Gene Smith, Jim Tressel

Tressel hires legal big gun, has no plans to resign


Earlier this week, Ohio State legend Chris Spielman was quoted as saying he’d be surprised if Jim Tressel was coaching his beloved Buckeyes in 2011.  The reason for that opinion, Spielman said, is that he “think[s] there’s more stuff coming out” in regards to the whole “situation” at the Columbus school.

Given his close ties to, and love for, his former school, Spielman’s opinions carry more weight than most.  However, as it stands now, there doesn’t appear to be a change in Tressel’s status, at least from the coach’s side of the equation.

It was reported Friday that Tressel had retained the services of Gene Marsh to represent him in front of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions Aug. 12.  Marsh, for those unfamiliar, is the former chairman of that committee (2004-2006) and currently, the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes, specializes in compliance issues as an attorney for the Alabama law firm of Lightfoot, Franklin & White.

In a very brief interview with the Plain Dealer, Marsh told the paper that Tressel has no intention of resigning his post right now.  That sentiment falls in line with what others have stated to the paper over the last week, as well as what we’ve consistently heard since the coach’s cover-up surfaced: Tressel has absolutely no intention of leaving the school of his own volition.

In a separate interview with the Birmingham News, Marsh, a ’78 graduate of OSU, said that Tressel’s Senatorial image may help him when he appears in front of the COI.

“Obviously, the track record should matter because some people’s track records are good and some people’s track records are bad,” Marsh said Friday. “I was on the committee for nine years. All I can say is it always mattered to me.”

Add it all up, and the hiring of Marsh, one of the most powerful and connected individuals when it comes to the NCAA, is yet another signal that Tressel remains committed to weathering this off-field storm and being in it for the long haul.

Pending the outcome of the August hearing and the continued support of his employers, of course.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah