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Buckeye Battlecry Roundtable: Ohio State Leadership

Written June 8th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Part three of our attempt to process the “Memorial Day Melee“… it should be noted that all of these responses came before yesterday’s news regarding Terelle Pryor; as such, opinions may have changed.

Today’s question: Several groups of people are calling for Smith and Gee to be fired as well- what’s your take on it?

Jim- Gee, as evidenced by many of his quotes, is largely clueless concerning the goings on of the athletic department and he should be above all of this.

The tie that binds?

Smith is certainly getting a bad rap at the moment with many calling for him to follow Tressel, and it is hard to argue that he didn’t botch his handling of this situation at least a little bit. At the same time, I am willing to give him until the hearing on August 12th before passing final judgment on him and his job status. However, if the compliance department is found to be at fault, that is entirely on him and I think he should be held accountable.

Jay- While Smith leaving would probably be a good move, for perception if nothing else, losing Gee would not be a good thing.  While football is a big thing at Ohio State, the strength of the overall university is a bigger issue, and I think that Ohio State with Gee right now is a good match.  Firing him seems like it would really be putting football above the rest of the school.

Robby- Initially, I was impressed to see both were going to stand by Tress through the mess he was going through. After hearing about Jim’s resignation, I knew they forced him out with what was to come. That reason alone isn’t enough to fire both Smith and Gee, but how do the Athletic Director and school President not know about what the head football coach is doing behind closed doors? Those two were elected to keep the school and it’s administrators in line and they failed. I think that alone is enough to proof to fire both of them, and Smith’s stupid response over YouTube. If he was a real man, he’d have gone on ESPN or something like that to send out his response to the situation.

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OSU AD Gene Smith Talks Resignation

Written May 30th, 2011 by Joe Dexter



Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith talked this afternoon by a recorded three minute message on Youtube video about today’s resignation of football head coach Jim Tressel.

Smith stated that Tressel and himself met after a vacation for the former head coach on Sunday. It was then that the former leader of the Buckeyes indicated that it was time to step down from the program.

Smith and Tressel then met this morning, in which at that time Tressel handed in his official resignation notice.

Following his resignation, Tressel addressed part of the team. Members of the squad that weren’t around were told of the news via phone from their current position coaches.

Luke Fickell was then asked to become the interim head coach of the team for the upcoming season. Fickell was also able to give some words of advice for his team.

Jim Tressel

Update – For the full press conference video, please visit OhioStateBuckeyes.com’s report on the conference.

Jim Tressel, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith and Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee sat down this evening to discuss the news released in a  Yahoo Sports report.  That press conference was aired over the internet at for everyone capable of sitting down and stomaching what was said.  For those who missed/skipped the presser, here’s a run down of what happened.

It has become clear that what Yahoo Sports discovered was not the violations themselves, but the University self-investigation of the violations committed by Jim Tressel.  It turns out that in April of 2010, Jim Tressel received emails regarding information on a Federal Drug Trafficking case.  Those emails implied there were potential NCAA violations regarding 2 unnamed student athletes at Ohio State.  Tressel, however, either did not notice the implication, or refused to face the implication.

The press release does not make the connection clear between the two cases.  Despite that, it is clear that the cases were linked in the sense that the emails Tressel received involved the Tat-gate situation.  It is also clear that the Yahoo report was a leak of the investigation that required the school to come clean before they were ready.

The NCAA was reportedly notified of the situation on February 3rd and sent special investigators to the University on February 8th.  It is obvious that the University did everything they needed to by NCAA bylaws to solve this problem as quickly as possible.

The press release states a set of self-punishments:

As part of its self-report, the university has self-imposed the following sanctions: a public reprimand and apology; a two-game suspension; attendance at a compliance seminar; and a $250,000 fine.

Of course, the whole investigation itself has not be concluded, so we won’t know the full resolution of this situation for at least several weeks yet. However, this is the report that the University is sending to the NCAA following their investigation.

As of now, the Yahoo news story has functionally concluded in about the best way it could have.  Rather than this being a new thing for the University to face, it is something that they’ve already been dealing with for a while now.  While it’s a small comfort in the end, it’s substantially better many imagined it could have been.

Stay tuned to the Buckeye Battle Cry for more as the story unfolds.

Tat-Gate Revisited: What Did Ohio State Know, And When?

Written March 8th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

UPDATE- The University has scheduled a press conference for this evening (3.8.11) at 7:00 pm. Coach Tressel, AD Gene Smith, and President E. Gordon Gee will be speaking, according to the press release.

As I’m sure you’ve probably heard, Yahoo (no, I’m not going to do the exclamation point) Sports released a story on Monday regarding December’s “Tat-5″ situation. As you remember, Ohio State players were found responsible for selling or exchanging gear or memorabilia, which is in violation of NCAA rules regarding improper benefits for student athletes.

More questions to be answered

At the time, Athletic Director Gene Smith stated that the University became aware of the matter on December 8, and responded with a swift investigation that resulted in the players being eventually suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. One of the factors stated was that the student athletes were initially unaware that their actions would have been a violation, and when they were educated of this matter they chose to remain silent.

In the press conference, the statements from Coach Tressel and AD Smith resonated a theme of responsibility, of owning up to a mistake once it was made. In fact, Coach Tressel said that the responsibility fell on the shoulders of he and his staff-

Ultimately as coaches we feel that the buck stops here. We’re the ones that need to make things ever more crystal clear. . . . There’s a gut-wrenching feeling when you lose a game and you could have done better, and then there’s one that goes beyond, when you don’t feel you did what you should do as people.

Today’s report indicated that Tressel may have not done as he should have; that he was informed by a “concerned party” in April of 2010 regarding this situation and that he did not respond or investigate appropriately,

Tressel received information that players were selling items to Edward Rife – the owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos in Columbus – as early as April 2010, according to a source.

According to a source, a concerned party reached out to Tressel last April, alerting the coach that memorabilia transactions had taken place between Rife and a handful of Buckeyes players, including Pryor. The selling of items violates NCAA eligibility rules. The source said Tressel was troubled by the information, and the coach indicated that he would investigate the matter and take appropriate action

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Foundational Thoughts: Player Suspensions

Written December 23rd, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Seeking balance

Since this is Festivus, it would be tempting to take time for the airing of grievances, particularly in light of the news that broke today. However, I’m not going to do that.  I’ve got frustrations, and you’ll get a chance to read them, but I wanted to set out some foundational items first.

We rarely have a “state of the union” post here at tBBC, mostly because we’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune with different viewpoints and perspectives, each bringing these things to the cornucopia of coverage that you enjoy on a daily basis. So, it’s not normal for us to have a “this we believe” statement- heck, our posting guidelines took two weeks to come up with.

The news of today, though, is different. We’re getting a lot of traffic and readers who are following the football suspensions either looking for new information, our unique perspectives, or a chance to raise themselves up and feel better about their situations.

As such, here are the important things that anyone reading this little slice of the internet should be aware of in regards to our position on the matter:

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