Ohio State now a pro football team, and NIL feels shady

Do you have any other comments or questions? Contact me at [email protected]

On college players who get paid

For the editor: Columbus has always wanted a professional football team, and now it has one in our beloved Buckeyes. Players Stroud, Henderson, Smith-Njigba and Burke will be paid over half a million dollars by the Foundation to share their football prowess with us. Kudos to them for cashing in. May I suggest that in addition to their regular football stats, we add a column for payment for passes, catches and tackles to see if they are earning their salaries as student athletes?

Michael Oser, Christopher Columbus

For the editor: I’m a School B grad and a retired businessman, so I understand the concept of leverage. Still, I wish I could understand how Brian Schottenstein and his foundation are doing more good for charities by paying players to show up at events rather than giving half a million donations directly to charities like he l claimed in Monday’s article. If this notion can be clarified, I might be less suspicious of the “good” that NIL transactions do.

When you’re done with that one, I’d also like to know how a fat cat gets a charitable donation tax deduction for the money used to pay said players for peddling shoes and furniture.

Bob Moorehead, Christopher Columbus

To Brian: With NIL, transfers and realignment, my old college football friend is getting hard to recognize. We have certainly come a long way since amateur student-athletes have been involved in extracurricular activities. The academic eligibility bar had already been set very low a long time ago. But now I wonder when they justify completely ignoring this since these players have so many demands on them now for game preparation and approval obligations. I used to say that nothing in Columbus would ever be more important than an amateur football team; but it’s a real stretch now to still call them amateurs.

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

To Michael, Bob, Dennis: The NIL world is becoming much more unpredictable than even the naysayers predicted. It’s the Wild West, with no application guide. The latest news this week came when it was announced that every football player at Texas Tech – 85 scholarship players and 15 extras – would receive a one-year, $25,000 renewable NIL contract from a collective of donors. Your move, Mr. Schottenstein.

To Brian: The changes in the Big Ten and college football (expansion, NIL, transfer gate, salaries), have me dreaming of days of untouched conferences, bowl games with no commercial attachments (some meaningless 25+), and matches only on Saturdays, giving less attention to money, recruitment and early departures. NIL has the potential to divide players as it already is among fans. I thought football’s greatest honor was to produce men of character, future leaders – not Jumbotron idols posing as Marcel Marceau in the end zone. (Oh, yes, it’s the NFL). And I have no problem with the Buckeyes losing a game once in a while because (past) adversity set them up for better results to come.

The current expansion has done little for the Big Ten, with Penn State having the only success. This latest defection from the Pac-12 will only make things less special, including the Rose Bowl. And what are the implications for conferences left behind? Borrowing an earlier term from Columbus Monthly, it’s “a miserable excess.” Overall, the experiment doesn’t work, especially with schools changing conferences. The networks keep it afloat. Playing more often with the best teams is like having too much of the same thing. You eventually lose interest and need something more to satisfy the craving.

There were better choices to attract fans and increase revenue. Sometimes less is more. Count me in the minority.

Larry Cheek, Dublin

Purdue Boilermakers running back King Doerue (22) is tackled by Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Tommy Eichenberg (35) and Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Steele Chambers (22) during the fourth quarter of the game in Saturday's NCAA Division I football at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Oh.  , November 13, 2021.

On Ohio State linebackers

Dear Brian: Kudos to Bill Rabinowitz for his article on OSU linebackers. The linebacker problem isn’t new – the last great linebacking team was AJHawk, Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel in 2004. Think back to when OSU had legendary linebackers: Spielman, Laurinaitis, Gradishar, Cousineau, Wilhelm, to name a few. Coach Day made the right decision to replace most of the defensive coaches (except the prized Larry Johnson). I hope defensive coordinator Knowles addresses the issues facing the Buckeyes: better recruiting, more aggression and. above all, a better tackle. It will take time, but I’m optimistic the defense will improve.

Susan Sanville, Worthington

To Susan (and all): Thank you for the (rare) good words. And if you want more from Bill and his cohort on the beat of OSU football, join our new text group with them. It’s free for subscribers and you’ll get behind-the-scenes thoughts and developments as well as breaking news. Register here.

On Brittney Griner, other things

To Brian: Enjoy your column of the shrinking Columbus Disgrace, Columbus’ former respected newspaper.

I know sports news is usually late now due to print location and paper composition but I’ll let you know first that the Masters is coming in April and Tiger didn’t make the cut to the British Open.

By the way, in response to your defense of covering up Brittney Griner’s stupidity. I believe that our president, lucid or not, should work to free other political prisoners who have been held far longer than Griner and who are far more important than her.

Some did nothing at all, and Griner, after all, broke the law.

Keep up the good work!

Larry Hood, Worthington

To Larry: Thank you for the email of the week. It’s always a treat to be criticized and praised in the same letter. And with humor, even. I don’t know if I should go to my boss and ask him for a raise or be fired.

More from The Mailbox

The PGA vs. LIV Golf dispute is infuriating, confusing; Where is the defense of the crew?

Big Ten, SEC should break on their own; Browns expected to trade Deshaun Watson

Ohio State coach Ryan Day should pay players himself or donate his money to charity

Ryan Day just an average coach in the SEC; and what car did Woody Hayes really drive?

Apology to Ohio State coach Ryan Day and kudos to him for taking the money

Why does Ryan Day need so much money? And what would Woody Hayes think?

Debate continues over Ryan Day’s salary as Ohio State Buckeyes coach

Defend Jack Nicklaus and wonder why Ryan Day makes so much money

Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher should know that cheating in college football is nothing new

Strike 3 on foul ball will speed up the baseball; and an appreciation by Bob Lanier

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