Tag Archives: Tatgate

One man’s problem is another man’s tasty malt beverage.

From the folks at SweetWater Brewing:

Our sweet, innocent and moral El Dressel lost his way as Brutus led him down a dark alley to recruit tattoos and car loans for the Columbus hops in an effort to stack his on-field Double IPA recipe with the most aggressive hops O-round. Unfortunately El Dressel was discovered, humiliated and banished, leaving a permanent wrinkle in his sweater vest and instantly creating the Browneyed Buckeye!!!

Get it while you can, because just like last year’s Sugar Bowl win, this one will be gone before you know it!

Too bad it’s only available on draft.  This would make a great looking bottle:

Somebody should ship Gordon Gee a keg.

(h/t reader J. Scott Boss)

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Filed under Big Ten Football

Hey, Ohio State! You’ve just won a bunch of NCAA sanctions; what are you going to do next?

Well, they won’t be going to Hawaii.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, The NCAA

Ripped from the pages of The Onion

And I thought Ohio State had lost the ability to surprise me.

According to 10TV News in Columbus, OSU director of NCAA compliance Doug Archie received a “courtesy vehicle” from a local dealership in exchange for a pair of season tickets to Buckeye football games. The dealership Archie received his free Jeep from is owned by Mike D’Andrea, a former Buckeyes linebacker.

D’Andrea, by the way, told the news station that sometimes he hires student athletes during the summer.

Has anybody checked Archie for tats?

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Filed under Big Ten Football, General Idiocy, It's Just Bidness

“I’m on drugs. No comment! Thank you!”

This is freakin’ brilliant.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness

At Ohio State, another day, another series of transgressions

At this point, maybe our biggest concern should be whether the NCAA investigators become jaded.

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UPDATE:  Of course.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, The NCAA

Throw Tressel under the bus.

With this news, it’s clear that Jim Tressel was a serial ignorer who lived by the Three Monkeys’ Credo.

We know nothing.

The question at this point is how Ohio State characterizes what happened with the NCAA.  Since I don’t think the school can play the “who is this Jim Tressel fella you keep referring to?” card with any success, all that’s left to it is to paint the man who Gordon Gee deferred to as a matter of routine as a rogue coach who deliberately deceived the people who desperately wanted to make sure everything was above-board, yada, yada, yada.

Will it sell?  I’m not feeling it, but you never know with the good people who work for Mark Emmert.

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UPDATE:  Nice catch.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, The NCAA

Was it worth it?

Adios, muchachos. (Photo via Matt Sullivan/Reuters)

Just like that, Terrell Pryor is gone.  (Nothing like releasing the news of your departure through your lawyer.)  And right on the heels of that news came an ESPN story that Pryor made thousands of dollars through the sale of memorabilia.  And even that’s not the topper, according to SPORTSbyBROOKS:

… Midway through the 2010 football season, Talbott was ordered by Ohio State officials to completely disassociate himself from the program. That move by the OSU athletic administration may indicate that members of the school’s athletic department knew of Pryor’s activities involving Talbott long before the NCAA recently discovered the payment paper trail from Talbott to the former Buckeye quarterback.

At this point, Ohio State’s reputation has taken enough of a hit that calling it tarnished would probably be a step up in class. And it’s going to take a while to recover.  As Graham Watson puts it,

… The ESPN story marked a seedy end to a career that never really reached its potential and what’s worse is that Ohio State is left holding the bag. While it’s been speculated that the university might need to clean house after the Tressel firing, this almost certainly seals that.

What’s most unfair (and USC knows this feeling) is that while Pryor continues his career in the NFL or the Canadian league, Ohio State and its future recruiting classes will bear all the weight of his actions. Pryor will go on to make millions somewhere while the university struggles to replace the pieces of what will be an NCAA penalty ravaged football program. And it won’t be quick. Depending on the punishment, Ohio State could be a shell of itself for a decade…

Which leads me to ask Georgia fans the perennial water cooler question – would you trade places?  It’s a pretty good comparison.  Both schools were faced with a similar problem, although Ohio State’s was certainly larger in scope.  And at this point, both star players have elected to leave their schools for professional careers.

Georgia and A.J. Green stepped up, told the truth from the beginning and were rewarded for their efforts with a season to forget.  Knowing what you know now about Ohio State’s likely fate, would you be happier if the Dawgs had followed Tressel’s path, hidden the truth and taken the short-term rewards (12-1 season and a BCS game victory)?  Or would you need even better results to live with the aftermath of decisions by a head coach and star player to ignore the rules?

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UPDATE:  Michael Elkon asks a good question.

… We are coming off of a season in which several teams lost key players because of suspensions for improper benefits.  Ohio State’s head coach (and arguably their compliance department, which seems unable to find evidence of wrongdoing despite media outlets finding stories like candies tumbling out of a piñata) ignored evidence of similar violations on the part of his players.  Doesn’t the NCAA have to reward schools like Georgia and North Carolina for being proactive in dealing with improper benefits by showing that the alternative is significantly worse?

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Georgia Football

Jim Tressel’s legacy, part the first

Congratulations, Coach.  You’ve managed to allow Bobby Petrino to occupy the moral high ground.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, The NCAA

Bidness decision

If the NFL lockout stretches into, say, early September, this should be a fun development to keep an eye on.

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Filed under Big Ten Football

“Inside the family everyone knows what’s going on.”

So how devastating was this SI article to Jim Tressel?  Pretty damned devastating:

… That support crumbled suddenly over Memorial Day weekend. Tressel was forced out three days after Sports Illustrated alerted Ohio State officials that the wrongdoing by Tressel’s players was far more widespread than had been reported. SI learned that the memorabilia-for-tattoos violations actually stretched back to 2002, Tressel’s second season at Ohio State, and involved at least 28 players — 22 more than the university has acknowledged. Those numbers include, beyond the six suspended players, an additional nine current players as well as nine former players whose alleged wrongdoing might fall within the NCAA’s four-year statute of limitations on violations.

One former Buckeye, defensive end Robert Rose, whose career ended in 2009, told SI that he had swapped memorabilia for tattoos and that “at least 20 others” on the team had done so as well. SI’s investigation also uncovered allegations that Ohio State players had traded memorabilia for marijuana and that Tressel had potentially broken NCAA rules when he was a Buckeyes assistant coach in the mid-1980s.

Last Friday, SI informed Ohio State spokesman Jim Lynch of the new allegations and asked that Tressel be made aware of them. Lynch said the school would have some comment by the end of the day. No comment came, and on Saturday, Lynch told SI to contact Tressel’s lawyer, Gene Marsh, for any response from the coach; Lynch also said he could not confirm that Tressel had been apprised of the new allegations. The implication was clear: Ohio State was distancing itself from Tressel. (E-mails from SI to Tressel and to Marsh and multiple phone messages for Marsh went unanswered.)

As bad as that sounds, Tressel’s mortal sin wasn’t being in charge of a program with all that going on.  He’d made a career out of plausible deniability.

… Yet while Tressel’s admirable qualities have been trumpeted, something else essential to his success has gone largely undiscussed: his ignorance. Professing a lack of awareness isn’t usually the way to get ahead, but it has helped Tressel at key moments in his career. As coach at Youngstown (Ohio) State in the mid-1990s, he claimed not to know that his star quarterback had received a car and more than $10,000 from a school trustee and his associates — even though it was later established in court documents that Tressel had told the player to go see the trustee. In 2003, during Tressel’s third season in Columbus, Buckeyes running back Maurice Clarett was found to have received money and other benefits. Even though Tressel said he spent more time with Clarett than with any other player, he also said he did not know that Clarett had been violating the rules. A year later an internal Ohio State investigation (later corroborated by the NCAA) found that quarterback Troy Smith had taken $500 from a booster. It was the second time the booster had been investigated for allegedly providing improper benefits to a star player, but again Tressel said he had no knowledge of the illicit payment.

It’s just that you can’t lie to the NCAA and hope you’ll get away with it.  That’s why Gee and Smith had no choice but to cut Tressel loose – they’ve got their own reputations for plausible deniability to protect.  They’ll portray themselves as a couple of doofuses who were misled by a man whom they believed had a sterling reputation.  (In Gee’s case, that’s probably not much of a stretch.)  Look for this to get pretty cold-sounding when the school makes its case to the NCAA’s infraction committee; it’s not like they have much of a choice but to lay it all on Tressel to save the program’s (and perhaps their own) skin.

That being said, don’t feel too sorry for the man nicknamed the Senator.  It never ceases to amaze me how often people who should know better ignore the lesson of Watergate – that the consequences from the coverup wind up being worse than those from the crime.  In the end, all Tressel got out of the mess he made was a Sugar Bowl win.  That hardly seems worth losing a career over.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, The NCAA