24/7 chat wrap re Gene Smith mismanagement

Submitted by J.Swift on December 23rd, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Check Steve Helwagen's take on Gene Smith's inept handling of the NCAA situation.  Summary quote: 

"Oh, man, it was so bad for Gene they had to pull him as the MC of the Bob Knight recognition Tuesday for fear he would get booed out of the building.

I don't know how you can pay somebody $1 million a year to botch something this big. I like Gene personally. He seems like a nice enough guy. But from day one this was not handled properly."

Link:  http://247sports.com/Article/Big-Ten-Chat-Wrap-Dec-22-Archive-54093




December 23rd, 2011 at 9:18 AM ^

Gene Smith lied, stonewalled, and obstructed an NCAA investigation to protect THE Ohio State University. They ended up with minimal punishment for what they did, and they now have Urban Meyer as their head coach.  Ohio State cheated for ten years and didn't even get one scholly reduced for every year they cheated.  

Ohio needed someone to stick to the party line and let Gordon Gee's connections do the heavy work.  That is exactly what Smith did.  I think Gene Smith should be fired with a show cause penalty for cheating, stonewalling, and obstructing, but not for "botching" anything.

You may see Gene Smith as incompetent, but I see him as the consummate cheater who is laughing at the NCAA right now, despite his public stance.  


December 23rd, 2011 at 9:27 AM ^


He managed it perfectly from their point of view - they got away with cheating and replaced one hall of fame coach with a better one.

Apparently it's open season on the NCAA - every program in the country is watching this wondering why they aren't doing the same thing.


December 23rd, 2011 at 9:35 AM ^

From the standpoint of protecting the interests of Ohio, Gene Smith did exactly what he was supposed to do, and as a result, they managed to get a much lighter sentence than they probably deserved. There was arguably even a touch of devious foresight in handling the coaching situation as  they did once Tressel was fired - they could get someone, just not then, and look at who they managed to land. 

Of course, I understand Helwagen's point of view - from an ethical standpoint, this was mishandled, but since when did we come to believe that Ohio would be honest with itself and others and do the right thing? In most other situations, someone like Smith gets canned - maybe  prosecuted depending on the situation - but he only had the NCAA to worry about, sort of. 

The Barwis Effect

December 23rd, 2011 at 10:38 AM ^

He handled it like a pro. He convinced everyone that nothing was going to happen. As a result, instead of being outraged when the "sanctions" we're finally handed down, Michigan fans were just happy that Ohio got any punishment at all.
<br>His only mistake was getting too greedy in thinking he could get off without a bowl ban. On the other hand, imagine the uproar had he self-imposed during the season and Ohio actually went on to win the Big Ten. The same wack jobs that are booing Smith now, would have wanted his head on a platter had he self-imposed while Ohio was still in the running for a BCS bowl.

Bobby Digital

December 23rd, 2011 at 11:55 AM ^

Ethically, it was a disaster, but I don't see anyone complaining about that (of course). In terms of weaseling out of the punishment they deserved, Smith is right up there with this guy:

Roy G. Biv

December 23rd, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

Many posts here I think are dead on--Smith not only did NOT botch the investigation, he followed and executed OSU's game plan to a "T".  In the grand scheme of things, it worked out well.  If they had followed Michigan's approach and were genuinely transparent with the NCAA, the program likely would have been nuked.  All the things we know happened, OSU know happened and the NCAA knows happened unfortunately could not be indisuptably proven without subpoena power to force the involved parties to talk (freebie cars, money for signed gear for equipment bin, etc.).  I sincerely wonder if the NCAA can ever expect full cooperation again when investigating.  As a side note, if Smith keeps his job, I think that is clear evidence he was simply following OSU's strategy.  


December 23rd, 2011 at 4:08 PM ^

Tressel lied and obstructed an investigation - that is fact, fact, fact. And while Gene Smith might one day end up on a coors light commercial for his legendary press conference's, I don't think it is fair to say he stonewalled and obstructed the investigation. Smith gave the NCAA full access to anything they had, and cooperated 100% with them from day one while they moved their cots into their campus compliance department. To their credit they self reported everything they knew but the players and tressel had already left one hell of a trail through town. There's usually certain people who lose their jobs soon after something like this happens, and he will be no different and be gone soon regardless of what Gee says but I would expect any AD in this position to use what friends they have in the NCAA to help him keep his job and lessen any sanction toward the school. Even though many of the lawyers who handle these cases said that precedent shows that no bowl ban should be given and this is partially why Smith did what he did, you had to expect the NCAA to give some kind of ban with all the pressure on the NCAA from everyone not named Ohio. Outside of Tressel, Gene Smith did what he was supposed to, he just really can't put on a successful presser to save his life. I am a big ten fan and what Ohio got was what it is, but I am tired about not hearing much about other schools outside the conference and expect schools like South Carolina to get hit too for taking $55,000 in improper benefits such as hotels and cruises, and playing four football players who were ineligible in 2009. I heard more about extra practice time than I did SC.