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Tag:Gene Smith
Posted on: February 14, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Roundtable: College football valentines

Posted by Eye on College Football



Occasionally the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron-style to answer a pressing question in the world of college football. Today's query:

It's Valentine's Day, so pick someone or something from college football--person, team, conference, whatever. Who should they be sending a valentine to today, and what does that valentine say?

Bryan FischerI think the athletic directors at Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State should be sending a Valentine to Larry Scott this year. The Pac-12 commissioner unveiled his Pac-12 Network studios just yesterday, and that's appropriate considering the media deals he negotiated were the biggest reason those schools were able to off the sweetheart deals that landed their new coaches. Do you think the Bruins or Huskies could have afforded the assistant salaries before that money started flowing? Or that Wazzu was able to land a coach like Mike Leach? I don't think they do.

I'm guessing their valentine says something to the affect of, "Thank$ Larry for everything, hope you'll be our Valentine for several more years."

Tom Fornelli:  I'm going to say TCU and West Virginia owe Missouri and Texas A&M a valentine this year, one with some expensively-licensed cartoon character saying "Thanks for the sloppy seconds!" If not for those two leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, then both TCU and WVU are stuck in the Big East for 2012 at least--a Big East that's without a clear future at the moment, and seems en route to becoming Conference USA version 2.0.

Instead the Frogs and Mountaineers have joined the Big 12, which is in much better shape than the Big East and will provide far more money for both schools in the long run.

Jerry Hinnen: If I'm Mike Slive, I'm sending out a valentine to Dana Holgorsen -- or maybe Gus Malzahn, or Mike Leach, or Todd Monken -- saying "WILL YOU BE MINE?" festooned with as many hearts (and dollar signs) as it takes to convince them to try their hand (again, in Malzahn's case) in the SEC. There's no doubting the SEC's dominance on the defensive side of the ball or its overall array of talent, but the 2011 season also showed a league in dire need of an infusion of offensive ingenuity, preferably (for variety's sake) out of the spread school. Alabama's yawn-inducing strangulation of LSU in the BCS title game is Exhibit A for the conference's current cloud-of-dust tendencies, but the overall statistical picture is even more damning: six different SEC teams finished in the bottom 25 in the FBS in total offense, with zero finishing in the FBS top 25. (Arkansas ranked highest at 29th.) 

Some of that is good defense; an awful lot of it is terrible offense, too. And it may get worse before it gets better--look at the likes of former offensive juggernauts Florida and Auburn, currently undergoing dramatic offensive regime changes after regressing badly in 2011.

Defense may win championships, but offense often wins TV ratings, as the BCS championship Nielsens will tell you. The SEC's current regular season ratings are fine, of course, but Slive is about to go back to the negotiating table to try and keep his TV contract up with the Joneses of the Big Ten and Pac-12, a table to which he'll want to bring every single positive for his league he can gets his hands on. The SEC will be a-OK with or without the Big 12's reputation for high-flying offensive theatrics, but that doesn't mean Slive -- and a league full of fans likely tiring of watching Tennessee and South Carolina combine for 17 points and barely more than 500 yards in nationally televised prime-time -- wouldn't welcome someone who could shake up the conference's burgeoning reputation for Slugfest-with-a-capital-S football. Kevin Sumlin gets first crack, but we're guessing Slive would prefer he had some high-profile help sooner rather than later.

Chip Patterson: If I'm Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, I'm sending roses, candy, banners, and thankful notes to new head coach Urban Meyer.  Even with an ill-timed bowl ban from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, Meyer has cooled much of the heat on Smith after the fallout surrounding Jim Tressel's departure.  Winning cures all, but hiring a two-time national champion to supposedly guide your program out of the darkness will certainly hold the Buckeye fans over until the bowl ban is lifted.  Meyer hit the recruiting trail hard after his hire, pulling in a top-5 recruiting class despite the sanctions from the NCAA.  

If Smith had whiffed on his hire to replace Tressel, he would find himself under further scrutiny with the additional sanctions.  Meyer is exactly the home run hire Ohio State -- and Gene Smith -- needed.  In fact, a valentine might not be enough.  Maybe Smith should get a tattoo. 

What? Too soon? 

Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:04 pm
 

PODCAST: The Doddcast, Feb. 13

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's too late in the month to talk recruiting, too early to talk spring practice (unless you're at Army). But that's not going to stop Dennis Dodd, who joined CBSSports.com's Adam Aizer to discuss all the latest college football news: the Mountain West-Conference USA merger, Nevin Shapiro's threats in Miami's direction, Ohio State and athletic director Gene Smith, and even Dodd's favorite lyrics from the Denard Robinson Valentine's Day song that's taken the Internet by storm. And more.

To listen, click below, pop the podcast player out in a new window, or download the mp3. And remember that all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store. Enjoy: 

 
Posted on: December 20, 2011 4:23 pm
 

Meyer, Smith release statements on NCAA sanctions

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Statement from Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith:

“We are surprised and disappointed with the NCAA’s decision,” said Gene Smith, Ohio State’s Athletics Director and Associate Vice President. “However, we have decided not to appeal the decision because we need to move forward as an institution. We recognize that this is a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics. Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground, and Ohio State embraces its leadership responsibilities and affirms its long-standing commitment to excellence in education and integrity in all it does.

“My primary concern, as always, is for our students, and this decision punishes future students for the actions of others in the past,” said Smith. “Knowing our student-athletes, however, I have no doubt in their capacity to turn this into something positive – for themselves and for the institution. I am grateful to our entire Buckeye community for their continued support.”

“All of us at Ohio State are determined to ensure that our compliance programs and protocols are best in class,” said Smith. “We will assume a leadership role in representing our university and its values.

“It is important to remember that Ohio State has one of the nation’s largest self supporting athletics programs, with students succeeding both in competition and in the classroom,” said Smith. “We have more than 1,000 students who compete in 36 intercollegiate sports, and the overall grade-point average of our student-athletes is just over 3.0. During the last two years, the University has had more student-athletes named to the Academic All-Big Ten Team than any other school. Further, Ohio State finished second in last year’s Directors’ Cup, which recognizes the best athletics programs in the country.”

Statement from Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer:

“I agreed to become the Head Football Coach at The Ohio State University because Shelley and I are Ohio natives, I am a graduate of this wonderful institution and served in this program under a great coach. I understand the academic and athletic traditions here and will give great effort to continue those traditions.

“It is still my goal to hire excellent coaches, recruit great student-athletes who want to be a part of this program and to win on and off the field. The NCAA penalties will serve as a reminder that the college experience does not include the behavior that led to these penalties. I expect all of us to work hard to teach and develop young student-athletes to grow responsibly and to become productive citizens in their communities upon graduation.” 

Posted on: December 20, 2011 2:14 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 6:11 pm
 

NCAA gives Ohio St. bowl ban, Tressel show-cause



Posted by Adam Jacobi

Urban Meyer may have high hopes for his first season at Ohio State in 2012, but his team's first appearance in the postseason is going to have to wait until 2013 at the earliest. Ohio State has been given a one-year postseason ban, effective next year, by the NCAA. The NCAA also found Ohio State's offer of giving up five scholarships over three years inadequate, and will require that the Buckeyes give up a total of nine scholarships over that period instead.

The sanctions stem from a litany of NCAA violations committed by various Buckeyes and ousted head coach Jim Tressel. Terrelle Pryor was one of the worst offenders, repeatedly receiving impermissible benefits and allegedly participating in a system where he traded signed memorabilia for free tattoos, and DeVier Posey was suspended for a total of 10 games in 2011 for multiple instances of receiving impermissible benefits.

More on Ohio State
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Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith had said previously that he didn't anticipate a bowl ban for Ohio State, and Meyer told reporters after being hired that he had received "extremely positive feedback" about OSU's prospects before the NCAA.

Tressel was also given a five-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA. The "show-cause" label means that the NCAA considers Tressel a serious offender, and any NCAA school interested in employing Tressel must show why it does not deserve sanctions for doing so. The five-year sanction effectively ends Tressel's coaching career in the collegiate ranks.

Tressel's decision not to inform the NCAA of the violations once he learned of them played heavily into the decision to hit him with such a heavy penalty.

"Of great concern to the committee was the fact that the former head coach became aware of these violations and decided not to report the violations to institutional officials, the Big Ten Conference or the NCAA," the NCAA said in its report.

Tressel is now a game-day consultant for the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL.

Smith said in a statement that Ohio State would not contest the NCAA's ruling.

“We are surprised and disappointed with the NCAA’s decision,” said Smith. “However, we have decided not to appeal the decision because we need to move forward as an institution. We recognize that this is a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics. Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground, and Ohio State embraces its leadership responsibilities and affirms its long-standing commitment to excellence in education and integrity in all it does.

“My primary concern, as always, is for our students, and this decision punishes future students for the actions of others in the past,” said Smith. “Knowing our student-athletes, however, I have no doubt in their capacity to turn this into something positive – for themselves and for the institution. I am grateful to our entire Buckeye community for their continued support.”

Urban Meyer also released a statement that was even more forward-looking than Smith's.

“I agreed to become the Head Football Coach at The Ohio State University because Shelley and I are Ohio natives, I am a graduate of this wonderful institution and served in this program under a great coach. I understand the academic and athletic traditions here and will give great effort to continue those traditions.

“It is still my goal to hire excellent coaches, recruit great student-athletes who want to be a part of this program and to win on and off the field. The NCAA penalties will serve as a reminder that the college experience does not include the behavior that led to these penalties. I expect all of us to work hard to teach and develop young student-athletes to grow responsibly and to become productive citizens in their communities upon graduation.” 

Posted on: November 9, 2011 3:44 pm
 

National Football Foundation vacates AD award

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The John L. Toner Award, an annual honor given to athletic directors by the National Football Foundation, will not be awarded this year. The NFF announced in June that Penn State athletic director Tim Curley was going to accept the award; now that Curley is currently awaiting charges of perjury and failure to report child abuse, the NFF's announcement has been taken offline.

Here is the full statement issued by the NFF on Wednesday:

The National Football Foundation Executive Committee and the NFF Awards Committee announced today that the John L. Toner Award will not be presented at this year's NFF Annual Awards Dinner, and it will be vacated in 2011. 

Previous winners of the award include Texas' DeLoss Dodds, Ohio State's Gene Smith, and Georgia's Vince Dooley.

Posted on: October 7, 2011 8:02 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 8:03 pm
 

More suspensions for the Buckeyes

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The NCAA announced on Friday that four Ohio State football players were to be suspended for accepting improper benefits from boosters. The players are DeVier Posey, Dan Herron, Marcus Hall and Daniel Fellow.

"Ohio State University football student-athlete Devier Posey must sit five games and repay benefits after receiving approximately $720 from a booster for work not performed, according to a decision today by the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff," said the statement on the NCAA website. "Posey also accepted approximately $100 in golf fees from another individual, which is a preferential treatment violation.

"Three additional Ohio State football student-athletes – Marcus Hall, Melvin Fellows and Daniel Herron – will miss one game and must repay benefits after receiving pay for work not performed from the booster. Herron and Fellows both accepted approximately $290 in excess pay while Hall received $230 in overpayment. In its decision, the staff noted the overpayment occurred over an extended period of time."

As you'll likely recall, both Posey and Herron were already serving suspensions due to benefits they already received, including free tattoos, that caused Ohio State to vacate its entire 2010 season. These new suspensions will be added on to those old suspensions, so for DeVier Posey, that means he'll be forced to sit out 10 of Ohio State's 12 regular season games this year.

"This penalty is harsh considering the nature of the violation and the five game suspension already served by this student athlete," said Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith regarding Posey's latest suspension.

He's right, too, the penalty is harsh, but that's what happens when you're a repeat offender: the punishment gets worse. You'd think the poster child for compliance would know that.
Posted on: July 26, 2011 7:26 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 7:26 pm
 

Pryor ineligible, gets 5-year campus ban from OSU

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Any lingering uncertainty there may have been to Terrelle Pryor's status with Ohio State -- and there was some, as far as the NFL was concerned -- has been put to rest, as Ohio State has dropped the hammer on its former quarterback.

Here's the latest news on Pryor from the Ohio State RapidReports feed:

The QB's attorney, Larry James, received a letter from AD Gene Smith on Tuesday stating Pryor would have been ineligible for the 2011 season and that he’s barred from having any contact with the program for five years.

This is good news for Pryor (seriously!). As of yesterday, Pryor still technically had eligibility remaining with Ohio State, and his situation didn't fit the NFL's definition of the "extenuating circumstances" that would allow a player to be taken in the supplemental draft. That, clearly, has changed now.

Of course, the down side is the punishment itself; Pryor is now a pariah of sorts, and being disallowed from contact with his old program for five years pretty much stinks for him. At the same time, there's still a lingering, often nasty resentment among Buckeye fans of Pryor for his role in Jim Tressel's departure, so Pryor might feel more welcome somewhere else for the next few years anyway.

 

Posted on: July 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:05 pm
 

Report: Tressel let OSU know of problems in Dec.

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you thought that you were done reading about Jim Tressel, tattoos, Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State, well, then you're incredibly naive. This is a story that won't be going away anytime soon.

The lastest in the ongoing saga at Ohio State involves when Jim Tressel let the school know about any possible issues involving his players and their love of getting tattoos in exchange for Ohio State memorabilia.

According to Ohio State, the school did not become aware of any problem until January while it was investigating an "unrelated legal matter." Well, according to a report from Ohio television station WBNS, that's not the case. The report says that Tressel told NCAA investigators he told Ohio State officials about a tip he received on the issue a month earlier in December.
Multiple sources told 10 Investigates' Paul Aker that Tressel claimed he verbally disclosed the tip he received about his players' involvement with tattoo shop owner Ed Rife around Dec. 16 to compliance director Doug Archie, Julie Vannatta, Ohio State's senior assistant general counsel, and perhaps others.

10 Investigates asked Vannatta about the claim. She said that she is aware Tressel made such a statement, but that it is not true.
What does this mean for Ohio State and the current NCAA investigation? Honestly, I'm not sure it means much. Obviously, if Tressel is telling the truth, then it's pretty clear that Ohio State has been lying to the NCAA, which wouldn't be good for the school, Gene Smith, Doug Archie or Julie Vannatta. Still, even if Tressel is telling the truth -- and I don't see why he'd have any reason to lie about it at this point -- the NCAA would still have to prove that Ohio State had been lying to them the entire time, and without concrete evidence -- like an email -- it's just a case of "he said, they said."

It could just be possible that Tressel is getting his dates mixed up. I mean, it's been reported he first found out about all of this in April of 2010, and when you sit on information for as long as he did, it's easy to forget whether you were hiding information for eight or nine months. I mean, it's not like Tressel would be the first person to get his dates and concept of time altered during this mess.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com