Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Buckeyes playing Prevent Defense

Who will be the next to go, Brutus the Buckeye?
Those crafty spin doctors at Ohio State were at it again Tuesday, announcing through Terrelle Pryor’s lawyer, not through the school Pryor helped to win three Big Ten championships, that the quarterback is leaving the Buckeyes.
So now Ohio State can distance itself from the stain of Pryor’s role in the infamous trinkets-for-tattoos scandal that cost coach Jim Tressel his job.
Despite a denial by university president Gordon Gee, who said Tressel’s May “resignation” was not related to the expected announcement this summer of NCAA sanctions against the Buckeyes, the school’s action smacks of exactly that.
Ohio State can say to the NCAA hammer wielders, “Nothing to see here. We’ve gotten rid of the coach on whose watch this happened. You can go easy on our cash cow of a program.”
And now Pryor, who was threatening to replace Lloyd Carr as the most hated man in Columbus, is out in another development that looks like an end-around by the Big Ten’s most dominant program of the last decade.
Will it work?
Who knows.
It depends on how much influence Ohio State musters with the NCAA; how deep and how long the shenanigans went; whether what the public knows now is all there is to know, and several other factors.
The announcement of Tressel’s departure was made on Memorial Day, when the news cycle doesn’t turn as vigorously as it does on traditional working days.
No way.
Tressel isn’t dumb.
Neither are the Ohio State administrators, although every time Gee (I just hope the coach doesn’t fire me) opens his mouth these days that assertion loses merit.
The Buckeyes are in the Prevent Defense, backpedaling toward the goal line, hoping nothing gets past them.
But they’ve still got a lot of clock to kill.


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