Skull Session: Jim Tressel Talks NIL Rules, Ohio High School Coaches Discuss Buckeye Recruiting, and Gee Scott Loses His Mother


Word of the Day: Druthers.

 OH, YOU DON’T SAY? Jim Tressel is famously quite familiar with the NCAA’s old name, image and likeness rules, if you catch my drift.

And from what he told my good pal Marcus Hartman during an interview this week, it sure seems like he thinks those rules should have been overhauled long ago.

Although players are still not allowed to profit directly for athletic performance, they have numerous new avenues to make money without having to skirt any rules.

The new NIL rules were among topics Tressel, who has been the president of Youngstown State University since 2014, discussed in a side interview before speaking to the youngsters at the camp.

“I think it’s just a matter of time that it was going to happen that the wealth was going to to be spread,” Tressel said. “You know, hindsight is 20/20. I’m not sure as the interest and the revenue escalated in the last 30 years if we did as good a job as we could have perhaps to involve more people into the benefit of that. And all of a sudden, here they are. It’s gonna be an adjustment, and I think it was gonna come.”

I love Tressel. He basically found a way to say « lol, we this should have happened 30 years ago but cool » in the classiest and kindest way imagineable.

If I were in his shoes, the first thing I would have done when posed this question is demand the return of my wins from 2010, but I guess there’s a reason why he’s the university president and I’m the c-list blogger.

 BUCKEYES CROOTIN’ THE BUCKEYE STATE. If you ask any Buckeye coach they’ll tell you taht Ohio State absolutely cannot have longterm recruiting success without a strong relationship with the high school coaches in the state of Ohio. It’s that important.

The good news is, it seems the new regime is doing even better on that front than even Urban Meyer and co.

Have you noticed any difference in how Ohio State recruits the state under Ryan Day compared to how it did so under Urban Meyer?

Coach 1: Just a lot more personal. The great thing that Ryan does is, even if we don’t have a player of that magnitude that year, you would never know that. They’re still here, still talking. I’ve been getting phone calls from three different coaches down there recently, including him, and we don’t have a huge senior class. But they still call and check in, talk about younger kids. It’s constant communication. That’s the biggest difference. I’ve known Urban forever. If you have a good kid, he knows your name. If you didn’t, he didn’t know your name.

Coach 7: Maybe things were previously a little more closed off. This Ohio State staff is pretty open. When Ryan first got the job I got a call from a 614 number. I didn’t know who it was so I answered and it was Ryan Day. I thought that was a nice touch. They’re making more of an effort to sort of hold the Ohio kid in high importance while they recruit nationally. That’s what you have to do to win the national championship. I think their goal is to obviously get the best Ohio kids to match up with the five-star recruits around the country. There’s no doubt a bunch of Ohio kids are playing there. We haven’t sent one in a while, but their presence is certainly felt when there is a kid. I also think they’re doing a better job of being there even when you don’t have a guy they want.

Have you heard of Ohio State’s increasingly national approach rubbing prospects and coaches in the state the wrong way? How would you say that strategy is received?

Coach 1: You hear some high school coaches get upset, but it’s unrealistic, to be honest with you. A coach will have a great all-time year with his team and think that because they did, Ohio State should be in his building offering kids. That’s not realistic. The realistic coaches know that if OSU is gonna compete and beat the Alabamas of the world, they have to recruit Texas, California, New Jersey, South Florida. They have to get those kids. As long as they keep doing what they do right now under Ryan, which is still talk to the Ohio coaches and ask, “Who do you have? How can we help you?” — I think the majority of the high school coaches will just be happy with the fact that they’re in the building. Ryan’s staff does a really good job with that. It’s more like when Jim Tressel was there.

Coach 2: I can see why some coaches wouldn’t like it. They might have the best player in their school’s history, and that’s just how it works out. I know one of the OSU coaches told me that the kid from Medina (quarterback and Penn State commit Drew Allar) in any other year would be an Ohio State kid. But they got the best quarterback in the country (Quinn Ewers) from Texas, so they can’t take them both.

I’ve always been firmly in the camp that believes the Buckeyes should recruit and sign the best players in the country regardless of hometown affiliation. I care much more about the percentage of five-stars in the class than I do the percentage of in-state players.

But at the same time, when you can regularly snag five top-100 prospects without leaving your state, I’ll concede that it might be worth some extra effort.

 COOL RANCH CLEMONS. Turns out, the coolest Buckeye endorsement deal inked this month does belong to a current athlete taking advantage of the new NIL rules, it belongs to former Ohio State sprinter Christina Clemons.

Clemons wore a pair of Cool Ranch Doritos earrings during the Olympic trials last month. Doritos took notice and gave her a new pair – with a little more bling.

To be honest, I wish I would have known this is all it takes. I would have been hanging beef ‘n cheddars from my ears for years.

 PRAYERS UP, GEE. I’m absolutely gutted to share with y’all some terrible news that Gee Scott Jr. lost his mother yesterday morning.

I’ve learned that sometimes my words just don’t matter all that much, and this is certainly one of those times. So I’ll just let you read Gee’s words, instead.

“I’m torn. I never thought i’d be making a post like this, but this morning I lost my mother; The woman who’s smile lights up any room she’s in; The woman who taught me what it is to unconditionally love; The woman that brought me into this world. There’s nothing I can type to justify the amount you mean to me Mom. It pains me deeply that I can’t just give you one more hug and kiss. I promise you will be proud of your son…
Love – Baby Gee”

Prayers up, Gee.

If you’re lucky enough to still have your parents, be sure to tell them you love them today and hug them extra, if you can.

 SONG OF THE DAY. « You’ll Be In My Heart » by Phil Collins.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. A Michigan man unearths more than 150 bowling balls during renovations… People dumped their pets into lakes and now football-size goldfish are taking over… A South Korean toilet allows students to pay with their poop… South Korea Covid rules enforce slower music in gyms… Forget Atlantis – here are four real underwater cities… How quantum bird brains could give us superpowers…