You have to wonder if the NCAA realizes that they've lost all credibility with the way they've handled this Ohio debacle. I have trouble believing that anyone but the troublemakers and cheaters can put any faith in the NCAA.
Mike Lantry, 1972
I'm sorry that this space has yet to address Ohio State's latest run from justice. A lot of that is I'm still so flabbergasted I don't want to be held accountable later for whatever I write while suffering from apoplexy. Also life bler bler time to really pour through the documents and link all. Anyway in the service of having something here's flabbergasted e-pinion.
The NCAA's response came out last week and it's 139 pages of "aw shucks guys coulda happened to anybody." Noticeably lacking is anything that's been mentioned since, oh, late January. If you want the Cliffs Notes, and you do, user jbr12 kindly posted Michael Scarn's longer-than-an-actual-Cliffs Notes review of the Tressel interviews.
The focus is entirely on the Cicero e-mails and it seemed to me the staff was basically trying to get an answer to one question "did you ever think before the 2010 season that 'Oh these kids committed violations?'" But the whole time Tressel is telling them his primary concern was that the kids were part of this drug ring, and then six to seven weeks pass and Tressel learns the Tat5 were not part of the investigation into Rife and he's relieved. They ask why he didn't tell his bosses then and Jim says he, um, was ready to help the Feds. And nothing. I'm not a lawyer but I've seen a few depo's and this moment just astounded me.
By avoiding the most obvious Failure to Monitor and Lack of Institutional Control in ever ever, consider this used, and officially going back in the pile.
To my biased reading, the investigators were taking the (latest) OSU party line in focusing on the cover-up, and Jim was saying his major concern is that he thought his players were likely part of a drug and murder ring.
Nothing about the cars or where the equipment they gave to Rife was coming from…nothing that would possibly implicate anyone but Tressel. The questions did not at all seem intended to find what culpability Smith and Gee and the school might have had. Given the posture of the program since this stuff came out that's a very loud silence.
There is now only the slightest glimmer of hope that the NCAA may look again at the mountain of evidence everyone else piled up nice and neat for them since last January on the free "test drives" and unregistered cars since 2002, many more players trading memorabilia outlined in the SI article, the clear implication of equipment staff involvement based on the volume of material traded, the statements of those who claim Tressel told way more way sooner to his superiors, and the outrageous chutzpah of OSU's president and AD through the whole process, from "he fires me" speech to a 10-day "investigation" which came back and said "it's a training exercise."
If you imagine the Russian Ambassador saying this while the Times is sitting on the table between them with the headline "Russian Captain Intends to Defect," that's a pretty good description of OSU's findings. Which the NCAA…accepted?
What of the 180-degree blame shift of convenience when their initial "sweet spot" of a two-game suspension became Tressel resigning and promising to never return to college football except to recruit for OSU and be at the unveiling of his statue. If there's nothing more to see here, why was Terrelle Pryor, who had already promised to return and serve his 5-game suspension for everything in that report, suddenly out the door and no longer associated with the school when details of his cars and tats and so many free dinners became public knowledge?
That glimmer – the one I mentioned a few paragraphs up before the rambling took over -- is from Pac12 commish Larry Scott, via SF sportswriter Jon Wilner:
And he’s well aware that the NCAA didn’t find Ohio State guilty of Lack of Institutional Control or Failure to Monitor — even though its head coach knowing played ineligible players and then lied about it.
“You can be sure I’m tracking it,” he said.
In fact, he called Emmert after tOSU news broke on Friday.
The takeaway? Scott said there’s “a misperception in the media about the finality” of tOSU situation.
While he declined to get specific, I took his comment to mean that Emmert indicated the NCAA could tack on penalties in the cash-for-memorabilia case.
Scott has USC’s back on this one, no question.
Thin, man. Thin.
This is the part in the movie where you thought the Russian crew was all captured and Sean Connery is making friends with Alec Baldwin, and then the cook shoots the guy from Jurassic Park and he dies never having seen Montana. Then the bad-guy Russian sub shows up and that one dude's like "I think someone just shot a torpedo at us!"
Because we can't just hope a defection in their ranks is going to make this whole thing end happy until the cook is shot and their submarine blown out of the water. Meaning it would be all nice and justice if the Soviets were actually called out for being lying, cheating, and blatantly unapologetic scoundrels, but it's not our job to see that the U.N. doesn't make a fool of itself; it's our job to beat the damn reds.
Yesterday Tim front-paged Rescue_Dawn's study of the Midwesterness of Michigan rosters under coaches since Mr. Schembechler. First I'd like to point out that this is the kind of effort that makes the user-generated content such a cut above on this site. The map especially – that is utterly fantastic!
That said, the conclusions are the opposite of correct. The money shot of the article (other than map of awesome) is a pie chart showing the makeup of all Schembechlerian rosters…
…followed by Mo, Llo, and Ro pies whose national slices don't look like they were cut by my wife during another Carb Inquisition.* The takeaway from these charts is that Bo's teams were made of real men grown right here in the Heart of America. NSFMF.
(click makes it big)
Now this is not at all accurate because like Rescue_Dawn I used data from Bentley and they don't distinguish from walk-ons** and those inflate the local numbers but contribute a disproportionately small amount of playing time. But it tells an important story that the total figures for each coach do not: trends.
Here, have a spreadsheet. The straight line at the top shows the trend (% of total) under each coach's career of total roster Midwest makeup. The squiggly line is the % of total year by year (and uses the same Y axis). The rest is not % but the total number of players on the team. I also split up the states a little differently based on which conference(s) were most local for recruits. Midwest= MN, WI, IA, IL, IN, OH, MI, PA, & Canada; Northeast= New England, NY, NJ, DE, DC, MD, WV, VA, NC; Nebraska's in the central, Arizona's Pacific, etc.
You have to kind of mentally extend the previous coach into the next one but the trends show you important things that total % do not. Perfect example: it looks like Rodriguez did a good job keeping a Carr-level smattering of guys from Big XII country. Those guys: Banks, Steve Watson, Jared Van Slyke, Darryl Stonum, Troy Woolfolk, T-Robinson, Stephen Hopkins and Brandon Herron. 75% of that were Lloyd's guys.
You can also see evidence of pipelines, starting with Bo building the East Coast, then getting more and more from the South through the '80s. He and Moeller then got a thick chunk from the Plains States while Lloyd developed (not seen here 'cause I threw it in with Midwest) Pennsylvania and the West Coast.
Ultimately what you're seeing is coaches who were ALL opportunistic, using the national brand to recruit nationally when they could, taking advantage of Midwest recruits' biases when they couldn't, and otherwise being strategic but strategic like a company looking to grow new revenue streams who still mostly focused on its core product.
If you're looking for a coach who believes the world ends at the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, your man is Bump Elliott, and that worked terribly because back then the South was still segregated and their best men were winning championships for all of our rivals. Bo's the guy who either saw Michigan into the age of national recruiting, or took us there, depending on your view of agency.
* Nobody expects a Carb Inquisition. The secret is surprise. And smaller portions. And a fanatical devotion to pointing out that "carbohydrate" is Latin for "wet coal."
** And among many other laughs list a Terry T. Albott, and Obinna Ezeh, and completely cannibalize the Opong-Owusu family. Seriously: Cherie Opong-Owl.
You have to wonder if the NCAA realizes that they've lost all credibility with the way they've handled this Ohio debacle. I have trouble believing that anyone but the troublemakers and cheaters can put any faith in the NCAA.
On Brian's direction (before he left) I'm splitting up Dear Diaries.
You're getting more than a thx 4 posting. It's in the FP line, which tim's been handling. So is your other one (Unauthorized Persipacity), though uh, I have no good reason for you why it didn't get bumped yet.
I'll be glad when everyone's focus can turn from NCAA enforcement to college football games and Michigan fans can focus on beating Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State -- and everyone else.
and he runs into the article. The world was a bigger place in 1970, I wonder how much of the out of region recruiting is simply due to ease of access.
Seeing as I am on a diet and watching what I eat, I liked the carb/Monte Python reference.
I don't know if I can take much more "they got away with it" rhetoric. Every time the same information is presented, I see it in a slightly, more nauseating light. The Gordon Gee line about being fired by Tressel was, at first glance, laughable; now, it's horrifying. I know that deep down, these people have no moral core. They don't feel like what happened was wrong, and they'll do whatever it takes to preserve the current culture and status quo. I just want this to end.
Unless, of course, the NCAA does the right thing and brings it in August. That would be pure awesome.
I'm always amused when people define morality by NCAA rules.
What Notre Dame and UCF did was immoral. Their negligence led to students dying.
What OSU, UNC, USC, etc have done just amounted to breaking NCAA rules. An OUTRAGE for fans, but hardly registers on the morality meter.
I have to disagree on a couple of levels. IMO, morality should not be defined by the outcome, but by the action and intent. The litmus test for something being immoral isn't the difference between someone died and someone's feelings got hurt. Secondly, continued lying, deception, and complete disregard of the rules that you agree to play by (and continually say that you play by) are immoral actions. Do I think these had terrible real world consequences? Probably not, but that doesn't allow us to say what they did was okay, even in an ethical sense.
I should have put this in there as a caveat in the first place. There's nothing wrong with a guy getting paid or benefits for the skills he was born with and honed. It's like buying a drink for the pro athlete at the bar -- his play makes me happy, he deserves a free drink. If a guy owns a car dealership he can lend cars to whomever he wants.
However there are three immoral parts about it.
1) Unfair competitive advantage. Other schools have put themselves through some major hoops to make sure they're toeing the line while Ohio State let the stuff go on, therefore its players were getting extra incentive to come to Ohio State and stick at Ohio State and stay true to Ohio State, because if you're the type who equates cars with appreciation then Ohio State's the only place you can feel appreciated; and if you leave the brotherhood you're handing over your keys. If it wasn't for 'you damn kids' OSU was about to get a 4th year out of Terrelle Pryor. Since when do guys like Pryor stick around for four years? He wasn't sated entirely, but if he couldn't be driving a hot car and cash in his pocket the college thing would have gotten old real quick for that guy. OSU is far from the only school to have guys like that, sadly.
2) The cast of characters. The school is supposed to be providing a safe environment for all students. The folks who provide the handouts are usually some pretty shady characters (to not care what happens to the school if NCAA catches it). This is a textbook case, as their players were hanging with Rife, a hard drug trafficker and alleged murderer. Who knows what could have happened to these 18 year olds that the university allowed a real scumbag to use as bunting. How much are you really looking out for the welfare of a student athlete if you're wink-wink sending him to a dealership who specializes in no paper trail for shady deals. What are you doing for your community when you're letting your equipment provide the funding for an underground operation like Rife's?
3) NCAA Compliance isn't like a federal agency. They have limited powers and limited oversight. The whole system relies on the schools being their own worst critics, with the expectation that the president cares more about the school's academic prestige than athletic success and will go balls to the wall to make sure that's the case. This is a flimsy premise for regulatory enforcement but it's what we have. Ohio State has approached this more from a lawyer's perspective, which function is from the oppositional system that we use for English style law. By taking this approach, they are directly undermining the regulatory system in place. Either the system uses a harsh correction, or basically admits it is broken.
I'm not defining the morality of the rules, I'm defining morality as the breaking of the rules - namely cheating, which is immoral. Are there levels of cheating? Sure. It's worse to cheat in an election than it is to cheat in a game of tag. But if we want there to be a society governed by rules - any kind of rules - we must all follow the rules, and condemn those who don't.
My big issue is more the arrogance of tOSU. There is a definite lack of contrition coming out of Columbus. The actions of the university clearly show not contrition but a careful tip-toeing around the events to protect the guilty. That Tressel's departure was changed to a resignation protects him, his legacy, and his pension. That TP just got his divorce papers from OSU is really for the good of his career first, and not an act of reproach. If it had been a punishment, they would have done it a while ago.
The NCAA can only decide based on the paper trail. If there isn't one, I understand there's not much they can do. But come on - don't you hate it in the movies when the guilty walk free?
Isn't morally wrong. At least in Ohio.
My interactions with the "fan on the street" reveal no contrition whatsoever on the part of the average fan.
Intelligent alumni types, to their credit, are horrified by how this whole godawful shitty mess has played out for the University. It's national embarrasment for Ohio State.
I think this was basically what I was trying to say, but it is Friday and I am hungover.
when he is out of ammo
MaximumSam ...about the mountain of evidence is that it doesn't actually exist. Rumors of equipment being sold by the ton turned out to be totally false, rumors of checks being thrown around turned out to be false, rumors of additional players selling crap turned out to be false, etc., etc., etc., etc.
eh, he's an Ohio State fan. He hasn't been rude about it.
Christians believe that a man completely without sin can cleanse the sins of all their people by sacrificing himself. Now granted the guy they said who did it is God, not a college football coach, but if you believe your college football coach is God, then when he chose to resign despite having done nothing wrong, this absolved all of Ohio State for anything it did.
JT left (resigned/fired/retired) because of the cover-up for this NOA. OSU is saying there is nothing to see with TP, he left because he wanted to go pro and somehow he is banned from OSU...why? OSU will not be punished for alleged car/cash/golf/stolen equipment. I think most Buckeyes are shell schocked and are just happy to be out of the war and want to move along but where is the logic? It's just baffeling to see the cover up and it might work.
Clearly you are subscribing to the JT philosophy of hear no evil, see no evil. Just keep moving on, nothing to see here.
I can't believe that I am doing this, but (gulp) here goes:
Maximum has a point. The NCAA can only go on what it has, not what was reported in the papers etc. It can try to talk to the reporters and ask for the sources. If the reporter wont give them up (as is likely) then that ends that. The NCAA also has to go with what the players named in the article tell to its investigators, not what was printed in the paper. (Looking at you Small.) The NCAA is not going to ask Tressel about every allegation in a newspaper, internet blog, etc. They are going to ask questions based on what their investigation has revealed.
Assuming that the SI didn't reveal the anonymous sources to the NCAA, all those allegations are out. If Small recanted and told the NCAA that nothing happened, that is what they have. If the car dealership refuses to talk, and the players who were identified can produce some DMV records and a relative who says they gave the kid the care, then so much for the cars. If the equipment can show records that not an unusual amount went missing, then that is what the NCAA has (absent actual proof that the numbers are false.)
Like the Five Fab, the only reason that the Tat five got in trouble is that the Feds found the evidence as part of a criminal investigation into something else.
Where I part company with Maximum is the belief that this was all just rumors. My gut is that most of this actually went down. However, the NCAA can’t go on a “gut” or the fact that Pryor and JT bolting looks bad. They need more than smoke – they need the fire. It is the difference between knowing that something happened and proving it. That is why OSU may escape a loss of control.
Looking at this post and many others similar** reminds me of a short conversation I had with a former co-worker and Michigan grad. She was clearly following the football team as we discussed details of a recent game, so I threw caution to the wind and asked if she read the blog. She kind of looked away sheepishly and muttered something about having looked at it once or twice, but said it was all a bit too much with the charts and graphs.
That's just it, though. If you really want to go a bit deeper than the MSM and, you know, flex your gray matter on Michigan topics, this is arguably the only place.
BTW, that new scatter-style graph is a thing of beauty. It brings the Jesus Ferguson perspective to the Phil Ivey sense we all had about the Michigan recruiting pipeline and how it's changed over time across coaches. It would look tremendous blown up and framed on the wall in my Michigan viewing room.
** shout out to MGoShoe for his extensive research and modeling of performance across all UM sports
James Earl Jones (Class of '55) needs to blow up the torpedo to save the good guys
Unless I'm mistaken, the NCAA has yet to make a ruling in the OSU matter. In essence, the Defense has presented its case and now the Prosecution/Judge is going to present a ruling. To me, LOIC is a program who made it a policy to give oral compliance evaluations only (instead of pesky written ones which leave paper trails), but that doesn't mean the NCAA can't levy harsh penalties regardless of the name of the infraction.
They have no set guidelines for punishment; they're not going to overturn their own rulings; and this isn't done until the NCAA says so (Auburn, anyone?). My guess remains 2 year bowl ban and loss of USC-size scholarships.
Evidence points to "no."
Why is Matt Millen's face on the "Get Out of Jail, Free" card?
the Buckeyes, but I am trying to be. OSU is suspect, no question. However, from what I can ascertain, the blood lust that many football fans have for OSU may have resulted in a lot of speculation becoming "fact" and an overall mob-mentality from a lot of college football fans regarding the depth of the problem in Columbus, not necessarily the seriousness of any one given infraction, but in the assumption that OSU was burning the NCAA compliance manual and chanting at the end of practices.
Pryor was foul, that is not in dispute. And while the Sugar Bowl decision as to Pryor and the remainder of those players was despicable, OSU has taken pretty swift and decisive action regarding the frontline sources of the problem. They will be penalized, but I am not sure the death penalty is warranted.
I have enjoyed the embarassment that OSU has gone through for the last few months, in just in my nature to celebrate any pain inflicted on that school. But in all honesty, I don't think I want a Big Ten void of the OSU presence. Like it or not, OSU has kept this conference relevant for the last 7 years. I don't even want the next two THE GAMES to involve an Ohio Team void of motivation and a game lacking in national relevance. I want THE GAME. I want to beat this team head up, not beat them because they are "short handed."
OSU cheated, and indications are that it was somewhat widespread. Take solice in that their domination of UM for the past decade was not legitimate, and will certainly have an * in the long term story of this rivalry. But let's let this rest and move on. We don't need a handicapped OSU team to beat them, let them take whatever medicine is given to them for their transgressions and just kick their ass head up come November.
For me at least, the issue with OSU isn't with them getting what's coming to them, it's the blatant nose-thumbing at the NCAA. The whole point of a compliance office and and athletic department is to keep on top of stuff like this and not let the equipment manager steal gear for the players to sign and sell, or get sweetheart deals from the local car dealership.
I agree with Misopogon that this indicates about as clear a case of lack of institutional control as can ever be found. If the AD/CO didn't know all this was going on under their noses, someone needs to find out why the hell not? Blaming the coach as the archvillan does not cut it. As Brian said, "If people are jumping out of helicopters to tell their story in Columbus", that means there's an institution of breaking NCAA rules. And blaming just the coach means the AD/CO are both either chronically inept or going "LALALALALA!"
It seems like letting the coach take the blame sets the administration up for more investigation into "How did you not know?". Hopefully Pryor bailing opens the door for that investigation.
just as I played the "everybody is doing it card" regarding the practice time fiasco, I don't think we should let the fact that M's ass is bright red due to repeated spankings by OSU interfere with the fact that there are probably more blatant and continious NCAA violations going on many other places in college football right now. NOT SAYING THAT EXCUSES IT. Look, I think the NCAA has to take action against OSU, and it is part of an overall crackdown on the mockery that NCAA compliance has become. I guess what I am saying is that USC was certainly the example, they got smacked and they should have, but I am one who believes that the NFL team they have been running at USC for the past 7 seasons was on a level far greater than OSU in terms of the severity of the violations. The coverup is far worse than the crime. OSU should have taken a page from UM in how they treated the investigation, but that doesn't change the fact that what has been actually proven about OSU truly amounts to little more than limited rogue activity with at least reckless blindness by those actually involved with the University. If "Blue Chip" like infractions could be shown against OSU, and that the entire program was off the level that's one thing, but right now the provable violations do appear limited in scope. The one person who HAD TO KNOW AND HAD TO TAKE ACTION has been terminated, they have forfeited an entire season and will be hamstrung with scholarships for the foreseeable future. Just as the FREEP Jihad was bullshit, I don't want to be the piling on fan base that tries to excuse inferiority with their program by simply labeling them cheaters just as Sparty did with us. F that, they have owned us, but we will own them again without an assist from the NCAA.
The head coach lied to the NCAA and played 5 players he knew were ineligible for an entire season ... and then signed a document that was false and misleading so he could play those players in a BCS bowl. Sorry, but NCAA has no balls at all if they let this slide!
Is vacates games? So it's no punishment or off with their heads as our only two options? I think the fervor clouding judgement is your love of The Game being meaningful, not those who want at least some penalty that, you know, actually penalizes OSU in the future, and not on paper.
Obviously only two choices here...
Really though, doesn't probation from a bowl game or two make sense? I mean the NCAA allowed TP and the others to play in the Sugar Bowl, so why not correct that ruling with a bowl ban? That just makes sense to me but again there is plenty of latitude, between death penalty and whatever "punishment" is happening now, for the NCAA to choose an option that comes down a little more justly on tsio.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house (NCAA) cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning.
We can only hope that the master of the house (NCAA) cometh and that their judgment cometh soon!