Ohio State University: Accountability Rings Hollow

How nuts are Buckeyes about their Ohio State football? One of the most honored positions a former OSU player can land is President of the “Gold Pants Club.”

Tim Brewster 2010 Big Ten Championship Ring

That’s the man charged with the distribution of the now-infamous gold pants trinkets to OSU players who beat Michigan.

Currently, former Ohio State star offensive lineman and NFL great Jim Lachey is charged with the duty, and unlike the his alma mater, he’s taking a pragmatic view of what to do with the 2010 awards.

JB Shugarts Ohio State Big Ten Championship Ring

Lachey to the COLUMBUS DISPATCH last week:

“If they vacate the win, it makes no sense to award the gold pants, at least in our minds. 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.

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

Regrettable but well-measured moves by Lachey, whose business acumen has caused his legend to continue grow locally in Columbus since his decorated OSU and NFL career.

You can’t say the same for The Ohio State University though.

Despite admitting to multiple NCAA infractions, with the most serious committed by head coach Jim Tressel, the school passed out Big Ten Championship rings to Ohio State players this week.

And we got a glimpse of those rings thanks to Ohio State offensive linemen Michael Brewster and J.B. Shugarts Tweeting out images of their new jewelry.

While no one begrudges Buckeyes like Brewster and Shugart being rewarded for their hard work, at some point there has to be accountability for an institution - and coach - repeatedly breaking the rules.

Then again, if you’re Tressel, apparently that all depends on your own definition of “eligible.”

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Why Dungy, Not AD, Making Gopher Coach Hire

Tim Brewster, owner of a 15-30 record (6-21 Big 10) as head football coach at the University of Minnesota, was fired over the weekend by school athletic director Joel Maturi.

Tony Dungy at Minnesota

(Dungy was Mayor of Dinkytown in early ’70s)

Maturi, who authorized a $600,000 buyout to make Brewster go away, is the same guy who hired Brewster in 2007 and inexplicably propped up his guy with a generous contract extension before the 2009 season.

Immediately after Brewster’s hire in 2007, Bob Sansevere of the ST. PAUL PIONEER-PRESS wrote of Maturi’s hire:

University of Minnesota athletics director Joel Maturi went the riskier route. He chose Brewster to be the Gophers’ latest football coach. Maturi is gambling Brewster will succeed. He also is gambling his own reputation… as well as his job security. There is no bigger hire a major college athletics director can make than when he brings in a new football coach.

If Brewster doesn’t pan out, Maturi could be out — and should be out.

By listening to Maturi Sunday you’d have never known that Brewster, a virtual unknown hastily hired by the athletic director without normal school protocol despite never having been a head coach or coordinator in college or the NFL, was the same guy Maturi promised would return the downtrodden Gopher football program back to national prominence.

During his press conference to announce Brewster’s firing, Maturi said that before he hired the coach, “To be honest, I’d never heard of Tim Brewster.”

Then there was this flippant quip from Maturi about Brewster:

“You’re not following Vince Lombardi here.

“This is a situation where, you know what, somebody can come in and win some games and people are going to feel good about him and they win a few more games and they’re going to feel really good about him.

“And if we go to the Rose Bowl, we might even put a statue of them outside of TCF Bank Stadium.”

It’s too easy to take cheap shots at an outgoing coach, especially one you’ve hired and staked your reputation to. So let’s look back at what Maturi had to say about the same Coach Brewster earlier this year:

He’s grown into the job. I like the staff [Brewster] has assembled. I like the kids. I’m feeling really optimistic. We’ll evaluate everything at the end, as we always do, but he’s got four years [remaining] on his contract, and I fully expect he will be here for them.

If only Maturi was as good at hiring football coaches as he is at manipulating the school administration and media in order to save his own skin.

By leaking Tony Dungy as a possible candidate for the Gopher coaching job, Maturi forced the school’s most prominent football alum to take notice of the Gopher program.

Speaking on the condition of anonymonity, two current athletic directors at BCS schools and a prominent employee of a coaching search firm told me Monday that Maturi is using Dungy as cover from irate members of the Minnesota administration and prominent donors to the school. Read more…

I Ask You, Is Your Coach This Low Maintenance?

Joe Paterno has only one, last small request in life.

Joe Paterno's last request

Coincidentally, Tim Brewster is often asked the same by Golden Gophers fans.

Gophers’ DB Allegedly Kicked The Hell Out Of Girl

What good conflict management is: a peaceful talking through of grievances and differences, toward the goal of resolving the problem through compromise instead of violence.

Nathan Tow-Arnett
(Seems like a pretty chill bro.)

What good conflict management isn’t: breaking up an argument between two girls by grabbing one by the throat, slamming her against the wall, and then kicking her repeatedly while she’s on the ground. That seems like a pretty substantial departure from the good qualities, really, but if allegations made to the ST. PAUL PIONEER-PRESS are true, Nathan Tow-Arnett never got that memo.

Read more…

Gophers Locker Room Includes Fake Title Trophy?

Part of the reinvention process that Tim Brewster has been helping the Minnesota Golden Gophers undertake - and lord knows they need it - is a return to their glory days of several decades ago. That means no more Metrodome; instead, they’ve got a brand-new open-air joint, TCF Bank Stadium, with state of the art facilities. The problem, however, is that Tim Brewster is in charge of this reinvention, so literally anything is possible.

Fake Minnesota Coaches' Trophy
(Hey, that looks pretty nice.)

As EDSBS noted this morning, the most immediately noticeable aspect of the new locker room in the tour that Brewster gives out on YouTube is the giant flashing M on the ceiling for no apparent reason. There’s also a glassed-off locker dedicated to famous Minnesota coach Murray Warmath, whose name is awesome*. Inside the locker is the iconic “crystal football” trophy for Warmath’s 1960 national title with Minnesota, the last in Gophers history. It’s a perfect reminder that expectations in Minnesota are for a title and nothing less.

One little problem, though; the title was in the 1960 season, but the “crystal football” trophy wasn’t first issued until 1986.

Read more…

Speed Read: Wait - WSU Cougar RB Almost Died?

It’s not often that injury news takes us completely aback, but that’s absolutely the case over in Pullman tonight. One slightly mentioned aspect of last weekend’s game pitting Washington State against Southern Methodist was WSU’s tailback, James Montgomery, suffering an apparent knee injury. Not that those aren’t serious, but, y’know… they happen.

James Montgomery WSU

But one thing that doesn’t usually happen is a potentially fatal injury that nobody recognizes immediately. That’s what apparently befell Montgomery during the game; after the game, he reported increasing discomfort with the knee, and went in for surgery on Sunday morning. It probably saved his life.

Read more…

Mets Don’t Like Dwight Writing on Their New Walls

• The Mets are mad at Dwight Gooden for holding an impromptu autograph session on their brand new Citi Field walls.

Dwight Gooden Mets

• Some pretty exciting playoff performances by the Bulls & Sixers so far. Too bad it’s all a formality until the Lakers-LeBron finals.

• It’s one thing for linemen to get the late-night munchies, but stealing $82 worth of hamburgers & Hot Pockets from other people’s fridges?

• Looks like the Cavs have found their new playoff anthem, thanks to Joe Smith … er, Joe Beast.

• Another great use for Twitter: Calling local sportswriters fat.

Read more…

Minn. FB Coach Uses Twitter to Insult Sportswriter

To paraphrase Dan Patrick, you can’t stop Twitter’s popularity in the sports world, you can only hope to contain it. Whether it’s Shaq inviting diner customers to say hello, Stephen Jackson showing his sketches of nude ladies packing heat, or the NBA finding a new way to fine Mark Cuban, the social technology seems here to stay.

Tim Brewster

And with such an explosion of popularity, it would only be a matter of time before some sports figure would use the easy updating tool to type up something he or she might regret. (Mark Cuban doesn’t count because he regrets nothing!) And that figure might turn out to be Minnesota football coach Tim Brewster.

Read more…

Son of Minnesota Coach Doesn’t Dig The Gophers

Tim Brewster received a nice little post-Father’s Day present on Tuesday, as the Minnesota Golden Gophers football coach learned that his son is leaving the program.

Tim Brewster Minnesota Gophers football coach

(Tim Brewster, or Bob Griese?)

The MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE reports that redshirt freshman QB Clint Brewster is transferring to another school, although he hasn’t decided on one yet.

Next Sunday’s family dinner at the Brewster house should be a fun one.

Read more…