They’re All Coming Back!

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting today that Ohio State won’t lose any juniors to the NFL draft. All five of the players facing NCAA violations have kept to their word and will be returning for the 2011 season.

Micheal Brewster who is not facing violations will also return at center. An earlier article in the Dispatch reported that Brewster saw the need for leadership and felt that he could provide that leadership during the 2011 season.

Leadership may be a serious issue as the Buckeyes start the first five games without their top seniors. Even if the suspensions are reduced, and it’s looking like that may be difficult, there will be an interesting chemistry as the early season starters give up their positions to the seniors returning from suspension.

Something tells me though that Coach Tressel will be able to manage this also. The fact that all five suspended players stuck to their word and will all return to play one more year (and get their degrees) says volumes about Tressel’s leadership.

The five suspended players are only suspended from games, not practice so all will be on hand throughout the early part of the season. We’ve got a great quarterback coming on board in Braxton Miller. It will be interesting to see how Tressel works with two top level qbs in the program. Miller will get some valuable early season reps pay off both next season and also if he’s called upon due to a Pryor injury.

This year’s Illinois game may have looked a little different if Pryor had a backup like Miller waiting in the wings.

The penalty will hurt the Buckeyes in the preseason rankings but I think they have a great shot at the BCS Championship game.

Update; ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg Admits He Was Wrong
Although I can’t say the same about the rest of the ESPN staff, Adam Rittenberg (who blogs about the Big Ten) has stepped up saying that his early comments regarding the suspensions were wrong. According to Rittenberg:

There are times when those of us in the media need to admit we’re wrong, and this is one of those times.

…I can’t control what my media colleagues do, but I’ll fully admit I underestimated Tressel and his influence on his players. If these guys didn’t care about disappointing their coach, at least one if not more would be entering the draft. Pryor and the others didn’t want to let down The Vest, and that’s very significant.

I don’t know how many other coaches could do what Tressel did in this situation, especially when some of the players have opportunities to get paid at the next level.

He’s right. It is significant. It’s just as significant to hear him make this admission and I respect him for it. Something tells me Mark May won’t be jumping in to join him any time soon.


  1. Dave Smith says

    Finally! And for all of the folks that were so sure that the 5 kids were going to hit the road and get off scot free… I say PISS OFF! The boys are doing what they said they’d do and coming back to face the music.
    Yes, what they did was dumb, but in my book, once they have served their suspensions, I wholeheartedly welcome them back.

  2. Gulfportcarl says

    I agree with Dave, about the crtics saying they would not come back. I also agee that they can PISS OFF! I think the NCAA will reduce the suspentions to three games.
    It shows character for the five to come back instead of jumping to the NFL. This whole ordeal shows that the Vest has his players best intrest at heart. That his program is above reproach.
    We lose Chekwa, but his injury in the Sugar Bowl was good for the freshman DB’s to get some real game experience. I hope we have someone to replace Cameron Hayward he was a real force this year as Arkansas found out. I believe Tressel said he has 29 seniors leaving, hopefully he has the talent to plug in so they won’t miss a beat.
    This situation makes me proud to be a Buckeye.

  3. says

    I can’t agree more. How many programs could go through something like this and come out better for it. You know that this is going to pull these guys together as a team. Tressel is a class act.

    I’m hearing word of an entire back story on Herbstreet’s involvement in the whole affair. I don’t have the full story but as I understand it, he’s not too welcome around Columbus these days. I know he broke the story with a comment at the end of the Boise State game. Word was that it had been coming for a long time but he let it out of the bag.

  4. Tony the Quacking Duck says

    Okay ….. @ Dave ….. I guess I can “PISS OFF” than.

    @ Carl, Your program isn’t “above reproach” …… or they wouldn’t have gotten into this trouble to begin with. Someone/people need to get fired for not doing their job and educating (following up) their players.

    @ Jim, tOSU did not come away from this better than they were before. Many of us still feel that the “TAT 5” crew should have been suspended for the Sugar Bowl. The fact that Tressel could use this against his players and force them to come back for a final year is another subject.

    @ Not Alan …. very cool ….. but, the guy needs a life. Kind of feel sorry for him.

  5. Gulfportcarl says

    Tony, In the words of the the almighty football Gods, Shit happens, and when your shit gets exposed it’s how your program and players involved handle the situation that counts.
    I also said they should sit out the Sugar Bowl, but was over rulled by the NCAA. Tressel wanted to make sure the players completed their punishment so the solution was simple. Come back next year and face the music or declare for the NFL and you will stay at home for the Sugar Bowl.
    In various intervues after the game TP appologized for his actions. I don’t know what more you can ask of the University and players.

  6. says

    Tressel didn’t “use this against his players” or “force” them to come back. The decision to make them sit out or return came from the seniors. Tressel met with the seniors asking for their input on what should be done. It was decided that keeping them out of the Sugar Bowl wasn’t fair to the seniors (and other teammates) who worked hard to get there. At the same time, they felt there had to be some repercussions and that it wouldn’t be fair for them to skip off to the pros without any consequences.

    I think it’s a great way to handle it. All five of them could have easily said goodbye even after making the vow to come back. None of them did and that says a lot. I said some time ago that Tressel was an educator first and I think this entire incident is an example of just that.

    Although I’m sure Tressel is glad to have them back, he’s got recruits ready to go waiting in the wings and could build a strong team without them. A number of Buckeye fans said this is a good opportunity to say goodbye to Pryor and welcome Miller who is looking like he’s going to be another great QB.

    So in the hands of the vest, this has been a team building experience and they will all come out of it stronger as a group.

  7. Dave Smith says

    I agree that the program will be better for it in the end.
    Much like the loss to Wisc this year, and to Purdue the year before made them a better team at the of the season, The Vest will indeed turn this into a teaching opportunity.
    He understands that what is best for the program is not always what the masses think it is. He could have bowed to public outcry and benched the kids, some of them would have left and the whole situation would have ended up worse then it did.

    Any Tony, if you don’t think that a handful of your precious ducks didn’t indulge in some very similar behavior this or any other year and just didn’t get caught…
    Then you, my friend, have been drinking a little too much fluorescent green kool aid.

    Not a defense.. just an honest truth..

  8. kilt1iron says

    Annapolis, Dave, Golfport —

    Tony has defeat issues.

    The only teams to beat his quackers, were tOSU and Auburn, and, well, we did a better job on them than Auburn …

    …. jus sayin’, bro ….

    • Tony the Quacking Duck says

      No Defeat issue ……. I am just bringing some outside sanity to the conversation. I see this whole “Tat 5” situation from a different point of view. While you folks are busy patting Tressel and the players on the back and congratulating yourselves because this somehow made tOSU a better football program ….. Most of the real world doesn’t see it that way. What we see is a group of kids that feel like the rules don’t apply to them and they are entitled to get whatever they want ….. we also see this same group of kids that have no respect or value for the tradition of tOSU. To see tOSU alumni turn on their backs on Herbstreet is sick. Herbstreet didn’t break any NCAA rules…..he obviously has love and respect for tOSU. He is one of “your guys” that represented tOSU in a way that could make you proud. He obviously didn’t like what was going on with the current group of kids and spoke up.

      I admit that tOSU did the best that they could with a bad situation. But, to say that this program is better for it …. or that this shows the great charactor from Tressel/Players/University …. is crazy. All this shows is that a bunch of goofballs got caught and now everyone is trying to save face. To make it worse … I don’t think Pryor has even accepted full responsibility for what he has done. He is still trying to veil his comments with excuses. See his press conference prior to the sugarbowl:

      “you know what you did, for a reason” …… seriously? So, I guess it is okay to rob a bank in his mind if your family doesn’t have any money. Number One …. nobody believes that he sold his stuff because mom needed the money. Taking full responsibilty does not include any excuses. Man up Pryor ….. quit acting like a entitled 12 year old little boy.

      I understand that everyone on this blog (quacks excluded) is looking at the situation from the inside out. One proof source “Adam Rittenberg ” doesn’t change how the rest of us still feel. Keep in mind …. Adam is biased because he is the ESPN beat writer for the BIG10. He needs to kiss up to tOSU in order to get his interviews …. and get paid. So, I would not put much stock into what he says on this situation. It is in his best interest to be friends with all of the Big10 schools. I only offer a humble view from the outside looking in.


  9. says

    How about a little perspective on your end also Tony. Your making it sound like their fathers tried to run a pay for play scheme or something. Your also taking Pryor’s comments out of context. Those comments were made after Herbstreet said that losing Pryor would be “addition by subtraction.” The Buckeyes aren’t turning their back on Herbstreet because of his comments on Pryor. They’re turning their back (if they are) because of the way he broke this story. If your going to break a story, do it like a journalist, not in an off hand remark during an unrelated event.

    If you were seeing a group of kids who felt the rules did not apply to them, you would see five kids heading off to the NFL in a couple of weeks. All of them realized what they did was wrong and are accepting the consequences. To say they are not is just wrong. These are kids placed in a very unusual situation (celebrity status). Kids will make mistakes but those who can grow and learn from their mistakes are the ones that become responsible adults. Agreeing to give up the $ that come with the NFL to sit out half says that they are willing to take responsibility for their actions.

    Of course, you left that part of Pryor’s quote out of your comments above. He’s not saying it’s alright to rob a bank. He’s saying that if you do, you take responsibility for your actions which is exactly what he did.

    As for looking at this from the inside out, yeah, I am. I had the opportunity to talk to Archie Griffin in New Orleans (not as a blogger/journalist but at a social function) and he talked about the kids coming over to his house. By coincidence I also happened to sit next to family members of one of the suspended players on my return flight home. None of this came easy for any of them. That’s how we grow up Tony. By learning from our mistakes and being better people for it.

    Pryor’s response to criticism by Herbstreet, not in regards to the suspensions (and Pryor to his visit to Griffin’s house), tell us nothing about his remorse for the situation. He’s expressed that on numerous occasions since.

  10. kilt1iron says

    Tony —

    Here’s some “perspective” for ya …

    Foie Gras was the call I made in the Rose Bowl, January 1, 2010.

    Quack, quack, quack.

    Next time, Sir Perspective, keep it short and sweet. All I can remember from the special day in Pasadena, was Jeremiah Mousse-silly and the smack he had to eat. And talk about “character of a young man” — he’s your “Clarett” if I do say so myself.

    Care to predict each other’s 2011 seasons?

    • Tony the Quacking Duck says

      kilt1iron ….. You make a great point, where is Jeremiah Mousse-silly now? Gone.
      We also gave our young man a second chance and the coach suspended him from the team for a year for his youthful mistakes. We did not need the NCAA to sanction our players …. we stepped to the plate and did it ourselves. He goofed up again after that and we let him go. To put it bluntly …. Mousee-silly is a thug and I am very happy that he is not representing our program. I guess you can say it was an addition by subtraction. The big differences that I see are: 1) Oregon takes care of our problems before the NCAA has to step in. 2) Our coach will give out a harsher punishment then the NCAA (see Blount, Masoli) 3) We don’t make excusses for our players. The way I see it …. you folks can’t help but try to minimize the issues. I have heard many times about how they should cut the punishment down to 3 games. And you fail to address (yes you Jim) one of the biggest issues of growing up …. and thats taking personal responsibity for your actions. I did not misinterpret his comments. He clearly said ….. “You know what you did for a reason, and you take your responsibility, but at the same time, guys are still nailing you and talking bad about you.” The key to this sentence is “you know what you did for a reason”. He is justifying what he did, “for a reason”. The best example I can use is …… Lets say your wife is in labor or your child is hurt and it is a life threatening situation and you need to get them to the Hospital immediately ….. I will probably break the law and drive as fast as I safely can go to get them there. IMO, this would be justified. Pryor is trying to tell us that he was equally justified in breaking the NCAA rules in the same way….. and takes responsibility for it. Yet, he can’t understand why people are “still nailing” him. Because, his infractions were justifiable. His comments do not take true responsibility for his actions. I would not accept an answer like that from my 18 year old son.

      On a side note ….. I hope that this is a learning experience for these young men and they are able to grow from this. I just don’t think it is healthy for you guys to be trying to convince each other that somehow this whole ordeal is something like a “feather in your cap”. Because thats just crazy talk. tOSU definately has a problem and they need to get to the root of it. Someone is not doing their job and shame on tOSU for not being ahead of the NCAA on this.

  11. Gulfportcarl says

    Tony, what works for some don’t work for others. I didn’t follow the Missoli incident and I don’t really care what he did or how the situation was handled. There’s a coach at Ole Miss that didn’t care what he did. What he did to get kicked of the team did not concern me so I could care less
    about the Duck’s problems. Oregon handled it their way and that’s fine with me.
    Ohio State and coach Tressel handled the tat-five their way and thats fine with me. You can bet the farm if Blount played for Tressel he would have been suspended for the entire season.
    The main thing is that the players learn from their mistakes.

  12. kilt1iron says

    Tony —

    I said brevity.

    Anyhow, you missed the CORRECT COMPARISON.
    Maurice and Jeremiah did BAD things, and were removed from the team.

    Blount 1ould compare to what one of our linebackers did to a quarterback after he tackled him to the ground(choke with hands).

    What WE DO NOT SEE from other top tier programs is the handling of minor infractions, when (if) found years later. Oregon and other Pac-10 schools have these little nuisance missteps by coddled brats who happen to have one talent, but when it is time for the program to do the “right thing” … Most do not.

    I bet you Foie Gras to Roasted Chestnuts tOSU has more “game suspensions” on record than does Oregon.

  13. says

    Tony, you’re just not getting it. Pryor knew what he did and he know why he did it (the reason). He also knew (or at least now he does) that it was wrong. Everything I’m hearing so far is that there will not be a reduction in the penalty although that has yet to be determined so these guys know full well that they could and probably will face a five game suspension.

    Go past that interview and look at Pryor’s comments after the team meetings, after the trip to Archie Griffin’s house up to the bowl game and even during the Sugar Bowl trophy presentation. This kid gets it. He may not have at first but he does now. (ie. learning experience)

    To say that Ohio State doesn’t take care of their problems before the NCAA steps in is absurd. Ohio State has one of the best records of policing themselves and reporting concerns directly to the NCAA.

    There are no excuses here nor a “feather in the cap.” However, I am impressed with the way this was handled. From the players to the coach to Archie Griffin giving them a tour of his trophy room to teach them what it is all about, there are not many schools if any that could even remotely handle this with the same class and character — even your precious Oregon Ducks.