Monday, May 30, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Jim Tressel Officially Out as Head Man at Ohio State

Memorial Day, 2011—A day that will live in infamy for every fan of Ohio State football.

It's the day former-Buckeye head coach Jim Tressel's resignation from THE Ohio State University became official.

Yes, you read that correctly. Jim Tressel is no longer the head coach of Ohio State.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, after nearly three months of speculation and multiple reaffirmations that he had no intention of stepping down, it seems apparent now that Jim Tressel has been forced to tender his resignation.

Perhaps the school had finally had enough of the daily revelations and ESPN lead-ins of more news of potential violations swept under the rug by coach Tressel.

No immediate information has been released on a coaching search, but the general consensus for now seems to be that Luke Fickell, whom had previously been named the coach for the first five games of the upcoming season, may very well coach the entire 2011 season before the position is evaluated and a national search begins.

Let the Urban Meyer and Jon Gruden to Ohio State rumor-mill start spinning....

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Former Buckeye / Teammate of Ray Small Refutes Small's Claims - Small Changes His Tune

Former Ohio State Football player Ray Small gave an interview with The Lantern (Ohio State‟s Campus Newspaper) on May 26, 2011 which ended up at numerous media outlets. In the interview, Ray Small made claims that he sold memorabilia for cash and received car deals while at Ohio State, and that “everyone was doing it.”

Current Merrill Lynch employee and former Ohio State Football player Harrison Till responds to Small‟s allegations.

Adam Jardy of BuckeyeSports spoke with former Buckeye Harrison Till today and what he, along with multiple other current and former Buckeye players, had to say completely exposed any and all previous claims by former Buckeye Ray Small, and not surprisingly, Small has now changed his story in an interview with Columbus station, 10TV.

Here's the story from Jardy

As far back as I can remember, every single Saturday during the Fall months in Northern New Jersey were dedicated to watching the Ohio State Football Buckeyes march up and down the field in Ohio Stadium. My father was a varsity letter winner for The Ohio University men‟s track & field program and my Mother, a member of a sorority who appreciated the wholesome life of the mid-west while enjoying the culture of Ohio State. Bottom line, they both bled Scarlet and Gray.

After meeting at Ohio State and eventually getting married, they have spent the last 41 years maintaining their friendships and all of their memories from Ohio State.

As children, my older and younger brother and I were diehard Buckeye fans. Our parents would take us on trips to see Ohio State football games and they would often point to the success of the football program, and with great pride would sing the Ohio State fight song in our home, certainly encouraging us to sing along. The Ohio State football program represented an environment which we had no exposure to in New Jersey. The passion and sense of pride that the people of Ohio felt for Ohio State football impacted us in a positive and permanent way. The idea of watching Joe Germaine throw a touchdown to Dave Boston, Eddie George running for a touchdown, Orlando Pace pancake blocking, or Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson sacking a quarterback allowed me to dream of one day becoming one of those student athletes, wherever I might end up in college. Seeing these players run out of the Ohio stadium tunnel each and every week inspired me to dream of playing college football at Ohio State and to never give up on that dream.

To say that I was sad and beyond disappointed to see a former Buckeye teammate and Ohio native provide false information to a media outlet this week about how he spent his once lifetime opportunity as a member of the Ohio State football team along with the rest of his teammates is an understatement. With all of the current controversy surrounding Ohio State‟s football program, I knew that there would be several players mentioned in numerous articles, but I never thought that someone would make such a regrettable and defaming comment as did Ray Small. I personally witnessed countless moments when Jim Tressel supported Ray Small in times of adversity when others were prepared to throw him under the bus. I cannot comprehend the lack of appreciation for the man who is Jim Tressel – who would do anything to ensure his athletes get an education and have an impact on his student athletes‟ lives.

My experience of being a student athlete for Jim Tressel was a very unique road that not many have traveled. My parents made every possible sacrifice to provide my brothers and myself with the best education possible with no ceiling above our heads. This mindset is significant and is part of our tradition of having the privilege of living in America. There are so many who do not have the ability to live in a free country and chase their dreams with no regrets.

After graduating from high school, I earned the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend Duke University. At Duke, I lettered in football and track & field, and was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll for maintaining a 3.24 grade point average. After my Redshirt Sophomore seasons in football and track & field, it was brought to my attention by a mentor of mine that I was in a position to graduate with my undergraduate degree in three years. More importantly, there was an NCAA rule that allowed student athletes who graduated early with their undergraduate degree to attend a different division one University retaining all of their remaining athletic eligibility, as long as the student athlete pursued a graduate school degree that was not offered at the previous university.

After receiving my release from Duke University to contact other schools, I met with football coaches from Stanford, Northwestern, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. After meeting Jim Tressel on my official visit to Ohio State, he was by far the most honest, ethical, and open minded coach I encountered on my journey and my decision was made. Almost every division one football coach that I spoke to during this time period had never heard of this NCAA rule and would not give me a chance. Jim Tressel saw something in me and gave me the opportunity to accomplish my childhood dream of playing football for The Ohio State University.

After graduating from Duke University in the Summer of 2005, I moved to Columbus, Ohio to start summer workouts and my matriculation of coursework in the Masters of Labor and Human Resource Management program at the Fisher College of Business. All of my teammates at Ohio State; black, white, latino, and arabic reminded me of an army that would go to war and compete against each other every single day for the best coach in college football. I will never forget the work ethic and the commitment that AJ Hawk dedicated to Jim Tressel at our 5:30 a.m. workouts. I will always remember Anthony Gonzalez being interviewed as a potential Rhodes Scholar. I will always cherish the experience of competing in collegiate athletics as a graduate school student with Stan White II and Brandon Mitchell. Most importantly, I am a better person because I had the opportunity to learn about life from Jim Tressel.

It is insulting and ignorant to suggest that men like AJ Hawk (NFL), Bobby Carpenter (NFL), Justin Zwick (Medical Sales), Anthony Gonzalez (NFL), Stan White II (Investment Banker), Rob Sims (NFL), Jay Richardson (NFL), Malcolm Jenkins (NFL), and many others “sold memorabilia for cash” and received improper benefits while being a member of the Ohio State football team. To say that “everyone was doing it” just because Ray Small says so, is ludicrous. All of the former Buckeye players are extremely proud to say that they played for Jim Tressel because of the obvious influence he had on our lives both on and off the field.

The opportunity to accomplish my childhood dream of running out of the tunnel in Ohio Stadium, to receive a Masters Degree from The Ohio State University and to maintain lifelong friendships that I made in my two years on the team will be cherished forever. The many Ohio State alumni that I have been privileged to meet over the years are a constant reminder of how special my two big ten championship rings and my two pairs of gold pants are.

Jim Tressel gave Ray Small the opportunity to receive a free education and then use that education to improve his life and to help others who need assistance. After being mentored by the legendary Ted Ginn Senior of the Ginn Academy Charter School and the Glenville Football program; a man who has made a difference in so many peoples‟ lives, it is apparent that Ray does not understand and never did grasp his place in the World.

Part of being an adult in this World is making decisions every day and then dealing with the consequences of those decisions. If someone offers you money for a Big Ten championship ring or a car deal that violates the NCAA rules, you have the option of saying yes or no. In the grand scheme of life, there is no one forcing you to break the rules and the most successful people will embrace adversity and grow from experience.

Obviously, I am proud of my Ohio State championships, my Masters degree, and all of my Student Athlete teammates that I had the privilege to practice and play with. Most importantly, I am proud of the relationship that I still maintain with Jim Tressel and that we never lost to Michigan. Nevertheless, I pray that Ray Small may be able to one day restore the bond he has shattered with the Ohio State family and most importantly, I wish him good luck with his journey in life and certainly hope that he can one day be as proud of his family and accomplishments as the student athletes that I am.


Harrison Till
Merrill Lynch (San Diego, California)
The Ohio State University "07"
Duke University "05"

And here's the story from 10TV

Former Ohio State wide receiver Ray Small said on Friday that he was mischaracterized this week in an interview he had with the university's newspaper.

Small, who said he and "everybody" on the team sold memorabilia and received discounts on cars while playing football, told 10 Investigates' Paul Aker that he was misrepresented in an article that was published this week in The Lantern.

"It's hard being an athlete," Small said. "That was basically what I was saying. (The Lantern author) just flipped my words around and make the whole Buckeye Nation hate me."

Small went on to say that The Lantern got the majority of the story wrong.

The Lantern denied Small's allegation, Aker reported.

"We, 100 percent, stand by our story," said Lantern Editor Zach Meisel. "Everything (Small) said was recorded."

Small was quoted in The Lantern article and said that some players "don't even think about NCAA rules."

He told the newspaper that he sold his Big Ten championship rings to cover the cost of living. He also said that the "best deals" came from car dealerships.

Several Ohio State football players spoke out against Small through their Twitter accounts.

"Show me a coward and I will show you Ray Small," center Mike Brewster tweeted. "He isn't part of the sacred brotherhood anymore. Never on time, never accountable, never sacrificed for the team. Can you trust his word?"

Five Buckeye players are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia to the owner of a local tattoo parlor. That is considered an improper benefit under NCAA rules.

Coach Jim Tressel was suspended and is under investigation by the NCAA for knowing about his players' involvement and not telling his superiors for more than nine months.

On Friday, the tattoo parlor owner whose relationship with the players led to suspensions and the NCAA investigation will plead guilty to federal charges, including drug trafficking, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court.

Edward Rife faces a possible sentence of up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine, according to documents detailing terms of the plea agreement.

During a federal drug investigation, authorities raided Rife's home and west side tattoo shop. Among the items seized were several pieces of Ohio State football memorabilia.

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Ray Small photo courtesy of

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 5 Thoughts on B1G Quarterbacks From CFN's Big Ten Bloggers

CFN's Big 10 Bloggers put the conference's quarterback position under the microscope

H.D. Handshoe: On who will be the conference’s next first round NFL quarterback?

Honestly, probably no one in the 2012 draft.

There could be several big names from other conferences that go in the first round - names like Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Landry Jones, Nick Foles, and Robert Griffin – just to name a few.

Still, if a Big 10 quarterback were to land up into the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, it would most likely be one of three guys:

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

College Football Live: ESPN's Roundtable Discussion on Ohio State Football

I've been getting lots of hateful, venomous comments recently directed at me personally in response to one of my latest articles, regarding the 2011 OSU quarterback situation. It's not uncommon as a blogger to receive such feedback, but usually it's from SEC fans or fans from Michigan or Wisconsin.

Somewhat surprisingly however, these recent comments have been from other Buckeye fans on the HineyGate message boards—all for saying exactly what Herbie and Urban Meyer said on Monday during the College Football Live "Roundtable" segment about Ohio State.

I just happened to say it first, which apparently makes me a pariah for not wearing my Scarlet and Gray homer glasses when it comes to Jim Tressel, Terrelle Pryor, and the rest of the Tat-5.

Clearly, the truth hurts, and it upset many a Buckeye fan on the aforementioned forums when I spoke it. I'm sure many of them will say ESPN hates Ohio State so it's no surprise that Herbie and Meyer agreed with me.

To that I reply that yes, ESPN does have a certain negative agenda more often than not when it comes to the Buckeyes—for which I have called them out on more than one occasion in the recent past—but anyone with any common sense and objectivity knows that the roundtable segment was done tastefully and truthfully. Three of the four roundtable members are from Ohio with direct ties to Ohio State. so I do not want to hear how it was unfair and biased!

In case you missed it, here is the video of the segment.

If the Buckeyes are 4-1 or [especially] 5-0 before the Nebraska game, do you believe it is a given that Braxton Miller, Jaamal Berry, Jordan Hall, or whomever it was that filled in for Terrelle Pryor, Boom Herron, DeVier Posey, and Mike Adams, should have had to work so hard and play so well the first half of the season, only to lose their starting jobs to players who knowingly and carelessly broke the rules and put themselves before the team over the past two to three years?

Contrary to what many believe, I'm not a Pryor hater—he is a great college player—but I sure as hell don't believe the players who go into fall camp and earn those starting jobs should lose them in week six solely because Pryor and the rest of the Pawn Stars come off of their suspensions.

Let me know what YOU think via email, below in the article comment section, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 BlockONation's Buckeye Blog - The Ohio State QB Situation

What's the Ohio State quarterback situation for the first half of the year without Terrelle Pryor?

From the moment he committed to Ohio State, freshman phenom QB Braxton Miller knew what his undeniable destiny would be—to succeed Terrelle Pryor as the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes beginning in 2012 after taking a redshirt season his first year....

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Click For The Block Nation Front Page BlockONation's Buckeye Blog - OSU, Cars, & Controversy

The hits just keeping coming for Ohio State as yet another issue has popped up.

Saturday, the Columbus Dispatch reported that the Ohio State compliance department is looking into upwards of 50 transactions at two local dealerships over the past several years involving at least eight student athletes and various athletes’ relatives to determine if any improper benefits were received......

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ohio State "Car-gate" Situation Real News or Overblown Sensationalism, Plus, and More Importantly, The 2011 QB Situation

Is there really a story here and real reason for concern, or is the media just overplaying every little blip and milking Ohio State for all they can get, plus are we really going to have to watch Joe "the career backup" Bauserman lead our Buckeyes this fall?

These are the articles that are coming very soon from BlockONation over on

Links will be forthcoming -- Just wanted to give a heads-up to BlockONation readers and all Buckeye fans.


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BlockONation's Expanding Web Presence


Numerous BlockONation articles have been posted on or linked to from some very well known, high-volume sports websites.

We'd like to take a moment to both acknowledge and thank those sites for their support in helping make BlockONation one of the most popular new Ohio State Football blogs on the web!

In no particular order:

Again, thanks so very much to those sites for all their support and also, a huge thank you to the fans who have visited the site to date!

I'd also like to personally thank all those individuals who have contributed to the success of the site! I wouldn't be here without your help over the last 8+ years. You all know who you are!

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