11W with a scorched-Earth Nassar headline

Submitted by emozilla on February 1st, 2018 at 1:49 AM


If Larry Nassar Was Selling Unlicensed Sparty T-shirts Instead of Molesting Hundreds of Girls, Michigan State Would Have Stopped Him Immediately


The link

Inflammatory to be sure, but not a bad read overall.



February 1st, 2018 at 2:01 AM ^

I don't know much about journalistic standards or whatever, but I thought it was a pretty hilarious juxtaposition of ideas that effectively communicated what 11W thinks about MSU's priorities. 

Robbie Moore

February 1st, 2018 at 9:14 AM ^

And the article was about MSU priorities only in that it serves as a particularly egregious  example of an ethos that exists to varying degrees in every large organization. An ethos that protects status, priviledge and profit above all else.


February 1st, 2018 at 5:08 PM ^

Yeah but they won. Whatever you think of that "tactical error" it's nothing next to the result. Ohio State was running a full-on SEC operation and walked away with a bowl ban and a season of Fickell.

You have to appreciate how close Ohio State was to losing everything in an epic standoff between the NCAA and their last vestige of regulatory ability. Remember where we were at that point: USC had just gotten hammered for paying Reggie Bush's parents' house downpayment and a few other things, because the NCAA *knew* there was plenty more even if they couldn't prove it, and USC was being rudely unforthcoming with the self-investigation they were supposed to conduct.

Gene Smith tried the same gambit but wasn't rude about it. They conducted a sham investigation, found "nothing", and dared the NCAA to call them liars. Since the way the NCAA actually works relies on these self-investigations, Smith was counting on the NCAA not pulling the same move they had just pulled on USC: slamming them anyway for pique. And unlike with USC, the OSU case had at least two smoking guns: the Tressel email, and then when the NFL made Pryor comply with the investigation. 

It was risky as hell, but who blinked? Ohio State was left in such good shape that one year later they were 12-0 with Urban Meyer, a top five recruiting class, and carrying Jim Tressel off the field. The total penalty for operating under significantly different standards than the rest of the conference was a bad year and a get-out-of-Tressel's-decline-for-free card just when one of the top college coaches in history was coming available.

Really, you can't ask for more. What if they asked the bowl ban to be in 2011 and that was the last straw? Smith balled out to get the record wiped clean for a decade of cheating, and came out of it set up for a decade of dominating. And it was such a near run thing I think it's quite presumptive to ask for more.


February 1st, 2018 at 6:50 PM ^

Disagree. OSU was investigated by a lot of people. SI and ESPN basically set up shop there and all they could come up with was....what? Some free golf? The car thing was debunked.

OSU was the ones who found the Tressel e-mails.  That's the essense of self-reporting.  If they were "dirty" they would have made those e-mails disappear.

I hate OSU as much as anyone, but trying to say they had a decade of cheating is laughable.  Of course, they probably say the same thing about us beacuse of practice-gate.

The Harbaughnger

February 1st, 2018 at 2:40 AM ^

I get what you're saying with the humor thing, but I think it's more like this:

A deservedly savage juxtaposition of documented behaviors which brings perfect clarity to just how badly MSU's priorities are effed up.


February 1st, 2018 at 9:13 AM ^

I think this post is missing the point of Ramzy's article, which can be rediscovered by changing one word of your post:

A deservedly savage juxtaposition of documented behaviors which brings perfect clarity to just how badly MSU's everyone's priorities are effed up.

The article was not meant only to savage MSU, the article was pointing out that every institution, not least Ohio State (the target audience of the article) is utterly unforgiving of petty issues and at extreme risk of overlooking the Nassars of the world.

Though by the way, I don't fault schools one bit for being Robocops about trademark violations - the point to my mind should be "look at the big stuff" not just "don't look at the small stuff."


February 1st, 2018 at 10:37 AM ^

As universities have become less focused on their mission (teaching students, service and the completion of rigorous research) and more focused on other non-mission related outcomes (i.e., endowment development, donor cultivation, athletics etc.) the weight and maintenance of the latter takes primacy. In part, this has led to the bureaucraticization of schools with seemingly hundreds of athletic department employees (the rest of most universities has followed suit, as well, with a Dean for Everything, their assistants and multiple advisors) and all of it feeds itself via donor development, endowments, athletics etc.

Accordingly, you get a sort of circularity where the priorities of mission are completely turned upside down prioritizing monetary aquisition, school image and athletics above all (see State, Michigan and Discipline in football/basketball over the past 15 years and to a lesser degree under Perles). This is a systemic issue and one that is seen across the country (Sparty is the most egregious offender but, hell, #JoeKnew and Tressel got the boot but nothing changed at tOSU. As long as that dicotomy exists these outcomes (where administration consistently protects the brand/image to the point of culpability) will continue. Hopefully Michigan administrators are reflective about this content.

I think Ramzy is a bit self-righteous here given tOSU's past transgressions but they pale in the face of Michigan State in gynmastics, football and basketball. He is right to call them out although this Board and Brian/Ace have been doing so for years.


February 1st, 2018 at 11:14 AM ^

Admittedly biased, but: I don't think he's being self-righteous at all. It would be tone deaf to say that this could never happen at Ohio State, or that OSU's past transgressions weren't, to a lesser degree, brought upon by the same backward priorities visible at each and every big school. I think he's saying the opposite of that: that no school has their priorities right, and if that doesn't change, this will keep happening. 


February 1st, 2018 at 4:09 AM ^

Good article. I especially liked the multiple places the author used the "We should be making a bigger deal about this" line. Very effective.

And the title is spot on.

Section 1.8

February 1st, 2018 at 7:19 AM ^

What did Ramzy Nasrallah write, when Urban Meyer publicly disagreed with Torrance Gibson's Title IX expulsion?  I don't recall a single thing.  I'm not suggesting that Ramzy would have been wrong to defend Meyer; I think I might have.  But it is interesting in any event given this scold-job.

It's fine, to read Ramzy Nasrallah -- obviously I do -- but I'd hesitate to call his writing an "article" or even a "column."  It's hard to take seriously what he does as journalism, when I'm not so sure that he thinks what he does is any form of journalism.

Case in point: he called Brendan Gibbons a "rapist" in print, and when I reminded him in an 11W comment how Gibbons had fully cooperated with that investigation, and his accuser didn't, and how Gibbons had never been tried, convicted or even charged, Ramzy didn't like it.  ElevenWarrirors, he later wrote, was that his was not "the site to give Michigan-slash-rapists a fair shake..."

He's a blogger, and if he wrote for a serious publication of any kind and offered copy that called a collegiate football player a "rapist" when that player hadn't even been charged, an editor would quickly tell him to change that copy.  If Ramzy refused, the publication's general counsel and publisher would tell him that he had to change it.  And if he refused, they'd fire him.

That is exactly what I told Ramzy, and so I am no longer a member at ElevenWarriors.


February 1st, 2018 at 7:46 AM ^

Ramzy can be funny and clever but he is really just as much of a fanboy slappy as any of the other high schoolers on that site, he just has the wisdom to not say inane things like "scUM" or "Hairball." He does a fine job of coming off as intellectual but at heart he's not too different from your typical RCMB commenter.

I mean, when Tressel was fired and flamed by the national media he wrote a column about what a great human being he was because his players visited sick kids in the hospital.


February 1st, 2018 at 8:39 AM ^

Honestly seems to be a decent human being. Sure, he made some mistakes while coaching but that doesn't define him as a man. Trust me, I'd like nothing more than to be able to say that he's a dirt bag, but it just doesn't seem true to me. They've had some real assholes on that coaching staff over the years but tressel isn't one of them.


February 1st, 2018 at 8:56 AM ^

Yup.  God forbid a coach tries to shield his players from punishment for a violation that a) wasn't a crime and b) didn't hurt anyone.  It's not like coaches become attached to their players or anything.  Sure, he got what he deserved because his actions were in violation of competitive rules... but if you had a kid playing football who made a few bad choices in accepting free stuff, would you want the coach to throw him under the bus?  Hell, I'd probably try to protect my players, too.  I'm not sure how many coaches wouldn't.


February 1st, 2018 at 10:32 AM ^

He purposely lied to NCAA investigators, and lied to his own boss, about what he knew.  He has no integrity.  You don't get to keep being an ethical character that oozes integrity when you intentionally lie to investigators and your boss when they specifically ask you about something. 

He covered up his players actively, and continuously, breaking competitive rules.  What the rules are really don't matter - they are rules that everyone has to play by, and that everyone knows about.

Everyone Murders

February 1st, 2018 at 9:09 AM ^

First, I'm not a fan of Tressell or what he did.  I find him nauseating, especially the way that he and his admirers have rebranded him as a victim of circumstances beyond his control.  If you look at his history at Youngstown State before he came to OSU, you get a sense that he's not the great guy depicted in so much Buckeye fan lore.

Second, I'm not prepared to say he's not a good person.  I don't know him well enough, and I've not seen enough about his current activities to say that.  I'm a believer in redemption, and think that it's fully possible that Tressell is currently a good person.  Look, I violated at least two rules on the drive into work today (both speed limit violations).  It's still possible that I'm the person my dog thinks I am.

(Also, my dog doesn't like Tressell one bit.  In her mind, it's just the smell of the guy.)


February 1st, 2018 at 9:20 AM ^

That's fair. My first comment was more about what a homer I think Ramzy is than an attack on Tressel, so I didn't mean for it to come off that way. That's really just a hollow argument that your players participating in community service is somehow a reflection on a coach's integrity.

As far as rules breaking, I obviously love and respect this blog but I have a big problem with a certain narrative being pushed around here that basically says it's okay for these players and coaches to break rules, particularly relating to compensation for athletes, because the rules are dumb. I agree the rules are dumb, but that is a lifelong damaging lesson to teach college kids that the rules don't apply to you because the rules are stupid. 

Everyone Murders

February 1st, 2018 at 9:21 AM ^

We are in agreement that it was wrong for Tressel to violate rules and to send that message.  It's important that everyone play by the same rules, and Tressel entirely missed the boat on that.  He deserved to get fired for that, and he did.

But I'm still mad at you, because I realized I spelled Tressel's name incorrectly above, and your reply locked that in.  I misspell words all the time, but you'd think I'd know how to spell his name.


February 1st, 2018 at 10:48 AM ^

OSU fans aren’t wrong to say that the NCAA rules about player eligibility that Tressel no-sold for a decade+ are self-contradictory, hopelessly byzantine, and basically a flaming pile of stupid.  Thing is - Tressel didn’t willfully flaunt them because they were objectively stupid rules, he flaunted them because there was a competitive advantage to be had by doing so.  

I'm sure he's a nice guy.  I'm sure he helps old ladies cross the street and has done good things for his community.  And I'd rather have my kid be coached by him than a non-zero amount of other D1 coaches - cf. Dantonio, Briles, etc.  

He's still a guy who willfully broke rules his peers more or less tried to follow because it advantaged him to do so, so maybe don't write a book about "winning the right way", m'kay.


February 1st, 2018 at 10:34 AM ^

There's a lot of shades of grey in everything, and your perception of Tressel depends on how cynical you want to be. 

He got trapped between a rock and a hard place, because some dumbass booster desperate to be involved with OSU football sent Tressel a paper trail e-mail about how his players were committing NCAA violations in the nature of selling their gear for cash/tattoos and Tressel acknowledged it, then signed the compliance form anyway. If the booster doesn't send that e-mail, Tressel keeps his plausible deniability when everything blows up, and OSU doesn'ty get drilled nearly as bad and Tressel doesn't get fired. All the punishment falls on the players, not the program. I mean Mark Richt didn't get fired when AJ Green and Todd Gurley's were caught selling their jerseys/autographs for cash. Georgia and Richt walked scott-free and the players got suspended. Same thing would have happened here without that damn e-mail.

Now Tressel could have gone two ways when he got that e-mail, and how you think he should have handled it depends on your level of cynicism. Did he cover for his players and lie to the NCAA because he wanted to protect them personally as individuals who are just dumb kids? Didn't want them to burn half of their season for selling their own gear? Much like how  a parent bails out their dumb kids when they do something dumb, that's what Tressel was trying to do. Or did he cover for his players because they just so happened to be the best players on OSU's roster and he needed them eligible because OSU had a national championship aspirations? 

Probably a mixture of both.

In any event, one action doesn't make you good and one action doesn't make you bad. If Tressel isn't a good guy forever for visiting a children's hospital, then he isn't a bad guy forever for lying to the NCAA. It doesn't work that way. No one here knows Tressel, and everyone who does know Tressel says he's a good dude. Who do you wanna believe? 

Section 1.8

February 1st, 2018 at 10:53 AM ^

Personally, I'd leave Coach Tressel out of this particular discussion.  Again, I think the 11W blogging, or lack thereof, on Torrance Gibson and also the situation with the TBDBITL accusations and Jon Waters' dismissal are the on-point stories.

And the funny thing -- I'll bet you know this -- is that those stories divided 11W in the way that they would divide MGoBlog.

There are some folks who want no holds barred in any sexual misconduct investigation; others who question how Title IX addresses the accused's due process rights.  It isn't an OSU-UM thing; it is an ideological divide.  And I found a considerable number of kindred spirits at 11W, and some detractors, just like here.

btw, BuckeyeJonRoss, I am really happy to see how long you have survived here.  I'd still happily be at 11W (I met lots of good guys there) but for Ramzy, alone.



February 1st, 2018 at 8:55 AM ^

Lets stop using "he was never convicted/charged" as excuses. Just look at what Herculean effort it took in Nassar case and there were multiple witnesses.

In cases like Gibbons where it is he said/she said, the legal burden of proof is so high, it is extremely difficult to get even charged.

He was deemed guilty in a setting where the bar was much lower (more guilty than not) and that is what we should judge these things by.

Section 1.8

February 1st, 2018 at 10:24 AM ^

...doesn't end things.  Because while you and I might agreee to disagree about the substance of any actual charge against Gibbons, nobody and I mean nobody has the right to call him a "rapist."  And to do so in print in a major online publication would be laughably irresponsible if it weren't so serious.  It is what tort lawyers call "per se" defamation; to accuse someone of a crime when they have not been convicted, and that is why real publications are so careful about that particular area.

I know you don't know what happened in the Office of Student Conflict Resolution with Gibbons, because I don't, and because the letter that went to Gibbons (and was later illegally leaked) didn't supply any meaningful detail.


February 1st, 2018 at 11:06 AM ^

Still does not change the fact that just because someone was not convicted/charged does not necessarily mean no crime/assault occurred. That should not be waved around to absolve all possible guilt.

He went through the school process and he was kicked out of the school. That is a fact and if it was going to happen, it happened WAY too late after the fact. It was not Michigan's finest hour. We can do better.

Section 1.8

February 1st, 2018 at 11:13 AM ^

Gibbons' expulsion occurred a matter of just a few months, if not mere weeks, after the administrative complaint was filed.  Speicfically utilizing the then-new "Dear Colleague" standards.

Are you forgetting that the OSCR and/or Title IX complaint was lodged against Gibbons years after the event?

You think that after the authorities declined to prosecute, and Gibbons said it was consensual sex, and volunteered for a polygraph if asked, and the accuser declined to cooperate with police, and declined to press any OSCR complaint, Michigan should have done something punitive to Brendan Gibbons?  What would that have been?



February 1st, 2018 at 11:22 AM ^

Let's not rewrite the history...

The event occurred in 2009. He was arrested and questioned for alleged rape. When the charges did not materialize, the university acted as though nothing happened. In 2011, when the sexual conduct policy was updated, the case was reinvestigated and Gibbons was kicked out soon after.

The school should have conducted the same investigation in 2009. That it took that long for Gibbons to get kicked out is an embarrassment to our great institution. The fact that the university got chastised by Office for Civil Rights makes it doubly so.

This is PRECISELY why not being charged/convicted cannot be the measuring stick. The bar is too high. Too many things would be covered up if that was the bar we set for reporting sexual assaults.

Section 1.8

February 1st, 2018 at 11:36 AM ^

You wrote:

"The event occurred in 2009. He was arrested and questioned for alleged rape. When the charges did not materialize, the university acted as though nothing happened. In 2011, when the sexual conduct policy was updated, the case was reinvestigated and Gibbons was kicked out soon after."

The charges "did not materialize" because the police investigated and found no probable cause.

You say "the university acted as though nothing happened."  But the accuser didn't bring so much as an administrative complaint. 

In 2011, the policy wasn't "updated," so much as it was given a wholesale change.  And then, the matter was investigated by the University, immediately upon recieving a new complaint about the very-old matter.

We all know that the popular press butchered the story and wondered why the university had done nothing for all of the years after November of 2009.  They leapt to the conclusion that the university had somehow kept it a secret, under wraps, or had killed an active investigation.  And the real reason for the inexplicably long dealy was because absolutely no one made a claim in all that time.  After police investigated promptly, and found no basis to charge any crime.


February 1st, 2018 at 12:11 PM ^

You are waving "the accuser didn't bring so much as an administrative complaint" as some sort of a shield, I don't get it.

The accuser REPORTED IT TO THE POLICE!!! He got arrested because of it. The university should not just sit back and wait for a complaint when one of your student is arrested for alleged rape. It should set off alarm bells and lead to an independent investigation even if the charge is never filed.

If there was enough evidence to kick him out in 2011, you had enough evidence to kick him out in 2009. It does not matter if the policy was given a wholesale change, because if the policy was ineffective back then, it still is an embarrassment to the university because our policy apparently sucked.

It is precisely attitude like yours that allowed predators like Nassar to abuse victims all those years. We all need to stop hiding behind procedures. If the mistake was made, own it and make it public. That is how things get better. Michigan screwed up with Gibbons. We can and should do better in the future.


February 1st, 2018 at 9:55 AM ^

Would an editor in this climate of clicks at all cost tell him to change that copy? I read the shit coming from both the right and especially the left these days full of hyperbole and outright lies and I seriously doubt your point. 

Section 1.8

February 1st, 2018 at 10:11 AM ^

Real publications, and real journalists, don't even mention names at all, until there has been an arraignment or a public charging document.

And then, they are careful to talk about "alleged" and "the accused."

Mind you, I am not quibbling with Ramzy over some minor word here or there.  Ramzy called Gibbons a "rapist," and then doubled down on Gibbons and me.  Ramzy went berzerk on his web pages and comments pages, ranting about my penis size, Michigan's "shitstain helmets," "petulant fuckbats," "dumbfuck sandwiches" and the offense of "passive aggession."  That latter phrase being critical because I hadn't actually written anything that was out of line for any serious publication.  Rather, what it was, was that ElevenWarriors is a "community."  And as such, it isn't going to be fair, or careful, or critical; it is going to feed content to a very discrete bunch of sports fans and sell them t-shirts.

T-shirts, it should be noted, that regularly bump up against university sports trademarks.

Check it:



Everyone Murders

February 1st, 2018 at 10:26 AM ^

Well that does it.  I'm going to name my next band "The Petulant Fuckbats" and name our first album Shitstain Helmet

I'm also very curious about Ramzy ranting about your penis size.  Did he have firsthand knowledge?  Was he complimentary?  Was he focused on girth or length?  Flaccid or erect?  Or both?  So many questions ... .

Section 1.8

February 1st, 2018 at 10:33 AM ^

Half-inch, was what Ramzy was fantasizing about, and it's funny you ask because "fully erect" was Ramzy's specific terminology.


And of course, Ramzy was widly popular with his readership for having done so.  (He was a lot less appreciated by a couple of 11W moderators with whom I am acquainted, and I am informed that they protested.)

Anyway, Ramzy has this veneer of seroius writing, but seriously when you get right down to it, he reverts back to being just a blogger-and-don't-bother-him-with-journalism-type-stuff.


Everyone Murders

February 1st, 2018 at 10:45 AM ^

Well, it's nice he cares!  The screed was a tad over the top, but you also seem to enjoy getting under folks' skin now and again.  (I say this from a glass house, and the view's terrific.)

I think that Ramzy's running a blog that appeals to the more erudite segment of the Buckeye fanbase, and he also writes well.  So in that way he's more like an openly-biased newspaper columnist than a reporter.  Once you think of him in that light, he's easier to take.

Section 1.8

February 1st, 2018 at 11:01 AM ^

Jason Priestas, who really is a great guy, and who started 11W before Ramzy had an interest, elevated some of my content to their front page, once upon a time.  (Bacon liked it too at the time, because he was going to Upper Arlington for a book signing.)


My situation was a personal thing with Ramzy, pure and simple.



February 1st, 2018 at 12:20 PM ^

“That is exactly what I told Ramzy, and so I am no longer a member at ElevenWarriors.”

You’re not a member at Eleven Warriors because I banned you, the same way you were banned here. You were banned because you were injecting your impassioned Gibbons defense into multiple 11W stories that had nothing to do with Michigan or Gibbons, and you were passive aggressively bashing me, a guy who owns the web site. I told you to stop and you didn’t.

And years later here you are, still upset about it. Good. It warms my heart.

PS - I want you to know how fucking creepy it is that you show up at 11W events. You have no friends there.

Everyone Murders

February 1st, 2018 at 12:54 PM ^

I'm only an interested observer in your spat with Section 1.  Curious to see if this goes further.

But, since you're here, thanks for today's article.  It was spot-on, and your headline (which also appears in your text) does a fantastic job of succinctly summarizing the problems at MSU.  Many of us have been trying to get interest in this particular story (both the Nassar and the football/basketball culture aspects) for years now. 

Your story is a great contribution to efforts to shame MSU into cleaning up their mess and protecting their students.  Well done, sir!

Section 1.8

February 1st, 2018 at 1:57 PM ^


I have shown up at precisely one 11W event, your "Spring Banger" at a popular, public bar in downtown Columbus.  One, in my life.   I was in town to vist friends, play golf, and to see your spring game the next morning.  (Which was pretty entertaining and with a massively impressive crowd.)

I had one ulterior motive in going to your spring game; which was to whip out my cell phone and a little tape measure from my pocket, and take pictures of a number of Ohio Stadium seats and compare the width to similarly-measured seats in Michigan Stadium.  Because I've been on the recieveing end of you guys, online or in a bar, and hearing complaints about how Michigan Stadium only holds 110,000+ because the seating is so narrow.  I'm now the guy who calmly says, "No, you're wrong.  I've been a Michigan alum for almost 40 years and a season ticket holder for more than 20 years, and I've been to more than 200 games in Michigan Stadium and a dozen or more games in Ohio Stadium, stretching back to 1976, and I've been to spring games in both places, and I used the occasion of spring games to shoot representative cellphone pictures of seat width.  You want to see them?  Because there is basically no difference overall in seating width in the two stadiums."

Anyway, Ramzy, I am disappointed to hear you say that I had no friends at the one Spring Banger.  Because I bought Jason and Remy and a couple of other guys drinks, and we had a rather good time.  Without you, which probably made it all a lot easier.

I had a bad experience with precisely one person at ElevenWarriors.  One.  You.  You alone, Ramzy.  Not Andy Vance, not Jason Priestas, not Remy, not Kevin Harrish, all of whom ar great guys and whom I guess would say the same about me.

I recall one significant thing about my departure from 11W.  You originally said that you were filling in on a weekend as a moderator, which was something that you rarely did.  And that you rarely read the comments pages in any event.  Here's a pro tip; leave your site moderation to the guys who really do it well.  Don't attempt it on your own anymore.  Without you, I always said that 11W had a truly great, light touch in moderation.  I respected those guys, particularly Andy Vance.  They were all pretty good.  All, except you.