"The face of the operation is Briatore (referred to exclusively in the film by his colleagues and angry, chanting detractors as "Flavio"), an anthropomorphic radish who spends most of his time at QPR plotting to fire all of the managers."
Gene Smith displays his backbone (or lack thereof) in comments regarding Ohio basketball scheduling Michigan in the non-conference, after missing the game @ Ann Arbor this coming season. While being obviously against the measure, he goes on to say "We're not chicken." Lots of chicken in the B1G news this week...
Per ESPN, Gene Smith favors the concept that Michigan and Ohio should be in the same Division, nothing new for Mgoblogers. Not locked in stone, but leaning in that direction as DB feels similarly.
Smith said he has had informal discussions with Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon about the two teams being in the same division and that both sides were open to the idea. In an email to ESPN.com, Brandon said, "I would certainly not be opposed to being in the same division as OSU if it was in the best interest of our conference. I look forward to the discussion with my colleagues and our conference leadership."
"Going into the meetings, we would be leaning toward being in the same division," Smith said. "But there might be something that comes up in the [AD meetings] that could change our minds."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that OSU self-reported 46 NCAA violations in the past year, including some secondary violations in football. Some strike me as very petty - one is because an assistant coach was chewing tobacco during a game, and another because Urban Meyer may have said "good luck" in passing to a recruit in a state title game in PA. Those strike me as foot faults, and are not really a big deal in my book. You'd think OSU would be extremely careful these days, but it's hard for me to get worked up about such violations.
The more serious one, in my mind, is apparently Gene Smith and Archie Griffin got together to prepare a "personalized" recruiting video for Ezekiel Elliott for his official visit to OSU in March. That's not only a clear violation of NCAA rules, it's not something that happens accidentally or "in passing". You have to contact your former Heisman Trophy winner, put together a script, get someone to film it for you, and get it over to the recruit. Lots of chances there to realize "hey, maybe we shouldn't be doing this!". And it's the freakin' AD doing it, with some experience with NCAA violations. This is not on the scale of booster payments, Toys for Tatts™, loaner cars for athletes, etc. But really dumb all the same. Gene Smith is the gift that keeps on giving. He should definitely hold onto those incriminating pictures he (must) have of the NCAA administration!
The link to the article is below, together with a summary copied (with some bits redacted for space considerations - it's worth a stroll over to the CPD article to see the whole list) from the CPD article.
•Football coach Urban Meyer said "Good luck," to recruit Noah Spence before his state championship game in Pennsylvania in December. Contact like that with Spence, on his game day, is forbidden. •Athletic director Gene Smith and alumni association CEO Archie Griffin recorded a personalized video for football recruit Ezekiel Elliott for his official campus visit on March 31. Recruiting videos are forbidden. •Greg Paulus, the basketball team's video coordinator, was reported to be coaching players during the Buckeyes' Big Ten Tournament semifinal win over Michigan on March 10. Video coordinators, who aren't full assistants, may not coach players. The violation was discovered after a general conversation between an OSU player's parent and an assistant athletic director. •In December of 2010, five current football players took five recruits on OSU visits to a movie. NCAA rules allow each recruit $60 in spending money for entertainment. A cab ride to the movie put each recruit between $1 and $5 over budget, which the football players paid out of pocket. That was not allowed because the $60 limit was exceeded.. -- Doug Lesmerises
This USA Today database has all FBS athletic directors salaries for the year along with additional compensation.
Adam Rittenberg listed in this article the highest paid ADs in the B1G.
Gene Smith is the fifth highest paid AD in the country and highest paid in the B1G at $1,058,546 ($250,000 in potential bonuses).
Barry Alvarez comes close to Smith at sixth in the country, at $1,040,800.
And our own Dave Brandon comes in at thirteenth nationally, and third in the B1G, at $700,454 ($165,000).
Thoughts? Obviously LOL Smith, but I was a bit surprised to see that Alvarez stands to make that much more money than Brandon. I guess DB is still early in his career at Michigan...would be interested to see if he's getting paid less because he's already loaded.