Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:18 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 12:19 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Ohio State was kind enough to hand Wisconsin its second straight loss via Hail Mary last weekend, and Braxton Miller's pass to Devin Smith may have saved the Ohio State season as well. The win kept the Buckeyes alive in the Big Ten's Leaders Division and a Rose Bowl berth is still in the cards.
Which is pretty amazing considering the way the Ohio State season started, but there's something else even more surprising about that Hail Mary. According to wide receiver Corey Brown, the players never got the play call from the sidelines. They just winged it.
“We were scrambling … and [the coaches] didn’t give us a play or nothing,” Brown told The Columbus Dispatch. “So we’re out there just running playground routes. I think I ran a deep out or something like that. And Braxton said he pointed at me to get the safety to run over (so he could) throw it to Devin. So on his part, that was like a veteran move.”
Brown clarified his statement after, saying that the coaches called a play, but only one of the players actually got it.
“I just think we were so, like, into the moment our emotions kind of took over and we weren’t really listening to anybody. We were just trying to hustle. I think there was only one wideout, which was Devin, who got the real play.”
So the one person who actually got the playcall, Devin Smith, was the one who caught the touchdown. There's a lesson in here somewhere, and I think it's that Luke Fickell and the Ohio State coaches should tell everybody but Braxton Miller what the play is before every snap.
Hat tip: Dr. Saturday
Posted on: October 3, 2011 11:39 am
Edited on: October 3, 2011 11:40 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Ohio State has now played five games this season, which means that the suspensions that players like Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas, Dan Herron and DeVier Posey for their involvement in Tattoogate is over. However, that doesn't mean that every single one of them will be able to play when the Buckeyes take on Nebraska on Saturday.
According to a report in the Columbus Dispatch, the status of both Posey and Herron is still in question.
A separate probe by the NCAA into Herron and Posey apparently showed they may have received improper benefits in terms of alleged inflated remuneration while working summer jobs in the Cleveland area. It could mean at least one more game of suspension for Herron, for whom the benefits was said to be in the $200 to $400 range, and perhaps multiple games for Posey, for whom the benefit was said to be about $500.The NCAA started a separate probe into Herron and Posey earlier this season while looking into the benefits Jordan Hall, Travis Howard and Corey Brown received from booster Robert DiGeronimo for attending a charity event. Those three were all suspended for the first two games of the season for accepting $200 from DiGeronimo.
Ohio State is scheduled to make an announcement at 3:30pm Eastern on Monday.
If Herron and Posey can't play this weekend against Nebraska, it would be a big blow to the Buckeyes. The Ohio State offense has been pretty dreadful this season, so getting two playmakers like Herron and Posey back would be a nice boost.
Both Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas are expected to be cleared to play.
Posted on: September 16, 2011 4:16 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
The world of college football this year seems to be about everything but the games six days a week. Saturday, of course, things stop. There's tailgates and touchdowns, quarterbacks and queso, defensive backs and racks full of ribs.
Likewise, much to Mark Emmert, Donna Shalla and E. Gordon Gee's chagrin, Saturday's primetime match up between Miami and Ohio State has seemingly been about everything but what will take place at Sun Life Stadium. The Ineligible Bowl. The Tats and Cash Fiesta. The Yahoo! Sports Bowl. Convict Boosters vs. well… Convict Boosters.
For what it's worth though, there will be no boosters on the sideline according to Miami officials.
Everyday this week, it seemed that each program was in the news for off the field distractions. Tuesday, the NCAA reinstated three Buckeyes after accepting money - via disgraced quarterback Terrelle Pryor - from a booster. On Thursday, Miami's most famous booster, Uncle Luke, announced plans to sue Miami's most infamous booster, Nevin Shapiro. Before the game on the field, games were played in the headlines during the run-up.
"What has been our strategy? Just focus on what we can control," Hurricanes head coach Al Golden said. "Again, I keep saying it. No one on our staff was involved with anything that occurred here, and 90% of our team wasn't.
"There are some distractions there. There are a lot of things. I'm sure Coach (Luke) Fickell has the same issues in terms of every move that you make requires a double move basically."
Golden's starter at quarterback tomorrow, Jacory Harris was suspended for the opener, a loss to Maryland. He's looking to make up for his performance in the Horseshoe last year when he threw four interceptions in a 36-24 loss. For a team looking to put it all out on the field after a rough month off of it, perhaps it is fitting that the Hurricanes' fate will rest on someone who was taken off of it for eligibility issues.
Beyond last year's loss and Harris' issues though, this game means something to Miami. They're looking to avoid an 0-2 start for the first time since 1978 and end their four game losing streak. It's Golden's home debut leading the Hurricanes as well, something the team is clearly focused on - not the nicknames for their Ohio State showdown.
“He's been through the thick and thin with us through this whole [NCAA investigation]," senior Travis Benjamin said. ”We just want to come out and get a W for coach Golden.”
The Buckeyes are not without their own issues as they take their slightly less talented roster to South Beach. The team struggled last week and almost lost to Toledo were it not for John Simon's interception of the Rockets' backup quarterback late in the game. They'll be without four key players due to suspension in receiver DeVier Posey, tackle Mike Adams, running back Dan Herron and backup end Soloman Thomas. Those four will stay in Ohio while the other member of the Buckeye Five will be in Oakland. Not that anyone will bring any of that up.
"We hope and we think that this is what the game is all about, to be able to handle adversity and we believe it's going to make us stronger in the long run," Fickell said. "It starts from the top down. We can't let it affect me so that we can't let it affect them, as well."
Speaking of suspended players, Miami has at the early lead going on: they'll get back five players to Ohio State's three.
The Hurricanes will likely play a key role in the game as well. Linebacker Sean Spence will be a key defender in the middle of the defense behind linemen Marcus Forston and Adewale Ojomo. A speedy receiver, Benjamin should also provide a boost for the offense. Starting running back Jordan Hall, corner Travis Howard and reserve safety Corey Brown are back for the Buckeyes.
It won't quite be the 2003 Fiesta Bowl in terms of talent on the field but there's no ignoring how big a game it is between the two programs who are not on friendly terms.
"We try not to focus on, `Hey, this is a national game because of Miami and their great history and Ohio State's great history,'" Fickell said. "We're still making sure we understand it's one game at a time, like we always say, but it's still about getting better. It's a chance to obviously test ourselves."
Miami's home opener will be emotional. Ohio State is no doubt looking to silence critics. There will be story lines aplenty.
But as 7:30 eastern rolls around, it will - finally - be just a game.
Tags: ACC, Adewale Ojomo, Al Golden, Big Ten, Boise State, Bryan Fischer, Buckeye Five, Corey Brown, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Donna Shalla, E. Gordon Gee, Fiesta Bowl, Jacory Harris, John Simon, Jordan Hall, LSU, Luke Fickell, Marcus Forston, Mark Emmert, Maryland, Miami, Mike Adams, NCAA, Nevin Shapiro, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pac-12, Sean Spence, Soloman Thomas, Sun Life Stadium, Terrelle Pryor, Toledo, Travis Benjamin, Travis Howard, Uncle Luke
Posted on: September 14, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 12:50 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
A Cleveland-area Ohio State booster has admitted "responsibility" for the $200 payments at a charity event that led to the two-game suspensions of Buckeyes Corey Brown, Travis Howard and Jordan Hall. He also revealed how those payments were delivered--by none other than ex-Buckeye Terrelle Pryor, who gave the three suspended players envelopes with the cash inside.
The booster, Robert DiGeronimo, told the Columbus Post-Dispatch that the money was intended to be used as reimbursement for the three players' travel expenses. Brown, Howard and Hall received the money at an Independence, Ohio fundraiser for the charity Cornerstone of Hope, which was founded by DiGeronimo's son-in-law and on whose Board of Directors DiGeronimo serves.
However, DiGeronimo would not admit to having provided the money himself nor describe how Pryor had obtained it.
"However the money got there ... it did not come from Cornerstone," DiGeronimo told the Dispatch. "However Mr. Pryor got the money, I take responsibility. I am responsible for those kids coming up here from Columbus. I handled it wrong. I should not have handled it the way I did."
Two other unnamed current OSU players told the Dispatch they had also been in attendance at the fundraiser, but had not received any money. The players' appearances at the fundraiser had not been approved by the Ohio State compliance office
Brown, Howard and Hall were reinstated yesterday after repaying the $200 to an unidentified charity, and will be eligible for this week's visit to Miami. But the NCAA also confirmed that its investigation into Ohio State is ongoing--and with the obvious questions that surround why Terrelle Pryor was walking around with envelopes full of money at a fundraising event largely organized by an admitted Buckeye booster-slash-superfan, it's easy to see why.
Posted on: September 13, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 6:49 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Ohio State may not be at full strength in terms of getting players back on the field, but it's getting there. The NCAA has officially reinstated RB Jordan Hall, CB Travis Howard and S Corey Brown as of today, ending the three Buckeyes' two-week suspension for accepting money from a booster at a recent fundraiser.
According to the NCAA, whose full statement on the reinstatement is linked here, the three players will be forced to repay the money they received from the booster, with the money going to an undisclosed charity.
The reinstatement means that the players have finally gotten their stories straight about where the money came from, which was not the case last week when two different people (a former player and a booster) were named as sources for the money in Ohio State documents. That clearly didn't sit well with the NCAA, and the suspensions continued through the Toledo game.
Nonetheless, Ohio State didn't have any public gripe about the length of the investigation and suspensions. “The university appreciates the NCAA’s expeditious response in reinstating these three student athletes,” said Gene Smith, Ohio State Director of Athletics.
The NCAA's statement ends on this well-known, but still ominous note (emphasis ours):
In other words, this situation isn't fully resolved in the NCAA's eyes, but at the very least the three players involved can get back on the field.
One must wonder when the boosters in Columbus are going to stop providing benefits to players. It may be a noble gesture and the rules may be illegitimate in the boosters' eyes, but they are still the rules, and the more those rules are broken the worse off Ohio State is going to be. It seems very counterintuitive that a "booster" would take such destructive action, then, but such is the world we live in.
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Posted on: September 9, 2011 6:26 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 6:33 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Last week, Ohio State suspended RB Jordan Hall, CB Travis Howard and S Corey Brown for the Akron game after learning the three players had accepted $200 for their presence at a Cleveland charity event. Ohio State expected its three suspended players to be reinstated by the NCAA for this week's game at Toledo following the conclusion of the NCAA's investigation.
Problem: the NCAA never agreed to a one-game suspension. As a result, all three players will be sitting out their second straight game.
On its face, this appears to run counter to the NCAA's speedy reinstatement of several suspended Miami players who had accepted much more than $200 from disgraced booster Nevin Shapiro. The problem for Ohio State is that this is more than an issue of just punishment; the NCAA is not satisfied with the results of its investigation, and the fact that the three players gave conflicting reports to officials and investigators about why they were at the fundraiser and who paid them cannot possibly help their case for an expedited reinstatement.
To that end, here is the official statement from the NCAA (emphasis ours):
Two of the three suspended players named a former Buckeye as the source of the money, and the third named a "representative of athletics interests." All names were redacted by Ohio State on the documents acquired by the Columbus Dispatch.
It is strange that we live in a world where athletes in a multi-billion dollar sport/industry can be taken out of competition for something as insignificant as accepting a $200 gift, and it's been made clear recently that Ohio State has a few boosters who don't have much respect for those rules, but they are still the rules. So as long as giving money to players is still illegal, as long as the NCAA's sniffing around Columbus because of previous violations, and as long as the NCAA won't reinstate players who are being evasive with an investigation, it strongly behooves everybody involved with the Ohio State program to follow the NCAA's rules to a T. To do anything less is demonstrably harmful to the program, and it's strange that so many people around the team -- from Jim Tressel to everyone else who evidently wants to give these players an extra little something -- don't seem to realize this.