When you’ve lost Tony Barnhart, you’ve lost America.

Mr. Conventional Wisdom has a message for the Big Ten:  shut the hell up.

As of this moment all of my friends from the Big Ten are on notice. And you know who you are. You are the ones who call and write constantly about the (expletive) Southeastern Conference and claim with such confidence that the only reason the SEC has been so successful (five straight national championships and counting) is that its schools are ethically challenged and have their priorities misplaced.

You are the ones who talk about the Big Ten schools in hushed, reverent tones and use terms such as “greater academic mission.” Your schools are not football factories like ours in the great, unwashed South. Your schools would never cut ethical corners like we do down here, where you believe our motto is: “If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t trying.” You look down your collective noses at us.

Give me a freaking break.

I don’t want to hear any more lectures on ethics or morals or accountability from that part of the world — not if Jim Tressel returns as Ohio State’s football coach this season.

Also, this.

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb at this point by predicting that Tressel is toast.


UPDATE:  Michael Elkon senses an ulterior motive on Barnhart’s part.

… I also suspect that Barnhart’s column has a whiff of a preemptive strike.  There isn’t so much smoke coming from the Plains as a plume of radioactive waste.  (Happy 25th anniversary, Chernobyl!)  If prior history is any guide, Auburn will go down and take everyone they can with them.  Every little morsel of dirt that they can find on their in-state rivals will come out.  What Mike Slive had successfully avoided for most of his tenure, but is now confronting is a repeat of the 80s and 90s where SEC teams turned one another in in a never-ending spiral of allegations.  With media interest in the SEC at an all-time high, the prospect of multiple scandals looms as a possibility.  Barnhart knows this, which is why playing the “you’re dirty, too!” card, early and loudly, makes sense.



Filed under Big Ten Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

34 responses to “When you’ve lost Tony Barnhart, you’ve lost America.

  1. Spike

    Whoa, Tony! GATA!!


  2. JG Shellnutt

    It is laughable that these midwestern fans have had to rationalize their lack of success, hiding behind a facade that was torn away so quickly and easily. Their excuse is gone.

    Essentially, schools in every conference have players that are breaking rules. It is apparently too difficult for these kids to fight the temptations that are out there. Ohio State is no cleaner than anyone else…the flip side, though is that they are likely no dirtier than anyone else either.

    As a Georgia fan, though, it does get me pretty steamed to think that we did everything right in the face of scandal and got slammed while others seem to lie and cover up and get rewarded (by comparison). If Tressel and tOSU skate, I’ll be really ticked. You know Tennessee basketball fans wil be too.


    • Biggus Rickus

      I’m not saying that any institution is pure, but I feel pretty safe saying that most head coaches are not trying to cover up infractions and lying to the NCAA. Which is to say that I think OSU, under Tressel at any rate, is dirtier than almost everyone else.


      • JG Shellnutt

        I think a lot of coaches cover up all kinds of things all the time. Do you really think it’s just the Athens Clarke PD that’s overzealous? UGA does not seem to do as much cover up…I find it hard to believe that certain schools never seem to have palyers get in trouble.

        And if they think they can get away with it, with all the money on the line and pressure, I believe there are plenty of coaches who will lie to the NCAA and essentially roll the dice. If they get caught, they’ll hope to weather the storn, the upside being not getting caught at all.


        • NCT

          The difference probably lies in the fact that local law enforcement are complicit in overlooking infractions in college towns not named Athens. The NCAA doesn’t care if a policeman looks the other way (unless, I suppose, he’s paid to do so).


  3. TennesseeDawg

    If Tressel is toast then that joke Gordon Gee should be out the door with. I’ve never seen a more spineless president of a major university.


  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    ‘ethically challenged and have their priorities misplaced.’

    Tony, don’t forget ‘academically inferior’.


  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    Senator, picking nits on your title. LBJ said he lost ‘middle America.’


  6. Sooo… does this mean Tressel is on the “hot seat?”


  7. heyberto

    At least we have some validation of Mark Richt and Georgia’s handling of jerseygate. After Auburn got away with Camgate, and OSU’s players got to play in a bowl game, it was starting to look like being honest and proactive was not the best policy, but this really gives me some peace of mind over all that. I’m not suggesting we should have lied, I’m one who really wants us to do things the right way, but hipocrisy just really incenses me. Auburn’s and OSU’s respective situations really made me feel like it wasn’t a level playing field, So, this is nice to see. I hope Auburn’s comes next.


    • Jaybird

      Tell me what Auburn got away with. Please. Cam Newton’s dad and Kenny Kelly was and is a MISSISSIPPI STATE problem. Until someone comes forward with proof that a representative of Auburn paid Newton to go to Auburn, then all of this is nothing but smoke being fueled from that cesspool in west alabama.


      • Normaltown Mike

        Do we have to do this again?

        “If at any time before or after matriculation in a member institution a student-athlete or any member of his/her family receives or agrees to receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or assistance beyond or in addition to that permitted by the Bylaws of this Conference (except such aid or assistance as such student-athlete may receive from those persons on whom the student is naturally or legally dependent for support), such student- athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career.”

        Here is a helpful link, you’ll find the above on page 16. I’m sorry it’s not told in picture format.

        Click to access Constitution.pdf


        • Go Dawgs!

          Well done, sir.


          • Jaybird

            Problem here is that Kenny Kelly was working a deal to get Cameron to Miss State, and Cecil never agreed to it, and that is why Cam wound up at Auburn. Now, how again is Auburn guilty of anything?


            • Go Dawgs!

              They played an ineligible player. The second Cecil asked for cash, Cam was an ineligible player whether he knew about it or not. The new “see-no-evil” NCAA didn’t enforce the rule the way it’s written.

              Besides, Jay, you and I both know Auburn did wrong. Unfortunately, we both also know that it’ll never be proven.


              • The catch there is whether Auburn knew Cam was ineligible because of Cecil’s actions. The NCAA’s quick reinstatement of Cam during the season indicates that there was no evidence to show Auburn knew. At least not at the time…


                • Normaltown Mike

                  My beef is w/ Slive as I read the above SEC rule as being a general intent crime.

                  It is irrelevant (per SEC rules) whether Cecil ever got the dough or intended to get the dough. The act of asking for payment was all she wrote.

                  Slive showed his philosophy which I guess can be stated as (apologies to Bama) : A rising tide lifts all boats.


  8. Wonderful-Ohio-on-the-Gulf Dog

    Your client comes to you. He says “George is a really, really, really valuable employee. But he just got caught lying to my company’s regulators. What should I do?”

    What is the fallacy in the paragraph above? It’s the part “Your client comes to you. ”

    Truth is, your client fires the lying employee. Immediately. No questions asked. No billable hours for you.

    You’d think that concept, so intuitive to ordinary business folk, might register in the rarified heights of major state universities.


    • NCT

      “No billable hours for you.”

      Now hold on a sec. Before I give any advice at all, I need to see details, which accounts for some time. And even if I don’t, the conversation you described is, at least, a 0.1.


    • Dog in Fla

      When you think of “George is a really, really, really valuable employee. But he just got caught lying to my company’s regulators. What should I do?” along with Tony Bagels* “The SEC and The Fury,” who can’t help but remember – again – the winning entry in the some annual Faux Faulkner parody contest,

      “The Administration and The Fury,” Sam Apple’s answer to the literary question: What if William Faulkner were writing on the Bush White House? By Sam Apple, Feb. 23, 2005

      “Down the hall, under the chandelier, I could see them talking. They were walking toward me and Dick s face was white, and he stopped and gave a piece of paper to Rummy, and Rummy looked at the piece of paper and shook his head. He gave the paper back to Dick and Dick shook his head. They disappeared and then they were standing right next to me.
      “Georgie s going to walk down to the Oval Office with me,” Dick said.
      “I just hope you got him all good and ready this time,” Rummy said.
      “Hush now,” Dick said. “This aint no laughing matter. He know lot more than folks think.” Dick patted me on the back good and hard. “Come on now, Georgie,” Dick said. “Never mind you, Rummy.”

      We walked down steps to the office. There were paintings of old people on the walls and the room was round like a circle and Condi was sitting on my desk. Her legs were crossed.
      “Did you get him ready for the press conference?” Dick said.
      “Dont you worry about him. He ll be ready,” Condi said. Condi stood up from the desk. Her legs were long and she smelled like the Xeroxed copies of the information packets they give me each day.

      “Hello Georgie,” Condi said. “Did you come to see Condi?”
      Condi rubbed my hair and it tickled.
      “Dont go messing up his hair,” Dick said. “He’s got a press conference in a few minutes.”
      Condi wiped some spit on her hand and patted down my hair. Her hand was soft and she smelled like Xerox copies coming right out of the machine. “He looks just fine,” Condi said.

      Fine day, isn’t it, Georgie, Daddy said. Daddy was pitching horseshoes. Horseshoes flew through the air and it was hot. Jeb looked at me. Stand back or one of his horseshoes is going to hit you and knock you down real good, Jeb said. Jeb threw the horseshoe and it went right over the stick and Daddy clapped. Run and get me that horseshoe, Georgie, Daddy said. I ran and picked up the horseshoe. The metal was hot in my hands, and I held it for a little bit and then I dropped it. I picked it up. It was hot in my hands and I started running away from Daddy and Jeb. Come back with that horseshoe, Daddy said. I was running as fast as I could. Jeb run after him and get me my horseshoe before he throws another one in the river,

      Daddy hollered. Jeb was chasing after me fast. Come back with that horseshoe, Georgie, Jeb hollered. But I was fast and I kept running until I got to the river. Dont you dare throw that horseshoe in the river, Jeb said. I threw the horseshoe in the river. Jeb fell on the ground. Jeb kicked and cried and then I cried. “He needs his makeup,” Dick said.

      *Refers to Tony Bagels of the South, not this one


  9. Scott W.

    Tony certainly has a bee in his bustle.


  10. Bad M

    I’ve actually had the opposite feeling with all this, but I’m glad to see more pressure being put on the Vest, at least in the media. With the leniency going along with the Bowl game, the leniency with Auburn, the leniency after the Gamecocks players got insanely cheap hotel rooms, M. Dareus’ meezly 2 game suspension, the suspend and immediately re-instate mentality of the NCAA lately, I just though the most would be a 5 game suspension and an apology to La Ohio St.
    The NCAA acts like a spouse beater. Hits really hard, then apologizes and is nice, lenient, lenient (usually to an Alabama or O. St)…then gets frustrated and comes down really hard on the next violator. Without regard to actual justice. Then probation, probation…
    Will the beat down come down on Auburn or Ohio St? If neither…I’d hate to be the next small school with a minor infraction.


  11. Yurdle

    Whenever someone says “prior history,” I disregard them.


  12. Hobnail_Boot

    …and A.J. got 4 games. Still shaking my head.


  13. 69Dawg

    The thing that makes me mad is the way the B1G has been hands off on this. All the BS from their Commissioner about the SEC and the piss ant won’t even make a statement about the OSU situation. At least in the SEC we have our crooks but we try to stop them the B1G just tries to ignore them. I wonder how hard the B1G is lobbying the NCAA now to save the flagship.


    • Mohammar

      “I wonder how hard the B1G is lobbying the NCAA now to save the flagship.” They lawyered and lobbied them hard and won.

      As discussed in the torture segment of yesterday’s programming https://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/chinese-water-torture/ they’ve already won that battle. The only punch-list item remaining open is whether Jim will be wholly or partially sacrificed. tOSU skates and, of course, so does tBig 10.

      “In a “notice of allegations” given to Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee on Friday and obtained by The Dispatch, the NCAA accused Tressel of dishonesty for hiding violations by seven current and former players who sold awards and equipment to a tattoo-parlor owner.

      Ohio State, however, was not cited for “failure to monitor” or “failure of institutional control” violations, which would likely lead to the harshest of penalties. Such penalties are typically imposed when a university’s compliance program is weak.

      “That was very significant,” a source close to the investigation told The Dispatch today.

      Ohio State released this statement today: “The allegations are largely consistent with what the university self-reported to the NCAA on March 8. … The university will continue to work cooperatively with the NCAA during the response phase to the NCAA that now begins, and will have no further comment until the process is completed.”

      The best-case scenario for Ohio State is the NCAA accepting the university’s self-imposed sanctions on Tressel, which include a $250,000 fine and five-game suspension. The worst-case scenario is a range of sanctions that could prevent the Buckeyes from playing in the Big Ten Championship and a bowl game next season and strip OSU of last year’s victories and Big Ten title.”



  14. Cojones

    I shot my wad yesterday. Think I’ll retire to a couple shots of 100% agave tequila with a side chaser of agave nectar and mango juice. Tuck Fressel.

    Go Dawgs!


  15. MauiDawg

    Jaybird/ward eagle I think you’re confused and meant Kenny Rogers not Kelly. Arguing with delusional uninformed AU fans is like arguing with a drunk. Late May early June be ready…