Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SPRING PRACTICE BEGINS THURSDAY

COLUMBUS — Ohio State spring football practice begins Thursday, April 1, and The Buckeye Times will provide complete coverage from all of the available sessions leading up to the annual Scarlet and Gray game on Saturday, April 24, at Ohio Stadium.

According to OSU sports information director Shelly Poe, those players and coaches who will be made available to the media following the first practice on Thursday, will be defensive coordinator Jim Heacock, defensive linemen Cameron Heyward and Dexter Larimore, as well as head coach Jim Tressel.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

MORE URBAN DRAMA ...

And the Academy Award for best drama in a college football practice goes to ... Urban Meyer, head coach of the Florida Gators.


Wow! This is Meyer's second award of the night. He also won earlier for directing a documentary about Tim Tebow called, Who cares about your development, boy ... just win me some championships.


But back to his award for "Best Drama in a college football practice."


On Wednesday — following a spring workout session in Gainesville, Florida — Meyer confronted a sports reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, Jeremy Fowler, who printed a quote from one of his current players that the coach took great exception to.


Florida junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson on Monday was asked what some differences were between former Gators quarterback, Tim Tebow, and new signal caller, John Brantley.


"You never know with Tim," Thompson said to Fowler and other reporters who were on hand. "You can bolt, you think he's running but he'll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything's with rhythm, time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback."


Now personally, I didn't see anything wrong with Thompson's comment. I think what he was saying is that Tebow isn't you're prototype quarterback. Kind of like how LeBron James isn't your prototype small forward. They have an uncanny ability to always keeps you on your toes, because you're never sure what is going to come next.


Doing what the Sentinel pays him to do, Fowler printed Thompson's quote in Monday night's story.


Meyer, doing what he's not paid to do, approached Fowler after practice and gave the reporter a piece of his mind, even threatening him with violence.


Here's the actual script from Meyer's award winning performance ...

MEYER: You'll be out of practice — you understand that? — if you do that again. I told you five years ago don't mess with our players. Don't do it. You did it. You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel's not welcome here ever again. Is that clear? It's yes or no. (Speaking loudly and pointing his finger in Fowler's face, before walking away slowly)


FOWLER: Urban, come on. Don't make any threats. That's fine. I'll play by the rules. But all I was doing is quoting the guy. I don't think I was the only one.


MEYER: (Turning back toward Fowler) You're a bad guy, man. You're a bad guy. Maybe when you get a chance, call his family. The kid has never gotten in trouble. He's a great student, a great kid. If that was my son, we'd be going at it right now. (Walking away and then turning back and pointing) Be careful.


What an unbelievable and scintillating performance! Probably the best I've witnessed since Sean Penn's scene at the end of "At Close Range" when he confronts his criminal father, which was played by Christopher Walken — both of whom are Academy Award winners, as well.


Meyer is becoming well known for his great dramatic roles.


Just this past December, Meyer announced his resignation just days prior to his team's Sugar Bowl showdown with Cincinnati, citing health issues and his wish to spend more time with family.


However, less than 24 hours after his announcement, Meyer decided that he would coach in the Sugar Bowl and then take an "indefinite leave of absence."


Nearly three months later, we're still awaiting his leave of absence.


Did his doctor give him a magical pill to cure all of his ills? Did he and his family decide that instead of staying home, they will "spend more time" with each other on the recruiting trail, in the film room and on the practice field?


Who really knows? You can never truly understand a great artist at work.


But fortunately, I have come to understand two incontrovertible facts from this entire Meyer fiasco ...


The first fact is, the Gators coach is all about drama — he's an Academy Award winner after all.


And secondly, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel is extremely, extremely boring.


Boy, I hope Coach Tressel doesn't threaten me with violence after reading that last quote!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TRESSEL TO REMAIN COACH FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER FIVE SEASONS

COLUMBUS — The University of Michigan football team was dealt some more devastating news on Tuesday, as Ohio State director of athletics, Gene Smith, extended the contract of head coach Jim Tressel, through the end of the 2014 season.

The Buckeyes mentor, who has led Ohio State to a national championship (2002), seven BCS bowl games and an 8-1 record against arch-rival Michigan, said that he feels blessed to remain a part of such a great university for at least the next five seasons.

"We are fortunate to have a wonderful university administration, athletics administration, coaching staff and players," Tressel said. "To be able to continue building the Ohio State tradition alongside these people, along with our band, cheerleaders, fans and university community, is an honor."

Smith stated that Tressel's dedication to the university is the reason they decided to extend the coach's contract.

"We wanted to reward Jim for his exemplary work with our football program and lock him in as our coach for an additional two years," Smith said. "Jim has never once come to me about compensation. Jim has indicated to me he is satisfied with his salary.

"He is aware of the financial situation we all face in athletics and I am thankful for his service and loyalty to the goals of the department."

The contract extension is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees in May.

The Buckeyes begin spring practice on April 1.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

LAS VEGAS ODDS: ALABAMA-OHIO STATE IN 2011 BCS TITLE GAME

According to Las Vegas, the Ohio State Buckeyes will meet Alabama in the 2011 BCS Championship Game in Glendale, Arizona.

The odds, which were recently released by the Las Vegas sportsbooks, listed the Crimson Tide as the favorites to repeat as national champions at 3/1. The Buckeyes were just behind Alabama at 13/2.

Oregon and Southern California are third at 12/1 odds, while Boise State, Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska follow at 15/1.

Big Ten rivals Iowa and Penn State are listed as 20/1 to win the BCS championship.

Since the Bowl Championship Series was put into place in 1998, Ohio State has had more BCS bowl appearances than any other school with eight.

Monday, March 1, 2010

PRYOR'S KNEE WORSE OFF THAN ORIGINALLY THOUGHT

Photo of Terrelle Pryor by Darla Dunkle-Hudnell

COLUMBUS — After nearly a month following surgery on his injured left knee, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor has yet to return to the team for offseason workouts.

Sunday in Columbus at an OSU charity function, Pryor explained that there was more to the injury than previously thought.

"We just thought I'd strengthen it," Pryor said. "But when Dr. (Chris) Kaeding went into it, there were a lot of things wrong with it."

The Buckeye star stated that it is extremely difficult not being able to workout with his teammates. The Buckeyes are expected to begin the season in the top five.

"I haven't seen any of (my teammates) work out since I had surgery," Pryor said. "It's just bad because you lose out on getting the leadership in. You have surgery and you're out for four or five weeks. That's the only thing I miss right now."

Pryor said that he even lost a few pounds from his 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame.

"I laid at home for about five days (after surgery) and then I went in and started to do upper body," Pryor said. "My upper body got real weak because I was sitting at home taking pain pills and I lost a lot of weight because I wasn't really eating.

"So, I'm going to start getting back with the team workouts."

Even though Pryor hasn't been able to be with his team, it still hasn't stopped him from preparing mentally for the Buckeyes upcoming season.

"What I'm going to emphasize this year as a quarterback and a leader on the offense — and the defense also — is I'm going to emphasize one game at a time," Pryor said. "So when that game is here we're going to treat it like it's our last game of the season.

"We are going to act like each game is the hardest game we're going to play and if we take that approach and study film better, we'll be better."

Pryor — who said that he will be ready for spring practice on April 1 — and the Buckeyes open the regular season on Thursday, September 2 against Marshall at Ohio Stadium.