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Silver Bullet Points Kicks Back

If you drink, drink responsibly

Given that Ohio State is facing undefeated “Bye” this Saturday, Coach Tressel’s Tuesday press conference and cavalcade didn’t happen- we hope to have some comments and such on Thursday.

So after a few pieces of Buckeye-centric information, we’ll take most of today’s SBP to look at some of the under-reported stories in college sports, particularly those with financial implications.

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Report- Nothing to report here, just sending happy thoughts and karma to Columbus. Homan and Bell expected back for Penn State… all hail the Sports Medicine staff!
  • Tress Talk- From the Big Ten media chat, The Vest commented that this week TP will work on “Mak(ing) sure we do a great job of spending time on our own fundamentals”.
  • Hardware- Chimdi Chekwa is one of 10 semi-finalists for the Thorpe award, and leads the conference with three interceptions.
  • Rod’s Komedy Klassic- The Senator yields the microphone to the coach with the flaming pants for this candidate for “understatement of the year”.

“We’ve played some pretty good teams who have played well and we haven’t played well.”

  • Good Tweet- Keith “Predator” Wells says that he will be back with the Buckeyes at the end of the year.
  • Award Winners- For Minnesota: OPOTW-‘Boom’ Herron, DPOTW- Brian Rolle, LB, Attack Force-Nathan Williams, Lineman Award- Justin Boren, Special Teams- Jonathan Newsome, Tatum Award- Storm Klein, Scout Team- Verlon Reed; Stewart Smith; Dionte Allen

And now, well, you know.

There are often stories about scandals in college sports, but one of the biggest that seems to go under the radar (because media entities are part of the problem?) is the impact that financial considerations are having on the game. We’ve talked about this before- it’s the reason we have the BcS mess (in spite of the fact that it kills smaller schools), it was the motivation for all the realignment talk this summer, and was at the heart of “agent gate” earlier in the year.

So, here are some “bullet points” for those of you interested in keeping up with this topic.

Never a good idea

University Athletic Spending

Decisions at the University of California

Matters at the University of Oregon

Other news of note

  • Fiesta Bowl being investigated for inappropriate fund management. In particular, “tax free” revenues were used to support the campaigns of candidates who were “friendly” to the bowl and the current BCS configuration.
  • A new book about Rick Neuheisel’s time at the University of Washington puts the programs struggles off the field as a result of the “win at all costs” attitude the coach established.

And finally

As we look toward the end of the season this year, it’s important to remember that Ohio State’s bowl opportunities may be based more on their ability to produce revenue for a tourist destination than the creation of a “great matchup”. Sadder still will be those institutions for whom a balanced budget is never an option- whose student bodies will subsidize “their” teams and might not see any of the benefits.

I’m obviously a believer in college athletics, and only wish I was smart enough to figure this thing out. What I do know, though, is that it would be a mistake for us to only focus on the great things that happen “in the classroom, in the community“, on the field without remembering the larger issue that supports and drives much of their endeavors.

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Questions & Answers (2)
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  1. Question

    Good to see that Keith Wells has good intentions. The various articles on athletic spending are pretty appalling. Not the articles, the spending.

    1. Answer

      I wouldn’t say appalling, personally; only concerning.

      Ohio State is lucky to be one of the only institutions in the country to “break even” athletically- there are probably 90 or so D1A schools, all of D1AA (111 that play football), all of D2 (281 institutions), all of D3 (450 institutions), and all of the NAIA (291 institutions) where this isn’t the case.

      As sports fans, it’s just something to keep in mind- that the “bottom line” may not be wins and losses but something else altogether. And, the larger question- What place does this have in the world of higher education?


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