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Tressel/NCAA reaction from around the Web April 26, 2011 Source: ESPN - "The NCAA's Notice of Allegations against Ohio State and head coach Jim Tressel dominated the headlines Monday, as just about everyone had an opinion on the Buckeyes, The Vest and an uncertain future in Columbus. Rather than bog down the lunch links with Tressel/NCAA reaction, I've compiled some of the coverage from around the Web. Let's take a look ...
Colleague Pat Forde: "Jim Tressel is a big deal. Big salary. Big reputation. Big winning percentage (.828 at Ohio State, second-best in Big Ten history for coaches with 10 or more years in the league, trailing only Fielding H. Yost). He is not, however, bigger than Ohio State. Which is why the school should terminate its star football coach before it responds in the coming months to the NCAA notice of allegations that was made public Monday."
Colleague Bruce Feldman (ESPN Insider): "At the very least, I suspect Ohio State will be forced to vacate all wins from the 2010 season and its share of the Big Ten title and that Tressel's suspension will be extended beyond just five games for lying to the NCAA, a violation of Bylaw 10.1. And, given that OSU AD Gene Smith and Gee knew much of what has come out since that news conference and had only deemed Tressel's moves worthy of a two-game suspension -- against Toledo and Akron -- who knows how the NCAA will weigh that in all of this.
SI.com's Stewart Mandel: "The timing of the hearing could make for a particularly awkward scenario. Knowing how slow most NCAA investigations move, it was thought no definitive ruling would come down until after the 2011 season. But with an August hearing, the typical timeline suggests a verdict sometime in October. If given a show-cause penalty (the most severe the Committee can levy against a coach), Ohio State may have no choice but to cut ties with Tressel for good shortly after he returns from suspension. Tressel has given no indication he would consider stepping down voluntarily, and the school isn't likely to ax the revered coach on its own."
CBSsports.com's Dennis Dodd: "UConn's penalty came down in the middle of last season. Because of that, [Jim] Calhoun's three-game suspension was put off until the 2011-2012 season. That makes things even more sketchy at Ohio State. Applying that history, a bowl ban, scholarship reductions, etc., would be put off until 2012 as well. Then if the NCAA decides to add to Tressel's five-game suspension, does it, say, add on five games at the beginning of the 2012 season? And at that point, does Ohio State figure the hit is too big and take further action on Tressel? Yes, I'm suggesting the f-word. Firing. But not this year. When he is actually on the sideline, the man wins a lot of games."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises: "Beyond the NCAA hearing is the outside notion that Tressel won't make it to August, that the 10-year coach would resign or be fired before that point. There is a possibility that Ohio State could face more severe sanctions with Tressel still at the school, a potential reason to let him go. But Ohio State hasn't learned any new information about the investigation since OSU President Gordon Gee and Athletic Director Gene Smith backed Tressel at a news conference on March 8.
The Akron Beacon Journal's Marla Ridenour: "When tempers flare on the field, Tressel has to constantly preach that it's always the guy who retaliates who gets caught. In this case, Pryor and Posey threw the first punch, Tressel the second. Tressel compounded his players' mistake by making far greater ones of his own. The price could be steep."
Yahoo! Sports' Matt Hinton: "Whatever spoils the Buckeyes take in 2011 may be their last in a long while: Vacated wins, a postseason ban and possible scholarship restrictions are very much on the table, as is Tressel's job, arguably the safest seat in college football at the start of the year. It certainly doesn't help the case that Tressel seems to have informed everyone except Ohio State or the NCAA about what he knew as early as last April."
The Toledo Blade's Dave Hackenberg: "Tressel has given no indication he will step down, although the severity of the notice of allegations might change his mind. OSU, certainly, would have to find the courage to fire a coach who has a national championship and seven Big Ten titles (give or take last season's) on his 10-year resume. Remember OSU president E. Gordon Gee’s silly response at the March 8 press conference when asked if he considered firing Tressel? The NCAA, however, could force the university’s hand if it finds the coach guilty of major violations and issues a "show-cause," which basically means a coach is unemployable without NCAA approval that presumably would come with additional and serious sanctions."
The Daily Herald's Lindsey Willhite: "Tressel committed a lot of no-nos that make his case sound more like Bruce Pearl than Jim Calhoun. Pearl and Calhoun both were found guilty of cheating last season, but Pearl wound up fired while Calhoun wound up cutting down the nets at the NCAA title game. Tressel's reputation, to this point, has been a lot more like Calhoun's than Pearl's, but these facts suggest otherwise."
The Associated Press' Tim Dahlberg: "Consider that Tressel knew he was doing something wrong himself when he said late last year that his players must have known they did something wrong by selling jerseys, Big Ten championship rings and other memorabilia to the operator of a tattoo parlor. "I suppose that would be something rattling around inside the head of each of them individually," he said at the time. We all have a little sensor within us, 'Well, I'm not sure if I should be doing this.'" Apparently that little sensor malfunctioned in Tressel, especially on Sept. 13 of last year. That's when he dated and then signed his name on a one-page NCAA form that declared he had reported any violations he knew of to his superiors."
Even OSU's 'worst case' isn't end of the world April 26, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Bob Hunter writes: " The headline above the Dispatch.com story yesterday (see below) about the NCAA delivering its "notice of allegations" to Ohio State regarding rules violations by Jim Tressel and six of his football players was a clue I might soon be serving a therapist for many of my friends: Ohio State football: NCAA penalties could be severe...So in the interest of preventing mass hysteria, it might be time for "Glass Half-Full" Hunter to offer the positive spin on what must seem like the end of life as we know it, at least to some of the program's most dedicated tailgaters..."
NCAA penalties could be severe April 25, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ohio State University is potentially facing the most severe NCAA penalties to its storied football program as punishment for coach Jim Tressel's failure to disclose his knowledge of violations and use of ineligible players during this past season. In a "notice of allegations" (see below) 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.
Ironically, Ohio State's Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas in January would stand because the NCAA had restored the eligibility of quarterback Terrelle Pryor and five others who sold memorabilia.
The NCAA warned that it could treat Ohio State as a repeat offender stemming from the violations involving former quarterback Troy Smith, who took $500 from a booster and former men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien, who gave $6,000 to a recruit.
That finding is the most damning and potentially most damaging because repeat offenders face post-season bans, the entire coaching staff could be suspended and the school could lose scholarships, according to NCAA rules.
"It was reported that Jim Tressel, head football coach, failed to deport himself in accordance with the honesty and integrity normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics and violated ethical-conduct legislation," the 13-page NCAA document says.
The NCAA notice of allegations is the document that spells out the charges against the university. It lists what violations the NCAA has found in its initial investigation and seeks additional information from the university.
In this case, the NCAA wants Ohio State to explain, among other things, the school's ties to Columbus attorney Christopher Cicero, who sent the first email to Tressel alerting him of player involvement with the tattoo parlor operator, and with Ted Sarniak, a Jeannette, Pa., businessman and mentor to Pryor.
The NCAA also wants a copy of the Dec. 7 letter sent to Ohio State from the U.S. Department of Justice reporting it had seized OSU memorabilia in a drug investigation. That letter triggered the university's investigation into the matter and ultimately the discovery on Jan. 23 that Tressel knew of violations involving his players.
Players, whose names were redacted by Ohio State citing a federal privacy law, also received 13 free or discounted tattoos. In addition, one player received a $2,420 discount toward the purchase of a used vehicle from Rife, as well as an $800 loan for vehicle repairs, the NCAA reported...
The allegation that Tressel lied to the NCAA is significant. Since 2006, the NCAA has sanctioned 28 schools for violating the ethics bylaw that Tressel did. Of the 13 head coaches involved, only one kept her job. The others either resigned or were fired by their schools.
Since 2004, four universities that are part of the Football Bowl Championship division were penalized by the NCAA for allowing ineligible players to participate in games and for being repeat offenders...
Tressel, Gee, athletic director Gene Smith and others are being asked to meet with the NCAA infractions committee on Aug. 12 in Indianapolis. At the hearing, OSU will answer questions and explain itself. At some point after that, the NCAA will rule on the ultimate punishment.
In addition to stripping Ohio State of its wins from 2010, NCAA rules allow the organization to reduce the number of football scholarships OSU can award and forbid Ohio State from participating in any Big Ten championship game or post-season bowl game..."
1. Miller is clearly the most-talented QB with Pryor out: It’s not likely that true freshman Braxton Miller will start the first five games and take every snap at quarterback until Terrelle Pryor returns. However, two things are certain after spring: Miller is the most-talented signal-caller on the roster (sans Pryor) and he’s going to play in some capacity. No way he redshirts. More likely, the Buckeyes will run a two-QB system until Pryor gets back. Fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman received first-team reps this spring and redshirt freshman Taylor Graham jumped sophomore Kenny Guiton for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. Right now, an educated guess would be Graham and Miller being the primary quarterbacks until Pryor’s return. However, the coaching staff will probably throw Bauserman a bone and allow him to begin the season as the starter against Akron. If he does well, he keeps his job for Toledo. If he doesn’t, it immediately shifts to the Graham/Miller show.
2. WR is a mess: It would even be bad if senior DeVier Posey weren’t suspended for the first five games. As is, sophomore Corey “Philly” Brown will be the No. 1 wide receiver early in the season, and classmate Chris Fields will be the No. 2. Others in the mix will be redshirt freshmen Verlon Reed, T.Y. Williams (who had a good spring game) and James Louis, as well as incoming frosh Devin Smith and Evan Spencer.
Is there some talent there? Absolutely. But the group is extremely inexperienced and many of them have trouble in terms of dropping the ball. Brown really needs to shore up his hands considering the large role he’s expected to play. You’ve heard of great receivers that have “hooks for hands”? Ours have question marks…
3. Guard spots have been settled: Ohio State lost a pair of two-year starting guards to graduation (Justin Boren and Bryant Browning) and it didn’t take the staff long to figure out who their replacements would be. Sophomores Jack Mewhort and Corey Linsley are going to be the starters and both of them had impressive springs. They are each versatile enough to play different spots – especially Mewhort – but it appears they will ultimately be guards this year.
4. LT is still a question mark: With Mike Adams out for five weeks, the Buckeyes leave spring still unsure who will be his replacement. It will be one of three sophomores: Marcus Hall, Mewhort or Andrew Norwell. With Mewhort fully entrenched at guard, our guess is that Hall or Norwell will be the fill-in until Adams returns. Even talking to players like Mike Brewster after the spring game, they were unsure who the starting LT would be in Adams’ absence. The good news is the position is in good hands when No. 75 does return. After looking like a bust early in his career, he continues to get better. When he was on the field this spring, defensive ends simply did not get around him. Or through him. He’s turned into a very good player.
5. Sabino at the MIKE: Taking over for Brian Rolle at the middle linebacker spot will be fourth-year junior Etienne Sabino who had a productive spring. Normally, this would have been a big story, but with all the issues offensively – in addition to the off-the-field turmoil – it kind of got lost in the shuffle. Sabino has waited his turn and finally locked down a starting spot this spring.
6. Sweat has the WILL: Many expected senior Andrew Sweat would play MIKE, but the coaches have instead decided to have him take over for Ross Homan at WILL. Sweat is extremely solid and it will be shocking if he doesn’t lead the team in tackles this year. Sweat hasn’t made a lot of headlines during his Buckeye career, but look for him to go out with a bang. He really emerged as a leader this spring.
7. Howard’s no duck: The biggest story of all this spring from strictly a football standpoint might have been junior Travis Howard (Sabino’s high school teammate at Krop in Miami) rising up and proving he is definitely the No. 1 corner on the team. Howard gained a lot of experience as the team’s No. 3 corner last year and he looks primed to be the next lockdown corner at “DB U.” Also, Howard switched to jersey No. 7 this year … and that number is always good to OSU players.
8. Tailback-by-committee: With Boom Herron out the first five games, fans shouldn’t expect one player to get most of the carries. Jaamal Berry, Rod Smith, Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde will all get opportunities to play and it will be interesting to see who emerges with the majority of carries. Smith looks the most-impressive, but he’s also the youngest. Hall has the third-down back job locked up and looks great in that role (as he does as a return man on special teams).
9. Clarke v Roby (no Allen): At the beginning of spring, many thought fifth-year senior/Florida State transfer Dionte Allen would be the other starting corner, opposite Howard. However, he’s clearly been passed by sophomore Dominic Clarke (ran with the first-team this spring) and redshirt freshman Brad Roby. Roby was one of the clear standouts this spring and had a pair of interceptions during the scrimmage of April 16. If Roby doesn’t beat out Clarke, he will at least play a lot as the No. 3 corner.
10. Special teams are still a concern: Drew Basil actually appeared to have a solid spring as the placekicker, but chances are good he will be inconsistent as a first-year “starter.” He also needs to improve on his kickoffs which were erratic at times last year as a true freshman. At punter, Ben Buchanan still remains a question mark. He won’t be awful, but will he be good? That’s what remains to be seen. Also, OSU’s coverage units must be considered a weakness until proven otherwise. They gave up a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to Berry last week in a scrimmage and are coming off a terrible season overall. Again, the good news is that Berry and Hall are very explosive as return men. The Buckeyes have nothing to worry about in that department and they should be even better in their second years in the role.
All this – and more – could change as summer progresses. Hopefully, the team does, too!..."
Ohio State Football: 5 Things to Watch for in the 2011 Spring Game April 21, 2011 Source: Bleacher Report - "Ohio State's annual spring game, one of the last ones among the FBS schools, takes place this Saturday afternoon at 1:30 PM in Ohio Stadium, also available on the Big Ten Network...But what should Buckeye fans keep an eye on? Here are five different things to watch for in Saturday's scrimmage.
How Much the Weather Will Affect Play...
Which Running Backs Will Get the Most Carries...
Who Will Fill the Seven Starting Slots Defensively...
How the Running Backs Will Be Incorporated into the Passing Game...
Which QB Will Make the Most of the Opportunities Available to Them..."
Five Challenges For the Defense April 20, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - "Without the drama of the Tat-Five and the never-ending saga of Jim Tressell and his e-mail account, this winter and spring might have been a lot quieter, but there also might have been a lot of talk about how Ohio State would be replacing several starters on defense and how the play of that unit would be the key to another run at the MNC.
Of course, those things did happen, but now that the players are popping pads again and we are only a few days from the annual Spring Game, issues with the team on the field take prominence. Much has been made about how the offense has struggled, but due to the key suspensions on offense not many have been talking about the other side of the ball. I think we all know what the challenges will be for the offense, but I'd like to take a closer look at some challenges that the defense will face this season as they attempt to hold up the reputation of the Silver Bullets despite some key losses.
CHALLENGE #1: POOR FIELD POSITION AND SUDDEN CHANGES
Considering how thin the team is on the offensive line, and how inexperienced the runners and receivers will be, and how many questions there are about the starting QB, it is reasonable to expect that the defense will often be put in poor field position by an offense that is unable to convert 3rd downs or consistently move the ball on the ground. And whichever player ultimately wins the QB job for the first five games (Bauserman early, Guiton or Miller possibly late), he will have very little (if any) game-situation experience, and thus you can expect to see frequent "sudden change" situations where a turnover puts the defense back on the field almost immediately after they forced a punt.
CHALLENGE #2: A FRONT FOUR LOOKING FOR A LEADER
As Cameron Heyward takes his immense talent and vast experience to the NFL, the "nasty" quotient of the defensive line will suffer a bit. Last season, Heyward didn't always make the plays we expected him to, but he always set the tone for the team and showed the younger guys what hard work and determination could do for even a blue-chip athlete. However, Heyward is gone now and it's not clear which of the returning down linemen will become the heart and soul of the group. John Simon certainly shows potential, but he's still pretty young. Nathan Williams is the most experienced player, but his play was uneven and inconsistent last season. Nurturing the leadership skills of the guys in this group could go a long way toward establishing "attitude" among the young players on the line.
CHALLENGE #3: REPLACING THE PRODUCTIVITY OF HOMAN AND ROLLE
The past two seasons, Ross Homan has racked up over 180 tackles for Ohio State, and his cohort Brian Rolle has collected 169. While I have confidence in Andrew Sweat and Etienne Sabino, I wonder if their productivity will match that of Rolle and Homan. Furthermore, with an even less experienced player (Dorian Bell or someone else) taking over at the other linebacker slot, it starts to look like it may take a while before the defense starts to gel in the way that is necessary to pursue greatness. The other members of the defense knew over the last two seasons that they could count on Rolle and Homan making tackles when they got the chance. How will they adjust if/when those tackles are not made as consistently?
CHALLENGE #4: A DEPLETED SECONDARY
I know what you're thinking: "duh, what else is new?" Last season the secondary resembled a M*A*S*H unit with players going down nearly every week. The plus side of that is that it gave the younger guys a chance to get some valuable experience. It would be nice to have a full season of health out of guys like C.J. Barnett, Christian Bryant, and especially Tyler Moeller. I have been waiting a while to see if out-of-stater Travis Howard and local product Jamie Wood step up and perform well in a game situation. Howard made his mark in the Sugar Bowl game, and it gave me some hope that the loss of both starting corners wouldn't hurt as much as it usually does. Further improvement from him and the others will be necessary if OSU wants to avoid long pass plays or watching accurate passers pick their zone apart.
CHALLENGE#5: THE SCHEDULE
2011 is one of those years where OSU plays 5 road games instead of the usual 4. This is mostly due to the addition of Nebraska to the line-up, but it also means they go to Illinois for the second year in a row. In addition to the much-hyped showdown in Lincoln NE on 10/8, there is an early-season trip to Miami (9/17), where the Hurricanes will surely be out for blood after getting rolled in Columbus last season. Also looming is a trip back to "Purdue Harbor" on 11/12, which occurs right before the Buckeyes wrap up the season with traditional rivals Penn State and That School Up North. Nebraska and Illinois have option offenses that put enormous pressure on a defense to play all of their assignments perfectly. This is not a problem for a veteran defense, but for a team that is replacing so many starters it looks like a perfect mismatch. Facing a hostile crowd and a variable offensive scheme will test the mettle of OSU's talented but inexperienced group.
Overall, it's easy to see why some pundits might be reluctant to rank Ohio State highly in the early polls. However, overcoming these challenges early in the season will set the stage for a big finish when the 4 suspended offensive starters retun and get re-acclimated to extensive playing time. The OSU defense will need to rise to the assignment early, or the team might see themselves out of the top 25 for the first time in a very long time."
1) This reports of the demise of the Ohio State defense have been greatly exaggerated. The defense came out with a ton of swagger, attitude and physicality and just overwhelmed the offense in Saturday’s scrimmage.
2) Johnathan Hankins may be a one-man wrecking crew. The beefy defensive tackle had three tackles-for-loss and a sack in the scrimmage on Saturday.
3) John Simon could be an All-American … if they could just find a position for him. Simon repped at all four defensive line spots on Saturday. His swat-and-recovery against Kenny Guiton was a thing of beauty.
4) Jaamal Berry may be a difference maker. His 97-yard kick return touchdown on Saturday can only be a good thing. Teams won’t know whether to kick the ball to Berry or Hall.
5) Dorian Bell could be a tough one to keep out of the lineup. Much of the pub has been that Etienne Sabino has locked down the middle linebacker spot. But Bell made play after play on Saturday.
6) OSU is woefully thin on the offensive line. When J.B. Shugarts sat out some reps this week with a sore shoulder, OSU was down to six veteran offensive linemen. That’s not a good thing.
7) Andrew Sweat is about as solid as it gets. He figures to replace Ross Homan as a potential All-Big Ten OLB this fall. 8) The quarterbacks need some help. We lost track of how many of their passes were flat dropped and both of the day’s interceptions bounced off or through a would-be receiver. This receiving corps isn’t anything to write home about right now.
9) Rod Smith looks like a keeper at tailback. He may not have the breakaway speed you’d like to see, but he can break tackles with the best of them.
10) They should not run reverses to tight end Jake Stoneburner. He was slammed for a 17-yard loss on a reverse on Saturday.
Top Ten Questions Still to be Answered
1) Who is the starting quarterback? In two scrimmages, Joe Bauserman has hardly played. It looks like Taylor Graham has made a move. But it doesn’t seem like anybody has a handle on this.
2) How much is Braxton Miller going to play? Miller stepped up and made a great throw to Verlon Reed only to see Reed lose the ball after a big hit by Jeremy Cash. Miller has rare playmaking ability at quarterback.
3) Who will be the nickel back? Everybody OSU plays there seems to get dinged. But Tyler Moeller and Christian Bryant should be full-go for the fall.
4) Has the ship sailed on Kenny Guiton? It looks like he has dropped behind Graham to No. 3 on the quarterback pecking order. And, after losing a fumble, throwing a pick and fumbling a snap on Saturday, there wasn’t a lot for him to write home about after the scrimmage.
5) Who is going to step up at wide receiver? Chris Fields had two catches last Saturday and none this week. Reed had a catch … and fumbled it away. The long forgotten James Louis made a nice 13-yard catch. Philly Brown caught one ball, but saw another go through his hands for a pick. This group needs to step it up, especially since DeVier Posey won’t be around until October.
6) How is Carlos Hyde going to fit in? It looks like Jaamal Berry, Rod Smith and Jordan Hall will get most of the work. Hyde could be great in short-yardage situations. Beyond that …
7) What is the best five-man lineup on the offensive line? Jim Bollman shuffles this deck on every series. That’s fine because it’s April. Come August, I think they’re going to want to see one cohesive unit.
8) Can Jamie Wood carve out a niche on defense? In two scrimmages, this third-year soph seems to be the heaviest hitter.
9) The same goes for early enrolling freshman Jeremy Cash. He stuck his nose in there and made four tackles on Saturday, forcing a fumble after a Reed catch. He looks like a future star in the secondary.
10) How will Jim Tressel fare with his NCAA sanctions? In terms of higher powers, Tressel went 0-for-1 on Saturday … Mother Nature sent a lightning bolt toward the Horseshoe, mercifully ending the scrimmage for the overmatched OSU offense..."
Bob Hunter commentary: OSU offense has a lot of work to do April 17, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "The Saturday before the spring game is way too early for the Grim Reaper to pay a visit to Ohio State's 2011 season. But it's not too early to sound a note of caution: Winning those first five games without Terrelle Pryor at quarterback might not be as easy as some have thought...
The four quarterbacks competing to replace Pryor while he is suspended went seven series before they completed a pass. The offense didn't score a touchdown. The defense looked like it might just be the best unit in the history of the world, which would be good if it weren't replacing seven starters. All of which suggests that although the defense might have enough depth to replace the missing, the offense has some serious work ahead...
"It's kind of disappointing," Stoneburner said. "You work all week, you get excited for this scrimmage and then not to score, especially with being right down there, it's kind of disappointing. But I felt like we made some progress. We were moving the ball pretty well on some drives."...
Here is what anyone could see without the benefit of video: The Buckeyes had even more trouble catching the ball than they did throwing it. Several balls were dropped or tipped, and some of those turned into interceptions. Graham was probably the most impressive quarterback, not so much because of those two first downs but because he seemed self-assured in the pocket and delivered most of his passes with confidence.
With so little to celebrate, a devout Ohio State fan would have found the day depressing, although that would also be a waste of misery.
"It's never good when you don't score a touchdown," senior offensive tackle Mike Adams said.
Then again, if there is an exception to "never," the middle of the spring would seem to be it. This was one spring practice, nothing more, nothing less. With the season still five months away, this is no time for hysteria.
But it would be a good time to get an early start on a long summer's nap..."
Ask the Experts: Q: What is the monthly monetary stipend that Ohio State's scholarship football players receive in addition to books and tuition, and what is it to be used for? - Jim Farrell, Reynoldsburg
A: Senior associate athletic director Ben Jay said that a full-scholarship athlete who lived off campus received a total of $12,465 for the 2010-11 school year - $7,470 for room and $4,995 for board. That was paid in 15 installments (five per quarter) of about $831 each. Football scholarship players who take classes in the summer receive $4,155 for room and board if they take classes in both summer sessions, or $2,077 for one session. Players who live in campus housing do not receive room and board checks; rather, the athletic department sends that money to Student Life. Source: Columbus Dispatch 4/17/11
The ones that scare me the most April 14, 2011 Source: The Duane Long Report - "It is something we have all come to terms with. There is too much talent in the state this year for the Buckeyes to get them all. Even with a full boat of scholarships there is no way all the players who rate a Buckeye offer would make it into a scarlet and gray. Mark Porter pointed out a statistic that drives it home. He has found at least 98 players in Ohio who hold at least one scholarship offer. It is the middle of April, Buckeye Nation. 98 players have scholarship offers.
I was looking down a list of recent offers. I kept saying to myself, that one is going to hurt. I repeated it too many times. It made me think about which ones are going to hurt the most.
Buchtel safety Jarrod Wilson is a player I would love to see an offer to but that does not look like it is going to happen. He is a great free safety prospect something I think is very much a need for the Buckeyes. While not seeing any interest I am aware of from Ohio State he has offers from five Big Ten schools Michigan, Penn State, Illinois, Northwestern and Indiana. This kid is a playmaker. I would rather not see him every year for the next four years. His stellar grades are confirmed by offers from Notre Dame, Stanford and Vanderbilt. Lets hope the elite academic profiles of those schools are a key element to his final decision.
William Mahone is a two-way player from Austintown Fitch with offers from Penn State, Michigan State, Iowa, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana so the odds he is going to be back in Columbus on the other side of the field are pretty high. He is a great player. I am sure in any other year he would be odds on to have an offer from the Buckeyes. He could be a great safety but I would probably give him a shot first at running back. He also holds offers from Notre Dame and Boston College. All Buckeye fans should hope he ends up putting academics first and chooses one of those schools.
I have been very excited about Pharaoh Brown. My enthusiasm has been dampened a bit after hearing about his desire to be a tight end. No matter which side of the ball he lines up on he could come back to haunt us. He has offers from two Big Five schools in Nebraska and Michigan as well as offers from Michigan State, Illinois and Purdue. Boston College and Syracuse are in there with offers. He has an offer from North Carolina and Butch Davis is a great recruiter. As a Buckeye fan I wish Butch Davis luck recruiting Brown. I know the Buckeyes have had him in but I don't see an offer pending especially since he wants to play tight end but does not play tight end in high school.
Lakewood St. Edward defensive tackle Greg Kuhar is in the same situation. The Buckeyes have had him down too but no offer is forthcoming. He has offers from Michigan, Iowa and Northwestern. He reminds me a great deal of recent Buckeye Dex Larimore. I would put a higher rating on Kuhar because he is bigger. I think if the depth chart were any different he would be odds on to get an offer.
Joe Bolden is the best inside linebacker in the state. I do not think it is even close. He has offers from seven Big Ten schools, Penn State, Michigan, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue. The Buckeyes have not shown a lot of interest. He is a fine player who has some offers outside the region but with that many offers from Big Ten teams the odds he is going to improve the chances of some Big Ten team coming in to knock us off are pretty good. A good number of Cincinnati players go to Boston College. Bolden holds an offer from Boston College.
I am sure this one will be a bit of a surprise because I have not seemed to be that high on Kaleb Ringer. I think he is slightly overrated because the way the game is played linebackers must be able to cover and I have not seen it out of him but if you want a middle linebacker to run from tackle to tackle and stuff the run then this is an awfully good football player. He committed to Michigan without an offer from the Buckeyes. I did not see a Buckeye linebacker in Ringer but this is definitely an upgrade in talent for Michigan...
We know we are going to see some very talented players leave the state...Michigan has offered six of the seven players I have listed here. They already have a verbal from one. This is the kind of talent that can infuse new blood into The Rivalry quickly because it is not Michigan taking talent the Buckeyes do not want. It would be Michigan getting players the Buckeyes don't have room for. Big difference..."
Keep your eyes on these guys April 13, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Now that reporters have been able to view about four hours of practice time since drills began March31, and with 10 days remaining before the spring game, we take a look at six players of particular interest.
Ken Gordon's three Chris Fields - A third-year sophomore, Fields gets a second chance to assert himself. Last year, he was viewed early on as potentially the No.3 receiver, but he ended up as No.5, behind Taurian Washington and Corey "Philly" Brown. Fields finished the season with three catches. With Dane Sanzenbacher and Washington gone, and DeVier Posey suspended for the first five games, Fields' game experience gives him a golden opportunity. In a scrimmage last weekend, Fields looked solid. His younger competitors, T.Y. Williams and Verlon Reed, are promising but raw.
Joel Hale - An early-enrolling freshman, Hale is making a strong bid to be in the defensive tackle rotation. He was noticeable in the scrimmage, stuffing running back Jaamal Berry for a 1-yard gain on third-and-2 and later chasing quarterback Braxton Miller out of bounds for a 2-yard gain on third-and-7. The Buckeyes lost tackle Dexter Larimore to graduation and always like to have four inside guys who can play. Garrett Goebel and Johnathan Hankins are two leading candidates, alongside returning starter John Simon, who also plays a lot of defensive end. Hale might be forcing his way into the mix.
Marcus Hall - After a promising freshman season in 2009, when he played significant minutes at offensive right tackle, Hall's career was put on hold when he redshirted last season because of academic issues. With left tackle Mike Adams suspended, Hall is competing with sophomore Andrew Norwell to replace him. It's a close race, because the coaches were impressed with Norwell last year when he filled in at right tackle. Hall's talent has been apparent this spring while playing four spots (all but center). If Norwell wins the left tackle job, Hall might end up as a starting guard.
Tim May's three Travis Howard - The fourth-year junior started to come out of his shell the more his playing time increased as a cornerback in the nickel defense last year, and now he's flying free. Each time reporters have had a chance to watch this spring, Howard has flashed on a play or three. He made a big-time move over the top of a receiver to break up a pass in Saturday's scrimmage. It appears the Buckeyes are halfway home in replacing departed starting corners Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence, with Dominic Clarke being the favorite to win the other spot.
Rod Smith - An independent, anonymous observer with a considerable football background was asked after the scrimmage which of the quarterbacks impressed him. He answered, "None. They should go with No.24 (Smith) in the wildcat all day." It's not that Smith, a redshirt freshman considered one of the premier prospects in the Midwest a year ago, ran rampant, but every time he was tackled it seemed to be a chore for the defense. With Daniel Herron missing the first five games, Smith's rise will make running back an interesting position to follow, since Berry and Jordan Hall are make-you-miss talents, too.
Jake Stoneburner - Maybe the coaches are just messing around, or maybe they're serious about letting the 6-foot-5, 245-pound tight end split out a little into the slot, stand up at the snap and present matchup problems for the defense. The fourth-year junior has been seen doing that occasionally the past two weeks. With Posey out, Stoneburner, a receiver at Dublin Coffman, could help fill that void if OSU can steal a few pages from the Wisconsin playbook. His backups, junior Reid Fragel and freshman Jeff Heuerman, also have taken their turns striking the stand-up pose this spring..."
"You can do two things. You can get mad or you can use it to your advantage. You can use it as fuel to prove people wrong. I think that's the attitude we take. Just keep working hard. You know, let's shock the world. Let's show people what we can do by staying together." - Mike Brewster
Ohio State tackle J.B. Shugarts says feet feel good, which is good news for the offensive line April 10, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - With everything else Ohio State has to worry about during the first five games of the season, there isn't much room for concern about J.B. Shugarts' feet. The senior right tackle was forced to the sidelines after halftime of two games in the middle of last season, but he said after Saturday's scrimmage that those foot problems are behind him...
"I'll be fine," said Shugarts, who said he spent the off-season rehabbing his feet and getting new shoe inserts to help take the pressure off his feet. "They haven't bothered me at all this spring or this winter." And he has been put to the test. Counting a new walk-on, only 11 offensive linemen took part in Ohio State's scrimmage Saturday, and that's who has been rotating through at practice, meaning senior starters such as Shugarts, Adams and center Mike Brewster have been working with the third-team offense at times, because there is no third team on the offensive line.
"Most schools might have 15 [offensive linemen], some might have 20. We go at it every day with 10," Shugarts said. "When you think about your senior year spring ball, your last spring ball, you're not walking into practice expecting to take 30, 40, 50 reps, but you've got to do what you've got to do to get the team better. To get those young quarterbacks better, we've got to give them time in the pocket, and we've got to keep doing that. It all works together."
There's also a lot to figure out on the line. Those 11 linemen include seven the Buckeyes can trust at this point, the three senior starters plus redshirt sophomores Corey Linsley, Jack Mewhort and Marcus Hall and true sophomore Andrew Norwell. From that group will come the two starting guards, the starting left tackle while Adams is out and the top backup in case anyone goes down.
"It's the first time since I've been here there's two guard spots and the left tackle open all around the same time," Brewster said. "It's not like it's going to separate anyone on the line, because guys rotate so much and are playing a lot of spots, and I'm doing everything I can to try to be a coach on the field. It makes it fun to be out there with them. Everyone makes mistakes, but learning from those mistakes is the only way we can get better."
Norwell and Hall -- a Glenville grad who played as a true freshman, sharing some time with Shugarts at right tackle, but redshirted last year for academic reasons -- have been playing tackle and guard, and one of them should be the left tackle while Adams is out. Mewhort is working as the starter at left guard and Linsley as the starter at right guard, but both also take snaps at center, where someone has to be ready if something happens to Brewster...
"We feel like we've got a solid seven or eight guys that are really good enough to play," Shugarts said. "I think we won't miss a beat."..."
Top Ten Questions Still to be Answered April 10, 2011 Source: Bucknuts.com - Mr. Bucknuts writes, in Spring Reports and Retorts A’plenty: "...1) What will that quarterback rotation look like? We think Bauserman is working toward cementing the starting spot. But there’s only one ball and so many plays. At least one of the others will get a chance as well.
2) How quickly can Braxton Miller catch on to the offense? He’s been through seven practices. Terrelle Pryor was in the huddle with him on Saturday helping him decipher the signals from the sideline. Barring a special dispensation from the NCAA, Pryor won’t be there with him in a game, though.
3) Can the Buckeyes get the ball into the hands of the versatile Jordan Hall? He had a nice punt return on Saturday and shows he can do some things in the open field. He should get between five and ten touches a game.
4) How will that offensive line rotation shake out? Marcus Hall and Andrew Norwell are cross-training at guard and tackle. Jack Mewhort is working at guard and center. The best five figure to play. How will that end up?
5) Who will be the nickel back? Right now, Christian Bryant and Nate Oliver have that position under control. But look for sixth-year senior Tyler Moeller to also get a ton of plays in the fall as he recovers from surgery on a torn pec.
6) Is Dominic Clarke the answer at the other corner? He gave up a couple plays during pre-scrimmage drills and the scrimmage. OSU doesn’t have a lot of other options at corner right now.
7) What’s going to happen when the rubber hits the road in the fall, when Luke Fickell is in charge and so many proven playmakers – like Posey and Pryor, in particular – aren’t there to lean on?
8) Has Philly Brown become more consistent in terms of catching the ball?
9) Is Ben Buchanan going to be better as a punter?
10) Is OSU going to shore up its kickoff coverage? The Buckeyes were among the worst teams in the country in this category last year..." ...and he has much more to say...
A number of players were made available for interviews following the jersey scrimmage on Saturday and they discussed everything from the offensive line depth to who will be the likely (temporary) replacements for the suspended players. Check out The Ozone's video interviews.
Buckeyes Scrimmage Report: April 9: Media members were permitted to watch Saturday's 2-1/2 hour practice at Ohio Stadium in its entirety. The practice was broken down into three parts. The first portion was the usual warm-up, individual and position group breakout session.
This is usually the day in the spring when coach Jim Tressel holds the kick scrimmage. But with depth light at several key positions and the kicker and punter jobs largely locked up, the team just drilled on special teams for about 25 minutes.
It was clear from this session that Ben Buchanan will be the punter and Drew Basil will be the kicker. Buchanan hit several impressive punts, including a 73-yarder out of his end zone. Basil was 4 of 6 on field goals during this segment with a long of 50. His two misses were deflected or blocked.
The third session was a mini version of the jersey scrimmage, which usually comes on the third Saturday of spring practice.
The offense made a late charge to take a 56-45 win in that scrimmage, which lasted 90 plays. (The full jersey scrimmage can sometimes last as many as 150 plays.)
Joe Bauserman got the first call at quarterback. He was 2 of 5 passing for 49 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
Taylor Graham was next and he was 11 of 20 for 86 yards and a touchdown. Kenny Guiton was 7 of 13 for 49 yards. Braxton Miller was 4 of 7 for 45 yards and also carried the ball five times for 25 yards, including a nice scramble for an 11-yard touchdown.
For the running backs, Boom Herron had four carries for 14 yards, Jordan Hall had four carries for 15 yards, Jaamal Berry had four carries for 18 yards and Rod Smith had six carries for 22 yards.
Linebacker Dorian Bell had the day's lone interception of a Bauserman wounded duck when John Simon hit the quarterback.
Adam Bellamy, Jordan Whiting, Melvin Fellows and Darryl Baldwin all had sacks. Bellamy forced a fumble as well.
DeVier Posey had four catches for 73 yards, including TDs of 33 and 8 yards. Jordan Hall had two catches for 22 yards. Chris Fields had two catches for 26 yards. Rod Smith had one catch for 14 yards.
During the scrimmage portion, Basil was 4 of 5 on FGs with makes from 46, 49, 42 and 42. The miss was from 50.
Did anyone emerge?: That's the top question I'm sure fans have of the Ohio State QB competition after an 81-play, about 60-minute scrimmage this morning in cool and cloudy Ohio Stadium. Source: Columbus Dispatch 4/9/11
Senior Dan "Boom" Herron talks Spring Ball Source: OSU Official Site 4/9/2011
Breaking Down the DBs: "We wrap up our week long look at the key positions battles going into spring camp with the defensive backs. Gone are players like Chimdi Chekwa, Jermale Hines and Devon Torrence but the position group does bring back a lot of experience nonetheless and adds the likes of Dionte Allen. So with several players getting a chance to play either in the two deep or due to a rash of injuries in 2010 there should be great competition as the coaching staff looks to fill several open spots. We put the position under the microscope today in our final video piece of the series." Source: BuckeyeGrove.com 4/8/11
Early Spring depth Chart: Defense: "...Because we got to take in quite a bit of spring practice, we provide a projection of next year's depth chart based on what we saw. Of course, this isn't the official depth chart, but it is how we feel it could play out based on what we witnessed..." Source: BuckeyeGrove.com 4/8/11
Breaking Down the LBs: "Ohio State loses two of three starting linebackers from the 2010 season. There has never been a question that Ohio State has depth at the position but there really have not been a lot of snaps to go around for the young guys to cut their teeth. Andrew Sweat will return at his position but there are players like Etienne Sabino and Dorian Bell who are chomping at the bit to get on the field and start their Buckeye careers in earnest. In our continuing series leading into spring practice, we put the linebackers under the microscope with this video update." Source: BuckeyeGrove.com 4/7/11
Breaking Down the DL: "Many people believe that Ohio State's defense will have to carry the team in the start of the 2011 season with four projected starters sitting out the first five games of the year. But with many losses on the defense will it just be that easy to plug-and-play to replace players like Cameron Heyward? The Buckeyes are fortunate on the defensive line however to have guys like John Simon and Nathan Williams coming back and building off of strong seasons but who else is on the brink of being that next breakthrough players? We are putting the defensive line in the crosshairs today with our video series and look at the state of the position as we are in the middle of spring practice." Source: BuckeyeGrove.com 4/6/11
Early Spring depth Chart: Offense: "...Thus far the media has only been permitted to watch the two practices for 30 minute blocks, but BuckeyeGrove.com has pieced together what looks like a current spring depth chart from what it has seen during open practice. Obviously with spring practice still underway, it is subject to change. But for now, here's what the Buckeyes look like on the offensive side of the ball..." Source: BuckeyeGrove.com 4/6/11
Adam Rittenberg joins Chris Fowler on “College Football Live” to discuss Ohio State’s practice, how the Buckeyes are handling the Jim Tressel situation and more.
Buckeyes knocked heads in full pads during today's spring practice
Spring Practice 2011: Guiton, Graham and Miller Rep with the Offense. Source: Eleven Warriors/YouTube 4/5/11
Notes from Ohio State's practice: " I had a chance to watch about 30 minutes of Ohio State's full-pads workout indoors Tuesday. Despite the limited media viewing period, there was a lot to observe in an extremely physical Buckeyes practice.
Kenny Guiton stood out to me among the quarterbacks...Miller definitely has mobility and created extra room for himself on a check down...Expect Ohio State's running backs to be more involved in the pass game this year...Jim Tressel was very involved in the practice during the media viewing period...There were several nice defensive plays: second-team cornerback Dionte Allen, a transfer from Florida State, had a diving interception of a Graham pass; linebacker Etienne Sabino "sacked" Guiton...For those depth chart aficionados ... DeVier Posey and Corey Brown worked as the first-team wide receivers ... Christian Bryant and Orhian Johnson worked as the first-team safeties ... Travis Howard and Dominic Clarke worked as the first-team cornerbacks ... the first-team defensive line consisted of Nathan Williams and John Simon on the outside and Garrett Goebel and Johnathan Hankins on the inside...The wide receivers had some ups and downs. Chris Fields had a nice hit on two defenders after making a catch, and T.Y. Williams caught my eye with his impressive physique (6-5, 228)..." Source: ESPN 4/5/11
Spring Practice 2011: The Ohio State defensive line participates in drills during spring practice. Source: Eleven Warriors/YouTube 4/5/11
Spring Practice 2011: Ohio State's wide receivers and defensive backs participate in drills during spring practice. Source: Eleven Warriors/YouTube 4/5/11
Breaking Down the Wide Receivers: "The wide receiver spot is going to see thin numbers with the loss of Dane Sanzenbacher and will not have DeVier Posey for the first five games of the season. We are looking at the position more in depth and use our team of experts as well as head coach Jim Tressel to see what is on hand and what to expect from the current crop of Buckeyes." Source: BuckeyeGrove.com 4/4/11
Who Will it Be? Four Players Vying for Role of a Lifetime April 4, 2011 Source: The Ozone - "...Before the start of spring practice, we polled 30 members of the Ohio State football media to see who they thought the starting quarterback would be in the season-opener against Akron. That group included journalists from internet, print, radio and television outlets in Columbus, with over 43 percent of the vote going to freshman Braxton Miller. That might come as a surprise to many who assumed the consensus would have been in favor of senior Joe Bauserman. He received only 23.3 percent of the vote, just behind sophomore Kenny Guiton, who grabbed 26.7 percent. Redshirt freshman Taylor Graham came in a distant fourth at just 6.7 percent of the vote...
Actual Voting Results (Out of 30)...(for each candidate): Working for Him...Working against Him...Best Case Scenario...Worst Case Scenario..."
With two jobs open, cornerbacks step up April 6, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Dionte Allen is doing his best to make sure the Ohio State cornerback competition is not over before it starts. A transfer from Florida State who sat out last year, Allen, a senior, was impressive yesterday in the 30 minutes of practice that reporters were allowed to watch. He intercepted a Taylor Graham pass and had several nice tackles. The Buckeyes are replacing both of their starting corners from 2010, Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence.
Allen is running with the second team at the moment, behind starters Travis Howard and Dominic Clarke. Those two might be tough to supplant - Howard because he was impressive as the third cornerback for most of last season, and Clarke because he apparently has taken a big leap forward entering his third year in the program. Clarke was thrown into the Sugar Bowl in January unexpectedly after Chekwa suffered a wrist injury near the end of the first quarter. "I think he gained confidence," coach Jim Tressel said of Clarke. "In fact, I was talking with (former OSU star corner) Malcolm Jenkins and I said, 'It's interesting to watch Dominic - he always had great ability, he was young, and now we've kind of seen a little bit of transformation from him, not unlike you, Malc.' " 'When you were moving along in age ... all of a sudden, your career took off. We've seen a little bit of that from Dominic.' "
Practice Report: QBs keep gunning it, and more April 6, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Miller appeared more and more comfortable with each play he got to run, stepping up and out while keeping his eyes downfield on one play in particular before firing a pass. For a fellow just four months removed from high school, it seems he gaining a grip quickly..."
"Buckeye Spring Breaks," a six-part video series with the Ohio State football seniors during their final Spring season in preparation for the 2011 campaign.
Fan wonders if Buckeyes might want Mark Dantonio: "...ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg, answering reader mail, took up that question from a Spartans fan, who wondered if Dantonio could be a candidate, considering he's an Ohio native and former Buckeyes assistant. "I'd be surprised if Dantonio didn't at least listen," Rittenberg wrote. "Ohio State is most likely the only job for which he'd leave Michigan State. "Then again, Tressel is one of Dantonio's closest friends in coaching, a mentor for Dantonio. It would be difficult for Dantonio to succeed Tressel under these circumstances. Plus, Dantonio loves Michigan State and has a good thing going in East Lansing. "My sense is that Ohio State would broaden the candidate pool to others who have won a little more, but Dantonio's ties to the state and to the program make him an interesting name." Source: Detroit Free Press 4/6/11
Boarding House: Monday Edition April 4, 2011 Source: Bucknuts.com - "...Redshirt freshman Rod Smith is worth the hype. He “looks like a linebacker but runs like Ted Ginn.” The scout was also impressed with his hands out of the backfield and then he said the following. Please finish eating or drinking briefly before reading … “This guy could be better than [Beanie] Wells. And you know how I feel about Wells.”...we’re hearing Terrelle Pryor has really taken Braxton Miller under his wing and is going out of his way to help the Huber Heights Wayne product in practice...Alabama coach Nick Saban ventured into Ohio and signed two prospects in his last recruiting class...Saban and his staff are back in the Buckeye State pursuing Ohio’s top juniors and one they want most is defensive end Adolphus Washington (Cincinnati, Ohio/Taft). Washington spoke to Saban late last week. Among the things Saban told Washington is he wants him for the ‘Jack’ position and that the Crimson Tide will be graduating two players at that position after this coming season, giving Washington a legitimate shot to come in and play as a true freshman. The ‘Jack’ position at Alabama sometimes lines up as a defensive end and sometimes as an outside linebacker who can drop into coverage. We hear Washington is definitely listening. He has long said the Buckeyes are at the top of his list, but over the weekend backed off that stance a bit..."
10 Buckeyes Who Need To Step Up During First 5 Games April 3, 2011 Source: Bleacher Report - "...10. Travis Howard, CB...9. Andrew Norwell, OT...8. Jake Stoneburner, TE...7. Andrew Sweat, LB...6. Nathan Williams, D...5. John Simon, DT...4. Jaamal Berry, RB...3. Corey "Philly" Brown, WR...2. Jordan Hall, RB...1. Joe Bauserman/Braxton Miller, QB..."
Sizing up Pryor's fill-in candidates April 3, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...The competitors are Joe Bauserman, Kenny Guiton, Taylor Graham and Braxton Miller, the blue-chip prospect who enrolled in January. There are nearly three weeks of practices between now and the spring game April 23, but Dispatch beat reporters Tim May and Ken Gordon break down what we know of the contestants..."
Bob Hunter commentary: Glorious run for OSU football in jeopardy April 3, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...the Buckeyes have produced one of the most amazing runs in Big Ten history. Six consecutive league titles and seven overall. Three appearances in the national championship game. One national championship. Seven straight wins over Michigan. Twenty weeks ranked No.1, 12 weeks at No. 2 and 48 weeks in the top five...put aside those suspensions for a moment, and consider these other threats to an otherwise cushy existence..."
Buckeyes look for new crop of stars April 3, 2011 Source: Toledo Blade - "The Buckeyes have put on a brave face and started spring football practice, attempting to proceed with their preparations for the coming season as if things are normal. But for the Ohio State program at this juncture, business as usual is about as unusual as it can get. Due to the fact that suspensions will force them to start the 2011 season minus five key players and their head coach, the Buckeyes are dealing with unprecedented changes. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel hopes to avoid making this spring a season of confusion. "Spring practice and the teaching and the things that go on, on a day-to-day basis, have not changed, and will not change," Tressel said this past week as the Buckeyes prepared to spend the next month getting their house in order..."
Buckeyes in big transition April 3, 2011 Source: Associated Press - "Graduations, suspensions forcing different players to step up to fill the holes permanently, temporarily...''To me this is a much more exciting spring when you're not sure what exactly you're going to have when they walk out there,'' assistant head coach Luke Fickell said. Fickell received that title this week and will be interim head coach during Tressel's suspension on the five game days this autumn. Fickell will continue to coach linebackers and serve as co-coordinator on defense along with Jim Heacock. The biggest question of the spring is who will get the most snaps at quarterback..."
Thinking About the First Spring Practice April 2, 2011 Source: The Ozone - "The Buckeyes hit the field Saturday for the third of 15 spring practices, but I found myself still thinking about Thursday’s practice. It was the first one of the spring, so it is unfair to draw too many conclusions from what we saw inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, but I can’t help thinking about some interesting things I noticed during the opening day of spring practice..."
Tide lands ex-Buckeye Duron Carter April 2, 2011 Source: College Football Talk - "Duron Carter, the former Ohio State wide receiver has indeed landed in Tuscaloosa...and will play for Alabama...Carter’s father, ex-Buckeye great Cris Cartwr, confirmed to ESPN.com that his son will be playing for the Tide in 2011. And, as the elder Carter had stated in the past, the Tide’s head coach played a significant role in the decision..."
What if OSU story is complete? Arpil 1, 2011 Source: College Football News - "What if Jim Tressel and Ohio State aren’t sandbagging the College Football universe?..."
Jim Tressel and Luke Fickell will get to watch several position battles going through the spring that will lead up to fall camp but the race at running back will be an interesting one to watch.
Oregon State University president Ed Ray calls Jim Tressel violations 'a very serious matter' April 1, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "In a phone interview with The Plain Dealer today, Oregon State University president Ed Ray didn't back off his "hanging judge" comment when it comes to the punishment he might hand to Ohio State coach Jim Tressel for his NCAA violations. But the former Ohio State provost, who was involved with Tressel's hiring in 2001 before leaving Ohio State in 2003, made the point that it's a good thing the decision isn't up to him..."
Who'll stand up, stand for something at Ohio State April 3, 2011 Source: Sporting News - "...How on earth does Tressel still have his job? It’s true that McClover’s allegations are not yet proved, but they sure fit the character of the program. Tressel is already suspended for the first five games of next season for other issues. Now, he needs to be fired, or at the very least, suspended immediately, and indefinitely, until OSU gets to the bottom of things. Come to think of it, maybe an independent party should conduct the investigation. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and university president E. Gordon Gee don’t appear to be victims of Tressel’s dirt anymore. Now, they are looking like co-conspirators..."
All Eyes on Buckeyes This Spring March 31, 2011 Source: Rivals.com - "...Severe doubt is cast over the Buckeyes' ability to continue their incredible run... huge portion of the spring will be devoted to finding a quarterback to replace Pryor for the first five games -- Akron, Toledo, at Miami, Colorado and Michigan State. A go-to receiver needs to emerge with Posey out. The Buckeyes also must find a fill-in for Adams, who has all-league talent. In addition, Tressel calls the plays. Who will take over that duty while he is out? Co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Luke Fickell will serve as interim head coach for the first five games. All in all, Ohio State might have the most-watched spring drills of any school in the nation. Here's a look at the Buckeyes heading into spring practice.
Former NCAA infractions chairman says Jim Tressel's reputation may assist him in avoiding severe penalties April 2, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Although history does not work in his favor, Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel may survive his NCAA violations -- precisely because he is Jim Tressel. A former chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions told The Plain Dealer on Friday that Tressel's positive reputation could help him a great deal when Tressel finally appears before the Committee on Infractions, maybe sometime this summer.
"I think if you have a lifelong good record, that should weigh into how things turn out," said Gene Marsh, a 1978 Ohio State graduate who was member of the infractions committee for nine years, and its chairman from 2004 to 2006. "If it doesn't, then what is the use of living life right?"...
Marsh, who said he has attended one OSU football game in the last 25 years and has no personal relationship with Tressel, emphasized that precedent does matter. But he spelled out two reasons why Tressel could be viewed more favorably that other 10.1 violators: the nature of the violations he did not report; and the previously solid reputation he built.
Unlike some 10.1 violators, Tressel wasn't lying about or covering up his own act; he was hiding violations committed by his players, a distinction that Marsh said he would find to be important.
"While the violations are very serious, they are not the kind of violations that somebody makes a movie out of," said Marsh, who specializes in NCAA compliance issues with the Alabama law firm of Lightfoot, Franklin & White. "It's not some gigantic academic fraud, it's not some slush fund that a coach was using for paying players. Although they are serious ... I'd say after nine years on the infractions committee, they don't break the bank as far as severity."..."