Unverified Voracity Throws Some First Down Markers, As Per Tradition

Unverified Voracity Throws Some First Down Markers, As Per Tradition Comment Count

Brian November 20th, 2018 at 3:02 PM

Sponsor note. Let's say you've got some nice first down markers. Got a big X on them. Some orange bits, a pole. You know: the real nice stuff. And let's just say an absurd person gets so angry about something completely unrelated to your markers that he tears them up! You know, hypothetically.

Well, what then? Well, do you have any contracts that might stipulate monetary penalties for this gentleman? No? Do you regret that? Yes? Maybe you should have called Richard Hoeg.


Yes, even though Richard Hoeg was an infant(ish) during this hypothetical event, he may have craftily crafted a legal framework that would allow you to recoup your first down marker costs. Or anything else related to your small business of standing on the sideline with a down marker and something about police horses.

Call today! Or maybe next week, we're all hyperventilating quite hard right now.

A lunatic. Woody Hayes at the end of the Game in 1971:

At the link above MVictors has handily gif'd crucial portions of Hayes's meltdown that you can send to loved ones during moments of crisis. Need to remind your brother-in-law that he may be a grown-ass man but he's got the emotional stability of a toddler who missed his nap? There you go.

Ohio State's current coach has a slightly different approach:

There needs to be an equivalent of the Vince McMahon gif that's just smash cuts to increasingly distressed versions of Meyer culminating in that.

A smooth operator. Bill Bonds fulminates about the overweening importance of The Game, and you know what? He's right.

[After THE JUMP: Don Brown! Luke Yaklich! THE BROTHERS KARA-NAH-SOV]


Unverified Voracity Swiftly Reverses Dumb Decision

Unverified Voracity Swiftly Reverses Dumb Decision Comment Count

Brian November 1st, 2018 at 2:11 PM

Reminder. Tom VH will hold you at Literati tomorrow at 7. He'll also be on MGoRadio. Pat pat, there there. I'll be there, too, but I didn't write a book

So that happened, and then un-happened. Maryland retained DJ Durkin, and then fired DJ Durkin, because people are just in charge of things for no reason. Like Michigan State, the people in charge of things in this case are the regents. Reports that president Wallace Loh wanted to axe everyone were likely true, and after everyone from the student government to both candidate for governor publicly complained Maryland admitted what every adult American other than their board members already knew: DJ Durkin's career is toast.

Anyway, now's a good time to reflect on the colossal failure Big Ten expansion has been:

Let’s start with rutger. I don’t know if I need to say anything more about these guys that hasn’t been said in the past four years. They’re terrible at the major sports. They’ve embarrassingly brought down the strength of the Big Ten schedule. A few months after their Big Ten membership became official, the basketball coach was caught on video throwing basketballs and yelling homophobic slurs at players. Ex-AD Julie Hermann was routinely making shocking statements to the media and embroiled in controversy at her former schools. Ex-football coach Kyle Flood once threatened a professor if he wouldn’t change a player’s grade. The list goes on. rutger remains an easy target. We’ve already covered them extensively on this blog. Oh yeah, this [a Rutgers player being kicked off the team for a failed double-homicide] happened yesterday as well. Not great, Piscataway!

Moving onto Maryland. Until recently, the frustration with the Terps was a little more subtle than their New Jersey counterparts. The football team employed Randy Edsall. The basketball team hasn’t reached the heights it did under Gary Williams, attendance is down after a post-B1G boost, and an FBI investigation looms over the program. At least men’s lacrosse and women’s hoops have been reliable, though.

But then there is the situation with head football coach DJ Durkin, which after months of investigations regarding McNair’s death, was seemingly resolved yesterday. The Maryland Board of Regents overruled outgoing university president Wallace Loh, who seemingly wanted Durkin fired, and reinstated Durkin as the coach, despite the release of a 200-page report that illustrated the abusive behavior of the coaching staff under his watch. After all of this, one startling fact remains: a 19 year-old student-athlete died, and the head coach has been allowed to keep his job. Unsurprisingly, Jordan McNair’s family was angry about this decision, and at least 3 players walked out of a team meeting with Durkin yesterday. Now, the university administration has received tons of criticism, and is facing backlash from Maryland lawmakers as well as UMD students, who plan to hold a rally Thursday.

Great job, Jim Delany. Hope the brief surge in television revenue was worth it.

Urban's head. Meyer's strange behavior on the sideline has a cause:

Since kneeling down on the sideline in a game against Indiana on Oct. 6 because of severe headaches, Meyer has been peppered with questions about his health and future in coaching. He said the cause of the discomfort links back to a congenital arachnoid cyst in his brain, which has led to severe headaches at times in his career.

“The past four years, we’ve been working closely with coach Meyer to monitor and manage the symptoms that have risen from his enlarged congenital arachnoid cyst,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, Meyer’s personal physician and the chief clinical officer at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “This includes aggressive headaches, which have particularly flared up the past two years.”

That sucks for him and does not excuse his conduct with Zach Smith. Verdict: still a bad dude. Not the kind that saves the president. An expired coupon kind of guy.

[After THE JUMP: secret scrimmages, ooooooh]


Unverified Voracity Has Feet You Can See

Unverified Voracity Has Feet You Can See Comment Count

Brian September 25th, 2018 at 1:00 PM

[Patrick Barron]

Sponsor note. I can say whatever I want in this one since Hoeg is probably knee-deep in spathi right now. This will make for a marked departure from earlier Hoeglaw-related sponsor notes, which were dictated verbatim from the sponsor. Soooo... let's get crazy.


Richard Hoeg has his own small business, which is in the business of helping other small businesses get off the ground and keep running through the maze of contracts that many small companies must navigate before becoming a success. If you've got a small business or are thinking bout starting one he can help you with all the legal niceties.


Vitally important. Jordan Poole straps his cat to his chest like he has a newborn.

To go to Target? I think? I don't know.

Injury updates. Harbaugh just told the weekly teleconference that Benjamin St-Juste is out for the year and Luiji Vilain had surgery a couple days ago. Both guys are in that early Mike McCray zone where folks are getting a little nervous. Both guys have spent most of their first two years in AA on the shelf.

Recruit 'em all and let God sort 'em out. This tweet started out interesting and then got real depressing:

This shouldn't be interpreted as a shot at recruiting services. When your All-Pros include a walk-on, an Iowa State alum, and two guys so obscure they didn't have recruiting profiles it should be clear that the problem isn't with rankings relative to actual CFB scouting but rather the danged OL themselves.

And then you get into the top recruits, which are an "oh nooooo" if there ever was one: David Dawson. Ethan Pocic, the guy Michigan passed on only to go get a sixth OL later in the class, was a second-round pick. Patrick Kugler. Logan Tuley-Tillman. Chris Fox. All on one chart. Woof.

[After the JUMP: feet, as promised]


WTKA Roundtable 8/23/2018: Ohio State Has No Integrity and It's Depressing

WTKA Roundtable 8/23/2018: Ohio State Has No Integrity and It's Depressing Comment Count

Seth August 24th, 2018 at 8:02 AM

Image clipped from video published by USA Today Sports

Things discussed:

  • Urban kept Zach Smith on staff for a decade after he learned Smith is a spousal abuser.
  • Urban lied about meeting with Courtney in 2009.
  • Urban lied about his knowledge of the 2015 warrant and continues to lie.
  • Urban’s first action when the media finally caught up to his secret was to delete evidence.
  • Gene Smith is happy to lie to protect Urban Meyer.
  • A three-game suspension is total window dressing. It’s not even really 3 games, it’s just he can’t be on the sidelines for two of them, so he can do all the coaching but doesn’t get to do the things the public sees.
  • The report outlined a clear and inarguable case for a guy to get fired, and the 12-hour session with the BoT and Meyer was all about how to staple a John Englerian reason to keep Meyer on to the back of it.
  • Urban Meyer wouldn’t even apologize to Courtney Smith, though he apologized three times to “Buckeye Nation” and said he’s sorry they’re all going through this, because he believes he’s the only victim here.
  • If you support Urban Meyer after this, send your kid to play for Urban Meyer after this, or make excuses for Urban Meyer after this, you lack integrity and that makes you a bad person.
  • Ohio State, like Michigan State, has no shame, and it’s a shame.
  • Ohio State University’s hard fought for academic reputation is now ruined.
  • Hope Urban was worth it.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Podbean.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.




Indefensible Comment Count

Brian August 23rd, 2018 at 11:24 AM

Big mood today:

I thought Urban Meyer would skate away from the Zach Smith thing largely unscathed, and he has. But I'm still shocked this morning because OSU released a report that provides details of Smith's employment and Meyer's actions. First and foremost, Meyer's first action after the Brett McMurphy report that set this chain of events in motion was to delete all text messages older than a year off his phone. If your first reaction to a media report is to destroy evidence, that's a firing offense.

It goes on, pointlessly, detailing years of Smith's very very obvious issues and Meyer's continuing enablement of them before getting into OSU's response post-McMurphy and the lies Meyer told in an effort to make it all go away. It concludes with a burst of stunningly inane pretzel logic in the service of keeping Meyer in his job. Nicole Auberbach:

The 12-hour meeting was about inserting the pretzel logic. Meanwhile, this was the guy who Meyer kept in his program for a decade:

(b) At 7:35 p.m., Shelley Meyer conveyed, in a text to Coach Meyer, that “I am worried about Zach’s response. He drinks a lot and I am just not sure how stable he will be. Afraid he will do something dangerous. It’s obvious he has anger/rage issues already.” Meyer did not respond to the message.

In response to this, a slap on the wrist and a warning that if Meyer covers for the actions of a serial abuser for another decade there might be Serious Consequences.

And I dunno, guys. What's even the point anymore? Michigan's main rivals are both proven loathsome institutions. They beat Michigan on the football field, so no one cares. Meyer will face no real consequences for his behavior. Mark Dantonio has faced no consequences for bringing Auston Robertson to campus. Both have enabled abuse, in full view of the public, and nobody cares because they win games. Michigan State tried not to care about Larry Nassar and even when forced to by public outrage still gave Lou Anna Simon a golden parachute; they continue to lie to this day.

No real consequences for anyone for anything except losing football games. No shame. Michigan will go down to Columbus in November and very probably lose again and all will be forgiven, except all is already forgiven. Except there was never anything to forgive in the first place.

We need to stop looking at the NCAA as an organization that is supposed to check these behaviors and start looking at it as the primary cause of them. Every big time school looks at their bylaws as a joke to get around. Every major recruit is getting paid under the table. There is a giant see-no-evil culture across the sport. To some extent this is fine because the evil that people aren't seeing is people exchanging labor for money, but once you have a sport-wide code of silence it can easily be extended to wife beaters. Or rapists. Or anything, really.

And then how are you supposed to care?


WTKA Roundtable 8/2/2018: Why Are Our Rivals So Terrible?

WTKA Roundtable 8/2/2018: Why Are Our Rivals So Terrible? Comment Count

Seth August 3rd, 2018 at 9:41 AM

[Bryan Fuller]

We’re back!

Things discussed:

  • Meyer: The guy in charge now isn’t the guy in charge before, but the guys in charge before
  • Perspective: the MSU thing is way worse, but not being Engler is a possible motivation to overreact.
  • How is it the biggest story out of media day is Jim Harbaugh? Only one guy in the national media is digging into Aaron Hernandez, all the arrests at Florida.
  • Craig tells the story how Lloyd suspended a star player for a big game on the whiff of a serious charge.
  • Impression of new OSU president is he’s a serious dude.
  • Legal issue: Unless there’s a mandatory reporting there’s no legal issue. It’s completely an ethical issue.
  • Everybody knew. Everybody on the Ohio State beat knew.
  • What one ESPN guy is covering and nobody else seems to be: We’ve seen this pattern at Florida, where Urban “counsels” a violent person who’s useful to him and that’s the end of it until something else happens again.
  • Bringing back Reschke: The usual at MSU. The whole idea of letting players vote is a gross dereliction of responsibility. Jermaine Carter tweeted out that he wasn’t surprised because their entire offensive line talked the same way. Negative recruit away: If you wanna play with racists go to State!

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Podbean.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.


What, are they gonna bang the rocks the wrong way?


It's Your Job To Know

It's Your Job To Know Comment Count

Brian August 2nd, 2018 at 11:18 AM

[Bryan Fuller]

It doesn't matter whether Urban Meyer knew what Zach Smith did to his wife. It didn't matter if Joe Paterno knew. It didn't matter if Lou Anna Simon knew. All three of these people were or are the superiors of people who can fairly be described as evil, and we are now coming to a society-wide revelation that systems that allow abusers to continue unchecked for years are designed to do so. People in charge of massively failed systems do not get a pass because their system sucks.

Penn State was designed to allow Jerry Sandusky to continue operating well after his mysterious departure from the program. He used Penn State facilities to abuse children for years after his official departure from the staff. That departure was never explained despite requiring explanation: extremely successful 55-year old defensive coordinators do not simply evaporate from college football. Anyone poking around the edges would have found out. That it went on so long is by design.

Michigan State was—is—designed to allow Larry Nassar to operate for years even after reports started filtering up the ranks. Nassar was allowed to see patients for 16 months while he was under investigation for sex crimes. His direct superior is also a sex criminal whose behavior was reported to no avail. The Michigan State board of trustees offered their strong support for Simon even after the scope of the criminality became clear, and hired an ancient toad crony to try to sweep things under the rug.

The only way Urban Meyer did not know about Zach Smith is if his entire program is designed to keep that knowledge away from him. Saying he might not know is no defense. It is worse for Meyer if he ran the kind of program where the head coach did not know serious, damning information about one of his assistant coaches when every one of his coaches' wives knew, when the police knew, when fucking bloggers knew:

There are programs like that. There are programs where the biggest sin in the business is telling the head guy what you're up to. Jim Tressel ran a "no snitching" program, and then a lawyer with some very wrong ideas about how Ohio State wanted to run things made the cardinal mistake: he told the head guy what people were up to. The Ohio Bar gave him some misconduct runaround in the aftermath because no deed against the wishes of the program goes unpunished.

It's one thing when you don't want to know about some kid exchanging services for money. But "I don't want to know" is systemic. It spreads. Ohio State learned nothing. Their lesson from the snitching incident was never learned because that entire program was indignant that the NCAA had the temerity to enforce its "no lying to us" rules and fell ass-backwards into an elite coach who just inexplicably left a program he had two titles at. When that guy decides to import an already-established domestic abuser from his previous job, well, nobody asked you about it.

Ohio State was designed to shelter Zach Smith. Urban Meyer's programs at two different unversities were designed to shelter Zach Smith. Meyer's level of knowledge is irrelevant except in an after action report. If Urban Meyer didn't know it's because he didn't want to know. It's his job to know. It is his job to know if any of his players have a jaywalking citation. It is 1000% his job to know whether the flagship institution of the state of Ohio is accommodating a serial abuser.

It is your job to know. If you don't know, you shouldn't have a job.


Zach And Urban

Zach And Urban Comment Count

Brian August 1st, 2018 at 11:32 AM

[Eric Upchurch]

So I guess we should talk about this now:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Text messages I have obtained, an exclusive interview with the victim and other information I have learned shows Ohio State coach Urban Meyer knew in 2015 of domestic abuse allegations against a member of his coaching staff.

Courtney Smith, ex-wife of fired Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith, provided text messages between her and the wives of Ohio State coaches – including Urban Meyer’s wife, Shelley – showing Meyer’s knowledge of the situation.

Meyer said last week during Big Ten Media Days that he had no knowledge of two alleged domestic violence incidents in 2015 with former assistant wide receivers coach Zach Smith that were investigated by the Powell (Ohio) Police Department.

Meyer said had he known, he would have fired Smith in 2015 – three years before he did last week after I reported the alleged domestic violence.

If you haven't been following this story, it goes like this:

  • Earle Bruce has a child, who has a son in turn. This person gets named "Zach Smith."
  • Smith listens to "Bawitdaba" nonstop for 28 years.
  • Smith gets hired at Ohio State because nepotism and proceeds to go on a series of childish rants on twitter. His coaching acumen appears to consist of yelling "hashtag zone six!" at his charges, who respond by dropping balls so emphatically their hands also fall off.
  • Smith has a series of domestic violence charges during this period starting in 2009, when he threw his pregnant wife into a wall, with additional police involvement in 2015 and this year.
  • Reporter Brett McMurphy exposes Smith shortly before Big Ten Media days, prompting a series of questions from reporters to Meyer; according to Courtney Smith, Zach's ex-wife, Meyer lied about his knowledge of the situation.
  • Smith gets fired.

The above article is damning and should be read in its entirety. Smith's abuse was scary and persistent; a text exchange between Courtney Smith and Shelley Meyer asks whether Smith has a restraining order—which is read as obviously necessary—and says "he scares me."

Unless Urban Meyer can make the case that his wife decided not to tell him about the years of abuse Courtney Smith was enduring—and that every OSU coach's wife made the same decision—this is a case of an institution knowingly employing a serial abuser. This isn't against the law. It's not against NCAA rules. It should be unacceptable in the court of public opinion, and you'd hope that would be enough to drum other folks out of their jobs up to and including Meyer.

I'm skeptical this will happen. OSU was readying a full-throated defense of Jim Tressel ("I just hope he doesn't fire me") when it became clear that directly lying to the NCAA four times would inevitably result in a show-cause that would terminate Tressel whether OSU wanted to or not. Without a similar sword hanging over OSU's neck*, their choice is to either disrupt their football golden era or follow the example that Meyer provided—downplay, hide, dismiss, survive. I got a dollar on the second playbook.

*[McMurphy thinks there might be Title IX issues. As we've seen at MSU—why are our rivals all so awful—those take years and rarely touch the levers of power.]


This Week's Obsession: How Long Till Harbaugh?

This Week's Obsession: How Long Till Harbaugh? Comment Count

Seth February 18th, 2015 at 1:22 PM



The Question:

Ace: When do you expect Michigan to get on level footing with Michigan State and Ohio State? Do you expect them to, in the latter case?


The Answers:

Dave Nasternak: Well, those are 2 different levels, especially after the last year.

As far as reaching Michigan State's level, I'm thinking (hoping?) Harbaugh will get them to that level in the next 2-3 years.  I actually think that the talent differential is not huge, outside of a couple of obvious positions.  The coaching differential, however...has been quite large.  One of the interesting things about Michigan State has been their recruiting.  They have not had stand-out, elite level recruiting during their stretch of dominance over Michigan (and kinda the Big Ten).  But they have developed their roster as well as anyone has...which is coaching.  It has also not hurt Michigan State that Michigan and Penn State have not been at program expectations over the past 5+ years.  However, with Harbaugh in Ann Arbor, now -and a competitively talented roster to work with- I think that gap has already shrunk a bit...and will presumably do so in the next couple of years.

You will NOT take away the year of Fickell. [Upchurch]

Since the end of the 2004 season, Ohio State is 110-21.  104-14 if you take away the Year of Fickell.  That's...uh...I don't even know.  I definitely think this past 10 or so years has not been the Big Ten's best -definitely some under-performing teams and questionable hiring decisions by a few of the schools- but...yikes, man.  There were a few years where its felt like Michigan has lost 14 games...just in that year, alone!  I'm not sure anyone is going to THAT level, any time soon.  If anyone can give Michigan a chance to do so, it would be Jim Harbaugh, though.  Anyway...my next point, haha.  One of the things that Ohio State has that has eluded most of the Big Ten teams (at least lately) is a game-changer.  And they have had many.  Going back to Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor and now Miller/Barrett/Jones and Elliott.  These are guys that can score every time they touch the ball...and always seem to make a play to keep a drive alive or score when OSU needs points.  They are Heisman trophy winners...or at least candidates.  That is level of recruit AND development that Michigan is going to need in order to compete at the OSU level.  Can and will Harbaugh take Michigan there?  I think he can.  I hope he will.  When?  It will be years before he will be able to make a mark like OSU has been able to over the last decade or so.  But I do think that once Harbaugh gets Top 100/300/whatever recruits flowing into his system, Michigan will be able to go toe-to-toe with Ohio State and at least beat them at a competitive rate...instead of the 1(Fickell) and 10 it has been over the past 11 years.

[After the jump: projections on a sophomore roster]


Wednesday Presser 11-26-14: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser 11-26-14: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 26th, 2014 at 4:50 PM

hoke 9-15


Opening remarks:

"This week, and we talked about it earlier on Monday, is always a different week. We had two very good sessions. You always start early it seems like for this game, but in preparation we were outside yesterday. Had a really good practice. Team’s working hard with the preparation. We got a lot that we've got to correct from a week ago but there's a lot to build off from a week ago also. The big thing is you always, listening to coach Schembechler and coach Moeller and coach Carr throughout the years, you want to play your best at the end of November. That's what we're trying to do, have our best performance on Saturday. Great rivalry. We've talked about it and it’s special. Unless you've coached in it and played in it I think sometimes it's hard to explain, but the intensity in this game is like no other you'll play."

Do you bring in special speakers? You mentioned Mo and those guys. Do you bring those guys in? I know Mo’s around here a lot. Does he come in and talk?
"At times you do. We have in the past. It hasn't been every year but yeah, we've had people come in. We do a lot of that in August during camp because you've got those days and you’ve got each other so you refer back to some of those if you're not bringing somebody in."

Bo was famous for every practice they did something for Ohio State. Is that how you handle that?
"Not every practice. We talk about it. It's visually up here in this building all the time [the countdown clock], and we talk about it weekly if not daily about the rivalry and the extent of it."
But you don't do something specific and practice for Ohio State every week?
"Not every week."

For a player like Mason Cole or Bryan Mone, what is this first experience like? How do you bring them into the rivalry and what is it like for them to go into it?
"I think a couple things. Number one, you bring up those two true freshmen. Playing at South Bend this year and then at Michigan State and now going to Columbus, which we've never done that, and we've never done that with those two teams [on the road] in the same year so playing in those venues, and Michigan State playing a night game on national television – er, Notre Dame, I think that's part of it. I think the passion in Spartan Stadium is hopefully something they can refer to but as I said earlier this is even a louder environment. It'll be a test but they've been playing football a long time and that's, at the end of the day, what it is is playing football."
[After THE JUMP: So about last year…]