Buckeyes place hold on handing out gold pants

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Given the “situation” a handful of Ohio State players found themselves in last year, and the ongoing brouhaha involving their head coach, the entity charged with handing out the Buckeyes’ iconic “gold pants” appears set on changing the way they do business.

The gold pants charm has been a storied tradition at OSU since the thirties, handed out to, at first, players who played in wins over rival Michigan, and eventually evolved into including coaches and others connected to the football program.  Six players were found by the NCAA to have sold memorabilia, including pairs of gold pants, to the owner of a Columbus tattoo parlor, with five of them receiving five-game suspensions to start the 2011 season for receiving what the NCAA deemed to be impermissible benefits.

Due to the fact that the football program is “dealing with some outstanding issues that we’ve never had to deal with before,” as Gold Pants Club president and former OSU offensive lineman Jim Lachey put it, the gold pants that would normally already be in the players’ possession for what was their seventh straight win over the Wolverines last year have not yet been handed out.  And, it appears, may not be handed out at all.

Lachey told the Columbus Dispatch that, due to the possibility of wins in 2010 being vacated because Jim Tressel failed to notify — i.e. covered up — anyone of players committing NCAA violations, thus committing his own major violation, the club charged with handing out the gold pants will keep the 2010 version in their pockets until that situation is resolved.

“If they vacate the win, it makes no sense to award the gold pants, at least in our minds,” Lachey said. “And if you hand them out and say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll need to get them back if the win is vacated’ – I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be a smart way to go.

“And I’ll be honest: We don’t want to see any 2010 gold pants on the market right now.”

Additionally, Lachey said that the club is looking into taking steps that would take away the temptation a player with eligibility remaining may have to sell the gold pants, thus avoiding a similar situation in the future.

“I think we’re going to start banking them and hand them out to the players after their eligibility has run out,” Lachey said.

Butch Jones says the most Butch Jones quote of all time

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It’s become a theory among some in the media that Butch Jones is conducting a social experiment or participating some sort of performance art. While that’s the more charitable and fun interpretation, I tend to think the Tennessee head coach is just frighteningly insecure and, thus, fighting for every inch of public approval he can in a likely doomed attempt to keep his job.

That approach has backed him into some verbal corners that, in the long run, make his job more difficult on himself.

I’m talking about the “Champions of Life” quote of last season or, in February, actually stating that he didn’t want 5-star players, he wanted 5-star hearts.

This season has seen Jones go on an odd rant blaming the media for negative recruiting and saying Tennessee had one of the best bye weeks ever last week.

It wasn’t one of the best bye weeks ever, because Tennessee lost at home to South Carolina, 15-9. And you’re not going to believe Jones’s explanation for why Tennessee loss. Scratch that. You will believe his explanation, and that’s the problem here, isn’t it?

Here’s the full quote.

Jones is 33-24 in his four-plus seasons in Knoxville, and 14-21 in the SEC. Those numbers will likely fall to 33-25 and 14-22 after Saturday, when the Vols face No. 1 Alabama. The end is likely near.

And here’s the grand irony of Jones’s everything’s-sunny-here p.r. strategy: his attempt to keep his job by stating blatantly cliche quotes in the state of the obvious will live on much longer than Jones’s actual tenure. Two and three years from now, when Jones is working on someone else’s staff or sitting on his buyout money, the next time an on-the-hot-seat coach says his team won the game everywhere except the scoreboard, we’ll see he Pulled a Butch.

Houston Nutt settles lawsuit with Ole Miss

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Houston Nutt wanted money and an apology from Ole Miss. He’ll have to settle for the second of the two — and a largely different future for the program he used to lead.

It was Nutt’s lawsuit, remember, which exposed the documents that led to a Mississippi State fan finding Hugh Freeze‘s call to a Tampa escort service, which led to Freeze’s resignation, which led to… we have no idea what it will lead to, but, whatever that future is, it will be wildly different than if Freeze was still the Rebels’ coach.

Nutt amended his lawsuit in August to seek simply an apology from Ole Miss, and that apology finally came on Monday.

Each side released their own bitter, short statements.

Nutt will go on, with his apology but without any monetary compensation, while Ole Miss will play out the string of this season, hire a new coach, and move into a future that will be immeasurably different that the one it would have lived had it apologized to Nutt in the first place.

Washington loses LT Adams, CB Miller for the season

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No. 12 Washington’s loss to Arizona State was a disaster on the field — for more reasons than one.

The Huskies not only put their College Football Playoff hopes in danger — they’ll need to sweep their next six games, including a finishing kick that calls for games against No. 22 Stanford, No. 15 Washington State and, presumably, No. 11 USC, two of them away from Seattle. But the road to get there became noticeably more difficult after losing two starters.

Left tackle Trey Adams suffered a torn ACL in his right knee, and cornerback Jordan Miller sustained a broken ankle. Head coach Chris Petersen confirmed Monday that both will be lost for the season. Miller is the third Husky this season to suffer a broken ankle.

The Seattle Times noted that Washington is also without another starting corner in Byron Murphy, who is expected to return later this year from a broken foot. The Huskies are expected to replace Miller with either a pair of true freshmen or a converted running back.

But Adams may be the bigger loss for the Huskies. A junior, Adams was widely expected to be a first round pick in this spring’s NFL Draft. It’s the second straight season Washington has lost a key player in the trenches to a season-ending injury; a year ago, it was linebackers Joe Mathis, who finished one sack away from the team lead despite playing in only seven games, and third-leading tackler Azeem Victor.

Maryland AD Kevin Anderson to take 6-month sabbatical

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Maryland AD Kevin Anderson will not be the Maryland AD for the next six months.

Anderson announced Monday he will take a 6-month sabbatical to focus on “professional development.” That leave of absence will see him remain on his national committees with the NCAA and NACDA, the professional organization of ADs.

It was reported over the weekend that Anderson would be out completely as Maryland’s AD, but those reports were knocked down by the university.

Additionally, Maryland announced that former Georgia AD and current Terps associate AD/CFO Damon Evans will run the department in Anderson’s stead.