Good morning, Buckeye Nation, and welcome to your Friday Victory Bell. Hopefully you have hugely exciting weekend plans to look forward to once this stupid fantastic day ends. I’m spending my next two days planning five trips over the next six weeks that will land me everywhere from San Diego to eastern Washington to Hawkeye Country to (gasp!) Columbus, Ohio. Twice. Do you know how much blogging you can get done from half a dozen different hotel rooms? Me either, but we’re about to find out.
Andrew and Chris took turns this week defending one Mr. Urban F. Meyer against all things evil in the world – which I believe now mostly resides in America’s wang, also known as the state of Florida– and for good reason. He’s doing things right – and well – and the rest of the country is having a tough time swallowing that.
A large portion of the nation hated The Ohio State University before Urban got here. They spent a year and half laughing at the program and fan base between fits of rage over who gets away with what and why. They finally got their way – “Down goes Ohio State.” Enter one of the best college football coaches in America, a major upgrade in staff personnel, a highly ranked inaugural recruiting class and what do you have? Yep, more hate. Meh. So be it. I’m not sure anyone in Scarlet and Gray would have it any other way at this point. Embrace the Hate.
Alright, time to talk two red bottoms, one dumb school up north, fifty-five Buckeyes aiming for London, a former Buckeye looking to get back on the high road and one……….King.
Tarred and Feathered
Two and a half weeks ago, Urban Meyer suspended senior tight end Jake Stoneburner and junior offensive tackle Jack Mewhort after a June 2nd incident that landed them both in the clink for the night. Both, along with a third musketeer not associated with the Ohio State football team, were caught urinating on the side of a building and then ran from law enforcement officers before quickly being caught and charged with obstructing official business (seems like the men in uniform were the ones obstructing official business, no?).
Both ‘Burner and Mewhort lost their scholarships for the summer term and now have a laundry list of stipulations to meet between now and opening weekend versus Miami (OH) before they’ll be fully reinstated to the team and put back on scholarship.
On Wednesday the Dispatch’s Tim May made a quick post after having spoke with Meyer about his efforts to make the suspensions and penalties public. “But I thought whenever you embarrass the team in public like they did, then I’m going to let the public know what we did,” said Meyer.
The action of making it public information actually serves two purposes for Meyer and the program. One, as he stated, it was an eye-for-an-eye type of punishment. He put his team on notice that if you embarrass the university, your teammates and coaching staff, you can expect the same treatment in return. That’s accountability in it’s greatest from for someone in their 20’s, as the public embarrassment is likely more painful than the night they actually spent in jail.
Secondly, it puts the public on notice that Meyer isn’t fooling around with the off-field issues of his team. Make a mistake? You’ll be punished accordingly. Embarrass the university? Expect the same in return.
Chris discussed the idiocy of the Orlando Sentinal’s Mike Bianchi yesterday, and while I couldn’t agree more with Chris, stomping on clowns like those by carrying a big stick is probably in Meyer’s best interest. Coming off the heels of the biggest controversy in Ohio State history requires less than kid gloves when doling out punishment. Well played, Urbs.
My kid is smarter than your kid
On Wednesday it was announced that the Ohio State football team posted the 4th highest Academic Progress Rate (APR) among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in the country with a score of 988, falling only behind Northwestern (995, duh) as well as BoiseState and Duke who tied with scores of 989.
The APR scoring system accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and stands as the best current measure to track a team’s success with academic performance over a four-year period.
The most interesting appearance on the list (ok, it’s not interesting at all, but fun to point out) was Michigan landing a score of 943, good for ninth of the twelve B1G football programs. The official university website states that, “Michigan attracts top students from around the globe.” I would like to officially propose to the University of Michigan that they add, “….except for our football program,” to that mantra and replace the .edu off their official URL and replace it with .derp until Brady Hoke gets his house in order. I see you working, Harvard of the West.
In the meantime, congratulations Bucks.
Two former athletes of The Ohio State University could be punching their tickets to the 2012 London Summer Olympics this weekend when divers Bianca Alvarez and Katie Bell compete in the finals of the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials inWashington. Alvarez is currently fourth in the women’s 3-meter springboard and will look to earn her way to London in Saturday afternoon’s finals, while Alvarez sits second in the women’s 10-meter platform and have her shot on Sunday afternoon. The top two in each event will advance.
So far I’ve counted Alvarez and Bell- plus seven current and two former track and field Buckeyes competing near my neighborhood out here in Eugene, Oregon for a shot at London, one Buckeye wrestler (San Jose, CA) as well as fifteen female and twenty-eight male swimmers (Omaha, NE). Unless I’m missing a few, that’s a total of 55 current and former Buckeyes looking to earn their way into this summer’s 2012 Olympics.
Throw in Holley Mangold, sister of ex-Ohio State and current New York Jets center Nick Mangold, as an honorary Buckeye and we’re at 56 – as Holley has already earned her spot in London as a competitive weightlifter (go ahead, you try telling her she can’t be named an honorary).
*Know of another current or former Buckeye competing for a trip to London? Drop it in the comments below. We’re in the process of compiling a list and don’t want anyone left out!
Former Ohio State and NFL defensive lineman Alonzo Spellman was released from prison earlier this week in Tulsa, OK after pleading no contest to a handful of charges stemming from a 2008 incident that included felony charges of eluding a police officer and assault with a dangerous weapon. Spellman takes medications for a mental health issue and, according to his attorney, was not taking them at the time of the incident. We here at The Empire wish Alonzo nothing but the best health and good fortune going forward. Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye.
Final Final Thought
For the four of you who are still recovering from your all-night NBAFinalsMVPHolyCrapHeWasAwesomeICantBreathLeBronathon, I’m with you. For the other 6.8 billion within the human population, there’s always next year. “It’s about damn time.”
Not five, not six, not seven……..