Tag Archives: Media

To coachspeak, or not to coachspeak….

Holly Anderson asks an important question in light of a world where we alternate between complaining about our sporting folks being boring except when they’re being controversially honest:

If given the chance to play puppet master for your team’s press conference, what would you really want to hear from the men taking the mic? Do you even know?

Charlie Strong and Accepting the Unreality of 110 Percent «.

Nothing Else Matters or The Day That Never Comes?

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I’m stuck between two Metallica songs in my search for a title for this post.

I guess I’m supposed to have a reaction to Ohio State’s response to the NCAA, but I’m kind of burned out on the topic.

I mean, don’t get me wrong: This is news. There are plenty of interesting tidbits in the documents the school released Friday (find them here), but for anyone who has been following along from the beginning, there wasn’t all that much real, substantive news.

So what is the lesson, if there is one?

I think it’s that sometimes what they don’t say matters as much as what they do.

In this case, I’m referring to the fact that the NCAA still has not alleged Ohio State failed to monitor the situation properly or that it exhibited lack of institutional control. I am under the impression the organization could still do that if it sees fit, but there is no concrete reason to expect that at this point.

Many people got all bent out of shape over what they perceive as a light punishment self-imposed by the Buckeye brass, but most of them have already shown themselves to be a little too itchy on that trigger finger.

They’re also missing an important distinction between what has been reported and what the NCAA actually has shown any real concern about, at least enough to express it in writing. As long as that continues to be the case, I suppose we will still have to deal with the howls and those people will have to learn to get over their disappointment.

Ohio State looked a lot better on paper yesterday than it has looked in the press for quite some time, and that is an incredibly meaningful thing.

However, the time for exhaling has not arrived in Ohio quite yet.

The conclusion of Ohio State’s response could be taken as ominous even though it might turn out to be innocuous.

It reads, “Information was reported to the University and the enforcement staff subsequent to the Notice of Allegations that still is being reviewed. This review continues and the University will report any additional violations if necessary in the future.”

This means Ohio State is not quite out of the woods. While obviously vague (and possibly procedural), the reference to further reviews likely has to do with reports former quarterback Terrelle Pryor had multiple dealings with a Columbus photographer who allegedly paid him for autographs he could later sell.

But much like when Maurice Clarett faced charges of accepting extra benefits (not to mention misleading NCAA investigators), this figures to be tough for the NCAA to prove because Pryor left town with indications he won’t be back, at least not to see them, and the photographer is likely in no hurry to talk to them, either.

There has been one unsubstantiated report that a paper trail exists between Pryor and the photographer, but it stands to reason the persons who made that report would have produced proof by now. And if the NCAA actually had such evidence last month, Ohio State likely would have included a response to that charge with the rest on Friday.

What is certain is that nothing is assured until the case is finally heard, and someone is going to be disappointed in the outcome. Whether it is Ohio State and its fans or the sanction hawks throughout the national media and fan bases, only time will tell.

You May Say I’m A Dreamer, But I’m Not The Only One

No, I’m not above using a line from John Lennon to get your attention. Sue me.

Anyway, while I am not surprised to see many people taking their shots at the NCAA and writing the typically lazy columns about how awful it is, I am happy to say I discovered a few people who share my position that blowing up the current system is far from what needs to happen to improve anyone’s lives.

Writes John Gasaway at Basketball Prospectus:

It’s a tribute to the NCAA’s peculiar genius for mugging common sense with bylaws that grown people have to invest effort in saying things like: family members of players in the Final Four should be able to receive a little help if they need it to attend the games. This goes without saying. But it’s a long way from here to cries of exploitation and indentured servitude. Mike DeCourcy and Seth Davis have it precisely right. If at some point in the mid-2020s one or both of my two no-longer-little boys are fortunate enough to receive a full ride at a university because they can propel some kind of ball through some kind of goal, I will be the weird old guy you see turning cartwheels down the street and wearing the t-shirt that says “PLEASE EXPLOIT MY KIDS.”

The NCAA is many things, among them a bureaucracy, investigative agency, and most importantly a place where people who went to law school can earn a living without having to work for a law firm. Most of all, though, the NCAA is a wealth-transfer mechanism. The next time you see “the NCAA receives an average of $771 million annually from its TV deal,” add the words, “and redistributes about $730 million of that.” I don’t suppose that’s particularly noble or noteworthy — hundreds of not-for-profits do the same exact thing every day. But apparently it does need to be restated. Some of the largest consumer products companies in the U.S. send a few billion dollars the NCAA’s way each decade, and that money ends up funding bachelor’s degrees at campuses all over the country. If that is where you choose to invest your indignation, have at it. If that is your scandal, I wish you well. It is not mine.

and then today Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post followed with her own reasonable view of things:

Let’s kill the athletic scholarship! A college campus is no place for ballplayers training for professional careers. You know what else is a scandal? How many culinary students end up cashing in as chefs! And don’t get me started on those med school k ids whose only goals are to become doctors.

and

God forbid that commercial interests should sully campuses — unless of course it means major corporations funding supposedly independent academic research. Or scholars sitting on corporate advisory boards and loading up with stock. Especially if it’s Goldman Sachs, and you’re the president of Brown.

and

… our universities are highly commercialized places, touched by many forms of corruption, and they are used as farm systems all the time, by all kinds of professions. Why are we blaming athletes unduly for this?

The answer, presumably, is that it’s easy for lazy people to do without applying a solitary critical thought.

As an added bonus, few subjects better allow writers to take the populist path so directly to a supposed moral high ground.