Silver Bullet Points Looks For Heroes

Written January 25th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Weekly updates and miscellany from around the world of college sports…

Urban Meyer's Secret Identity?

Buckeye 411

  • Hoops, There It Is- #Hop2theRafters
  • We’re Stars- With the Senior Bowl nigh upon us, we’ve been hearing good things about the former Buckeyes in attendance. Mike Adams, in particular, is getting rave reviews; his form and size have many projecting him into the first round. Mike Brewster has been, according to report, owning Michigan’s Mike Martin (what else is new?), and things are getting a bit chippy between the two. DeVier has been rumored to have a case of the dropsies, and we haven’t heard much from Boom as of yet.
  • Don’t Just Take Our Word For It- From an article on the Cleveland Browns website about DeVier, it sounds a bit like he picked up with Tressel was laying down,

“To be able to lead, you have to serve first,” Posey said. “I feel like being on scout team, helping the younger guys and being in the meeting room and telling them the little tips that I have allowed me to understand the game more and it humbled me as well. That’s what I needed going into this process and going to the next level. Through this process, everything you hear is what you can’t do and everyone’s tearing you down. Going through the draft, you’re going to hear a lot of negative things and then, when you get into camp as well, you have to be humble as well. You have to serve the team and show them you can play. I felt like I learned all those lessons this past year.”

  • Don’t Just Take Our Word For It, Part Two-  Again, from the Browns’ website, Mike Brewster said that his work at OSU prepared him well,

“Every day at practice was a challenge, so I definitely think that will pay dividends,” Brewster said of Ohio State. “It really comes in the preparation the last couple weeks and really, four years of college. Now, it’s just show time and it’s time to go out there and do it. Anytime you get a chance to go against the best, you want to measure yourself.”

  • Crunching Numbers At Crunch Time- Even though we’ve hit a lull in the Urban Meyer Recruiting Cavalcade, there are still worries that Ohio State might have some issues when it comes to making the 2012 class fit under the 82 scholarship limit imposed by the NCAA.  The Dispatch takes a close look at the numbers, while the OZone’s Brandon Castel has some insider information on some of the attrition that usually happens when there’s a change in coaching. While we (and our friends at Oversigning.com) will be watching the numbers closely to see if there are any SEC shenanigans, it should be remembered that this is not something Urban’s been wont to do. Oh, and Cincinnati has over thirty current verbals. I guess Ohio’s BCS team is trying to become Ohio’s SEC team.
  • You Will Comply- The Lantern has an update on the move to make athletic compliance a part of the larger University oversight.
  • Urban Sez- Bonus material from the interview with the BTN-

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Here We Go Again (or not): Conference Expansion News and Notes

Written August 13th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

You will be assimilated

Update: Well… huh.  The SEC has stated that they’re not extending an offer to aTm at this time, bringing this whole shebang to a screeching halt.

Sources say that the argument over who might be the 14th team and Aggy counterpart was partially responsible for the decision.

No word yet on whether or not the Big 12-2 will just preemptively break up with aTm in response to their looking around at other suitors.

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After last summer’s exciting adventures in conference expansion, it seems as there might be a nice refractory period for at least a couple of years.

Ah, but like an addict jonesing for the next hit, university administration, conference leadership, and sports fans across the nation couldn’t stay away from the possibility of becoming bigger and better, particularly where money and egos are involved.

Yup, I referred to Freud… since much of what is going on seems to also be impacted by a sense of fear and frustration; schools not getting the respect they deserve, so leaving for greener pastures becomes a bright, shiny option.

The major factor, as before, is TV money. Just like the BTN started this gunfight last year with it’s ability to pay programs more than they might have been getting from other conference revenue sharing agreements, network exposure and cash are also at the heart of this wave of rumors.

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ESPN and B1G/Ohio State- Grudge Match?

Written July 12th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

UPDATE- If you haven’t already, listen to former Buckeye LeCharles Bentley talk about this issue on ESPN radio.  I think he’s been reading our site…

Here Come The Judge

With the news on Monday that the Worldwide Leader has decided to sue The Ohio State University, it’s probably a good time to review the relationship that Disney’s Sports Network has both with the school in Columbus and the entirety of the nation’s first collegiate conference.

For our Cornhusker readers- consider this a warning.

First, let’s review the latest- ESPN has filed suit against Ohio State in the Ohio Supreme Court, holding that the University (and particularly the Athletic Department) are in violation of the state’s open record laws.

The details, as  articulated by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, are that the University rejected several sets of Freedom Of Information requests regarding emails and other documents surrounding the recent investigation into both Tressel’s failures and into other allegations raised both by ESPN and Sports Illustrated. This suit follows what has been described as a lengthy attempt to dig information in Columbus by the network.

To be fair, this is quite an interesting case. The University’s rationale for not releasing the requested documents are twofold- First, emails related to Ted Sarniak were rejected based on the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, meaning that the University believes that these qualify as “educational records” because of their easily identified connection to a student or students (in this case Terrelle Pryor and/or Jordan Hall).

Educational records, which might include everything from grades to student ID numbers to student housing assignments or disciplinary records, are legally protected until the death of the student; most institutions maintain these records for seven years following the student’s dissociation with the institution. “Legally protected” means that these cannot be shared with outside parties unless subpoenaed or unless the university has documented approval from the student. In addition, the definition of these “documents” within the institution can be fluid as well, and may not include items which might be defined as “personal notes.”

ESPN’s argument is that

  1. The documents requested do not qualify as educational records (and they use several cases to support this supposition)
  2. The University publicly lists a number of identifying factors for it’s student athletes, including academic (as a part of All Conference honors) so the University is being arbitrary with their usage of FERPA
  3. FERPA should not apply, since Sarniak is not a legal guardian or member of the University community- Along these lines, the argument may also exist that Jim Tressel also violated FERPA by forwarding Cicero’s emails to Sarniak.

The FERPA angle interests me the most, since I’m invested in higher education as a profession. It’s also intriguing given the Dispatch’s article earlier regarding their frustration with the University’s use of FERPA as a shield. It should also be noted that the Dispatch is pursuing some of the same documentation that ESPN’s suit includes.

The University’s second refusal to release information regarding ticket lists, secondary violations and other items are due to their perception of the “broad” nature of the requests. The director of media relations defends this decision, saying-

While the university often receives media requests that are overly broad, given Ohio’s public record laws, we generally try to work with reporters to help them find the information they are seeking, working within the boundaries of the applicable laws.

In the email attached to the suit, Jim Lynch does seem to be willing to work with ESPN’s request, and goes through a very thorough reflection on each point; most of which are granted or in progress. One area, though, that the University will not provide information refers to documents directly related to the NCAA’s investigation, stating “We will not release anything on the pending investigation”.  This sounds familiar, since it’s the same response given by ESPN to 97.1 The Fan as they were looking for a follow up interview.

From my (no legal training) experience, this one seems to be more of a valid issue for ESPN, and one that may be easily rectified, at least in terms of a compromise. I doubt the University would change their stance on investigation related correspondence, but the other items could be easily obtained, in my opinion.

It’s quite possible the the four letter network has a legitimate case here- that Ohio ‘s laws were violated, and that the documents in question are an important part of the ongoing story regarding our favorite squadron. It’s also possible that this is not unusual for ESPN; they sued Texas for the same reason and access after UT agreed to partner with them to create the Longhorn Network. With friends like that, it seems…

But there is a bit of a disconnect here- Where was this same strategy when USC was under the gun for several years? Why at that time did the good folks at Bristol choose to let Yahoo! do all the heavy lifting rather than pursuing some investigation of their own, particularly when they themselves often noticed the numbers of folks “hanging around” the Trojan program? Granted, Southern Cal has a different set of expectations as a private institution, but we certainly didn’t hear about any vehicle or housing issues, as our friend Tom Orr reminded us today.

Could there be another motive behind these decisions? Well… funny that you mention that.

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Jesse Owens: BTN Icon #3

Written February 15th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Like the rest of the Buckeye Intertrons, our flabber is significantly ghasted with the news that the Big Ten Network’s top four conference “Icons” rank out as follows:

  1. Red Grange (Illinois)
  2. Magic Johnson (Michigan State)
  3. Jesse Owens (Ohio State)
  4. Archie Griffin (Ohio State)

Yup, seems as if someone spilled a little Rotel into their ranking machine.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with these being the top four- Grange made a name for himself and college football, and went on to save the NFL in the eyes of many; Johnson’s matchup against Larry Bird was the moment that “March Madness” became the iconic event that it is today (in addition to helping drag the NBA out of the mire of the drug filled 70′s… but you can read Simmons’ 8 million words on that). Read More