo Pelini’s salary just yesterday making him the third highest paid football coach in the Big Ten. Why? They lost way more games than they should have last year and folded like a cheap card table in their bowl game re-match with lowly Washington. Maybe Athletic Director Tom Osborne wanted to make a possible move to Pelini’s alma mater, Ohio State, look less appealing from a financial perspective.

Lucky #7

The NFL Lockout drama saga continues this week we are quickly approaching the 2011 Draft. AP writer Jaime Aron had an excellent article on April 23rd that listed the top players taken at each position in the draft since the modern day draft has taken place. As you can imagine this could be a hotly debated topic. I mean which #1 overall is the best? Bradshaw? Manning? Aikman, Campbell? You could make your argument for any of these guys at #1. But what I found interesting was that the #7 pick in the first round has been a veritable point of weakness overall.

Tops on Aron’s listing was Adrian Peterson in the #7 spot, who many felt “slid” to the Vikings as he was coming off an injury plagued college career at Oklahoma. Phil Simms, Sterling Sharpe, Bryant Young and Champ Bailey are others of mention at the number 7 spot but no one really stands out like is the case at the other positions in the top 10 overall in any given year

Maybe this means the #7 spot is due to have a great player taken. Of course anyone in the Top 10 each year is considered great or they would not be considered to be drafted that high. The consensus at #7 this year is Patrick Peterson, the dynamic secondary player from LSU. Only time will tell if a Peterson will dominate from the #7 spot overall in the draft.

Until Next time…stay classy Mel Kiper Jr.

Why Is Ohio State Getting Special Treatment From The NCAA?

March 8, 2011

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You knew it could not go away this quietly. Tattoo gate is alive and still well in Columbus Ohio. According to Yahoo Sports, Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was informed that some of his players had sold memorabilia to the owner of a tattoo parlor more than eight months before the school said it was made aware of improper transactions.

Yahoo Sports, citing an unidentified source (shocker, when is the last time anyone reported their source in a scandalous story?), reports Tressel received information as early as April 2010 that players were selling items to Edward Rife, who owns Fine Line Ink Tattoos in Columbus.

Ohio State officials did not immediately respond to a requests for comment by the AP. – Again a big shocker here. They need to back pedal or more importantly call in Tressel this morning.

Ohio State Athletic Dept – So ummmmm Jim. You knew about the tattoo stuff way back in April last year???

The Vest – I cannot confirm nor deny that rumor.

OSAD – But Yahoo! Sports is claiming that you knew about this much earlier than you previously told us and we were only alerted by the US Attorney’s office last December. The NCAA who loves the Big Ten more than, well Dan Bebee loves Texas went kid gloves on us. They even allowed us to make a deal to let the guys all play in a bowl game but they had to cross their fingers and toes and “promise” to come back and play for us next year and not go professional or anything like that.

The Vest – Yeah I did not know anything earlier, I promise “wink wink, nod nod”

If it does come out that Tressel, or anyone at thuh Ohio State for that matter, had any knowledge or knew anything prior to this date in December, the punishment should be swift and fierce. Including ruling all players ineligible for the remainder of their college days as well as loss of scholarships, suspensions of coaches etc.

The NCAA is walking a fine line here. They essentially bust Cam Newton for one day, but then take off the gloves and do nothing. The Reggie Bush sage lasted 5 years but at least the penalties were harsh.

The NCAA needs to set an example that cheating, or breaking rules, in any way shape or form will not be tolerated whatsoever. Period end of Story.

Isn’t a school which calls itself “Thee” already laying the impetus for a crashing fall from grace due to improprieties. Or does the entire university, just like those players that trades gifts for ink fell that they are above the law in little Columbus, Ohio. It is amazing that the normally un-reserved Buckeye fans have been so quiet.

Nice job Bunkeyes. Nothing like tarnishing your program for the next decade or so if any more of this turns out to be true. And all over a bunch of tattoos that you are going to look at when you are in your 50’s and wonder ‘what the heck was I thinking”

At least your conference landed Nebraska, maybe that will turn away the problems for awhile.

Ken Burns, Buckeyes, and the NFC West

December 27, 2010

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Buy Stuff

As you know, I am a huge baseball fan.  For many years, I have had my eye on the Ken Burns miniseries Baseball.  The new price never dropped below $100, and used copies were hard to find for a good price (if you’re a big enough baseball fan to buy it, why would you sell it later?)  A few days before Christmas, I was pleased to find the miniseries – including the new 10th Inning – for just $49.99 on Amazon.  It was temporarily out of stock, but I immediately jumped at the chance to pick it up for that price.  It’s still temporarily out of stock, but the price has begun to climb – it’s now $50.99.  To grab your copy before the price jumps more, head over to Amazon today (note: we do receive a small commission on Amazon sales).

While you’re at Amazon, pick up a copy of Ron Shandler’s 2011 Baseball Forecaster.  Shandler’s approach on predicting performance is based on component analysis – rewarding players for the skills they exhibit rather than the resulting numbers (which can be skewed by external factors or just plain dumb luck).

Ohio State Suspensions

Five Ohio State football players are being suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season after running afoul of NCAA rules regarding improper benefits.  Players are being accused of trading autographs for tattoos and selling rings, jerseys, and awards.  The suspension may cause those players – include quarterback Terrelle Pryor and running back Boom Herron – to jump to the NFL instead of returning for half a season next year.

Why aren’t the players being suspended for the Sugar Bowl on January 4?  The NCAA says it is because the players “did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred.”  I call BS on that.  If that’s a valid excuse, then why would the NCAA lower the boom on them with a 5 game suspension?

The real reason, of course, is money.  Take those players out of a BCS bowl game, and ratings would plummet.  Sponsors would not be pleased.

NFC West

My wife’s St. Louis Rams and their adversaries, the Seattle Seahawks, both won their games on Sunday.  The two teams now head into next week’s game with identical records of 7-8.  The winner of the division will end the regular season at .500.

For the past few weeks, many of the talking heads have expressed concern about the possibility of the NFC West champion qualifying for the playoffs with a 7-9 record – while a 10 win team from another division could be left out of the playoffs.  I was hoping this would happen, just for the novelty.

Andrew Gallo

Andrew Gallo, the drunk driver who cause the accident that killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others in 2009 (and injuring a fourth person), was sentence to 51 years in prison.  Was the sentence influence by the fact that one of the victims was an athlete?  No.  It was influence by the fact that Gallo has previously been convicted of DUI and at the time signed an acknowledgement that if he cause a fatal accident while drunk, he could be charged with murder.  This has become common practice in Orange County, California – the Gallo case was not an aberration.

Why Bloggers Hate Christmas

As readers of The Soap Boxers (and search engine visitors) headed out to visit family and friends for the Christmas holiday, traffic to the site fell off a cliff for a few days … and traffic will likely be a bit slow until New Year’s Day.  Sadly, advertising revenue takes a similar hit.

But do bloggers actually HATE Christmas for this reason?  Nah.  I sincerely wish my readers a happy Christmas season.