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10 thoughts on the forthcoming SI story

Sex with recruits, academic fraud, boosters paying players — we have a good ol’ fashioned college football scandal on our hands.

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Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

I’m going to say this 39 times in the post but all of these ideas and thoughts are mostly predicated upon the fact that there’s no hammer that’s going to drop outside of what we already know. If you need a refresher on what we actually do know, read this.

Let’s jump in…

1. Berry wrote here that academic fraud was the most egregious of all the crimes committed (if it was committed) which is just…I mean…do you guys know how this all works?

There’s an academic center at every university in the country for athletes. OSU’s has computers and rooms for student-athletes to “study” and hang out.[1. According to their website this is what the academic center is for: “Academic support at OSU begins with a multifaceted program that involves subject tutors, facilitators, learning groups, computer programs, and academic enhancement contracts.”]

You know what happens at these places (besides actual tutoring)? The same thing that happens at fraternities and sororities all over campus? People find old tests and pass them around and memorize the answers and move on withe their days. It’s college, it happens. I’m not condoning it and I didn’t participate in it[1. My wife makes fun of me for being the biggest rule follower of all time.] but I’m tired of people acting like they don’t actually know what happens at college — as if every student is like John Nash.

Now I’m presuming that the academic fraud is minor stuff, like I just described, but if there’s evidence of athletics’ folks logging on to computers and overriding grades given by professors then that’s a whole other animal.

2. I know we can all have a giggle at Thayer Evans’ name being involved in this again but this is not your typical Thayer Evans story. In this case he’s a minion for George Dohrmann whose work history you likely don’t want to know but I’ll tell you anyway: He won a Pulitzer for taking down Minnesota’s basketball team in the midst of an academic scandal, he did the Ohio State tattoo story, and he did the Ben Howland-UCLA story.

He is not to be effed with.

3. Regarding hostesses providing sex for recruits. Yeah…college.[1. Not condoning, not condoning, not condoning.]

When I was a sophomore and walked on the baseball team at OSU we had a similar group of support girls to Orange Pride called Diamond Dolls. They would make us cookies and care packages and write little notes and come to games and stuff like that.

One day we were walking back from the weight room to the stadium and some of the upperclassmen asked who my Diamond Doll was. I told them and they said “oh yeah, she’ll have sex with you whenever, just ask her.” I still have no idea if they were just messing with me or if this was true but I was stunned — I think I mumbled something like “oh ok, cool.”

True or not, to even say it shows that that’s the culture at high-profile universities, and this was just baseball! And I was a walk on!

Again, and I wrote this on Saturday, if a coach was specifically telling an Orange Pride girl to have sex with recruits so they would come to OSU then yeah, monster issues. But otherwise, I don’t see much there..

4. One thing OSU has going for it is Gundy’s Keystone Cop routine: all I do is drive a tractor and hire sweet offensive coordinators, I know nothing!

Because Sports Illustrated has said there are no eligibility or NCAA concerns regarding current staff or players it seems like it would be pretty easy for OSU to just throw its hands up, say “we’re investigating this internally” (by the way, have we trademarked this yet?), and move on. Again, for the millionth time, all of this is contingent upon what’s actually in the article.

5. I’ve heard a lot about OSU playing the statute of limitations card. The gist of it is that the NCAA can’t touch you if four years have passed since the allegations in question. The problem with that is the Miami scandal. Read the second paragraph here. The NCAA’s four-year statute of limitations doesn’t apply when there is a pattern of willful violations that continues into the past four years. Not saying that’s the case, just saying it could be an issue.

6. If you want a comp for this situation, how about Tennessee from a few years ago? They were also, somewhat humorously (given the situation), named Orange Pride.

7. For those who say OSU is in the clear because SI said there are no eligibility issues, that’s not totally True. Go back and read No. 4. They said there are no eligibility or NCAA concerns regarding current staff or players (see No. 4), which isn’t the same as no eligibility or NCAA issues at all. If, for example, they can prove that Joe DeForest was paying players and Mike Gundy knew about it (might want to check that Gmail inbox, Mike!) that’s a disaster.

I just don’t think something like that, if it even took place, will be able to be linked to anybody currently in any way.

8. This does kind of bring to light an interesting thing that happened in 2005 when Gundy took over. Back then he was praised for cleaning up what was thought to be a small Les Miles mess and “doing the right thing no matter what” etc. He did do all of this but maybe we underestimated how dirty it actually was. Like, maybe it was a “wow, I do not want to go down with this sinking ship” move more than it was a “I want to be above all reproach” move.

9. I loved Holder’s quote in hereWe are shocked by the allegations raised about our football program. You spend more on football than all but four other programs and you build a bunch of 18-year-olds a palace within which they’re lauded every Saturday and you’re “shocked” that some of your football host team might be doing it with recruits or players or that, really again let’s be honest, a bunch of stuff that happens on a college campus was happening within said football program.

I know he has to say that, but come on.

10. I’m really interested (and scared) to read about the boosters-paying-players thing. It happens, surely — you’re a fool if you don’t think this happens at OSU and every other big boy football and basketball school in the country — but what, exactly will SI allege? Boone making it rain over the stadium while he does a flyover? Another Memphis/FedEx issue?

I think that will be one of the most intriguing things about the piece.

11. Prediction time: I think this ends a lot like the UCLA-Ben Howland report from earlier this year minus the part about him getting fired. At most OSU will get a slap on the wrist and spin the crap out of this for the next few weeks. By the time conference play rolls around everybody will have forgotten about it…I think.

Well, except Thayer, he’ll probably be busy trying to prove one of our kickers from the 2006 team was using illegally-enhanced shoelaces.

Or something equally ridiculous.

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