The end of spring football is supposed to be a time of clarity and optimism for a football powerhouse like Ohio State. However, following off-the-field transgressions by five players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the Buckeye football program is in a state of disarray. The five players and coach Jim Tressel are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. But five games could be good news for the Buckeyes. The NCAA released a notice of allegations to OSU on April 21 and will decide the university’s fate after an Aug. 12 hearing. Tressel’s failure to report his players’ violations could leave The Vest unemployed and the OSU football program scrambling to find a new coach. In a press conference March 8, OSU President E. Gordon Gee said he never considered firing Tressel, adding that he hoped Tressel “doesn’t dismiss me,” a joking comment he told The Lantern he later regretted. In the March 8 press conference, Tressel admitted he will take in stride whatever happens. “The most pathetic thing is a leader looking for self-pity,” Tressel said, quoting former President George W. Bush. “So, at no point in this time … am I looking for anything other than doing what needs to be done.” The Lantern took a look at possible replacements if one of the program’s most successful coaches is forced to resign, retires or is fired. Luke Fickell, OSU interim head coach, co-defensive coordinator Fickell is in the best position to take over the job from Tressel if NCAA sanctions force The Senator out of OSU. Fickell was named interim coach for the first five games of the 2011 season, and has been in Tressel’s system for nine years, serving as special teams coordinator, defensive line coach, linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator. Fickell played for the Buckeyes from 1992–96 as a nose guard, finishing with 212 career tackles and six career sacks. He was also on the 1996 team that won the Rose Bowl against Arizona State. Fickell is a Columbus man. He went to DeSales High School, and won a state championship in wrestling. His familiarity with Tressel’s system would give the Buckeyes an advantage when it comes to a coaching change. In a March 30 press conference to announce the Buckeyes’ interim coach, Fickell said it was still Tressel’s team but that he was honored to be named to the position in his boss’s absence. “We coach by committee. It never has been, never will be about one person in particular,” he said. “This is still coach Tressel’s team.” Urban Meyer, former Florida coach When rumors surfaced that Meyer and his family bought a house in Upper Arlington at the end of March, the pundits proclaimed him the next OSU coach. His spread offense would be a far cry from “Tressel-ball,” but his success is undeniable. Meyer had two three-loss seasons in his first head-coaching position at Bowling Green from 2001–02, an undefeated season in 2004 as coach of Utah and two national championships at Florida in his six seasons at the helm. Meyer has said he would come back to coaching for just three teams: Michigan, Notre Dame and OSU. With the hiring of new coaches at Michigan and Notre Dame, OSU seems like the most accessible position. Meyer’s desire to coach at OSU stems from his Ohio roots. He was born in Toledo, Ohio, played defensive back at Cincinnati from 1983–86 and was at OSU in 1986 and 1987 as a tight ends and wide receivers coach. Meyer also earned his master’s degree in sports administration at OSU. Health conditions forced Meyer out of his position at Florida, and he now works at ESPN as a commentator and analyst. However, Meyer’s daughter, Nicole, has said her father will not be the next Buckeyes coach. “Stop txting me abt my dad. HE IS NOT repeat NOT, GOING TO OHIO STATE. thanks.” she tweeted April 26 from her Twitter account, @Nicki_07. Bo Pelini, Nebraska coach Pelini, like Meyer, is an Ohio man. He was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and attended OSU, playing free safety under coached Earle Bruce and John Cooper. Pelini was co-captain of the Buckeyes his senior season and graduated from the university with a degree in business marketing. Pelini spent eight years as an assistant coach on three NFL teams, and has since become the coach at Nebraska, the Big Ten’s newest member. Nebraska has seen an upturn since Pelini’s hiring in 2008, with two appearances in the Big 12 Championship and two bowl wins in his three seasons. Pelini’s name was linked to the Miami (Fla.) opening in December before the Hurricanes hired former Temple coach Al Golden. However, Pelini recently signed a five-year contract with Nebraska, making him the third-highest-paid coach in the Big Ten, behind Tressel and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. The contract appears to have locked in Pelini to the Nebraska job, but he could be a candidate to return to his alma mater. The connection between Pelini and OSU gives the Buckeyes and option to pursue him if the job becomes available, but Nebraska would not comment on the possibility. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State coach Dantonio left the Buckeyes in 2004 to pursue a head-coaching position at Cincinnati. He was defensive coordinator at OSU from 2001–03, which included the the 2002 national championship against a heavily favored Miami Hurricanes squad. Dantonio and his defensive staff were able to shut down the Hurricanes offense, which included current NFL players Andre Johnson, Kellen Winslow and Willis McGahee, and notable college quarterback Ken Dorsey. Dantonio was defensive coordinator at Youngstown State for four years before reuniting with his former boss at OSU. Like Fickell, Dantonio has a good read on what makes Tressel’s teams so successful, and the transition would be easy for the players. Dantonio led Michigan State to an 11-2 record last season, despite a heart attack following the Spartans’ game against Notre Dame. The Spartans shared the Big Ten Championship, but finished the season with a 49-7 loss to Alabama in the Capital One Bowl. Nick Saban, Alabama coach In Saban’s career as a football coach, his longest tenure in one position is four years, which will be eclipsed next season at Alabama. Saban also has ties to the Buckeyes. Ten years after he played defensive back at Kent State, Saban was the defensive backs coach at OSU for one season. A head-coaching position at OSU would be Saban’s second in the Big Ten, as he coached Michigan State from 1995–99, which included an upset win against the No. 1 Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium during the 1998 season. However, Saban has been involved in potential NCAA sanctions, as he and his coaching staff were accused of oversigning players at Alabama. The controversy is something the Buckeyes would want to avoid following their most recent sanctions. Athletic department spokesmen from Nebraska, Michigan State and Alabama declined to comment. Ohio State spokeswoman Shelly Poe and ESPN media did not immediately return attempts for comments.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer answers questions from the media as head-coach-in-waiting Ryan Day listens during the press conference at the Fawcett Center on Dec. 4. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorUrban Meyer knew when he had decided to retire after the season. It was not as he walked out of Ohio Stadium after the Ohio State head coach had defeated his rival, Michigan, for the seventh time. It was not as he walked off the field at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis after Ohio State secured its second-consecutive Big Ten title. Retirement had crossed his mind during both those times. He even thought he wanted to coach longer. But that was not the deciding factor for Tuesday’s announcement. It was recruiting. It was when high school athletes, looking ahead to the early signing period, which lasts from Dec. 19-21, started to ask about Meyer’s longevity. And he did not want to lie to them. “To be honest, I didn’t want to mislead recruits,” Meyer said. “[Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith] and I both felt — not felt, we knew — and that’s what made it now, the decision now.” Even in the time of transition, Meyer’s focus was on the longevity of the program. Maybe not the longevity of his role within the program after the Rose Bowl, but giving Day the opportunity to begin to build his team, to make sure the success continues when Meyer coaches his last play. Meyer said Day is being placed in a unique position. He said when the head coach changes at a major university like Ohio State, he said “you usually have to implode the whole thing.”In the position he is currently in, taking a step up from a coordinator role and into a head coaching role he held for the first three games of the season, Day will focus on continuing to build the program from the ground up, Meyer said. Earning three wins to begin the season — against Oregon State, Rutgers and TCU — Day auditioned for the Ohio State head coaching job, taking a job he had never held in any level of football. And after learning the ropes of what it means to be a head coach at the collegiate level, Day said he is confident in himself and what he can provide for the program. “Walking in those shoes during the beginning of the year, during that time, took a step away from just working with the offense and the X’s and O’s and then took a wider step back and looked at the leadership role of what it means to be the head coach at Ohio State,” Day said. “[To] have walked in those shoes and had a chance to experience that. And so I’m excited and confident about it.” But to be a head coach at a program like Ohio State, Meyer said, is a different animal. He said the expectation coming in when he took the job in 2012 was remarkably high and remarkably complex, something Meyer did not believe at first, but later reiterated the same message to Day. “The expectation — like I told Ryan Day — here at Ohio State is win every game, win every game, graduate,” Meyer said. “With Gene Smith, have them over a 3.0 [GPA]. Every player stay out of trouble and every player be a high draft pick. And as I usually follow up with it, ‘Go get it, tiger.’”This is something Day had to embrace the minute after he left the press conference. Meyer said the new head coach would be on the road recruiting in four states on Wednesday, talking to players prior to the start of the early signing day period as the head coach of Ohio State while Meyer visits recruits on campus because he said he was very close with the class. Day said the transition for him in terms of recruiting as a head coach does not change because many of the relationships for this class have already been built. But he said the response to his promotion has been positive and strong. Meyer said Day has a genuine love and cares for his players, knowing the ins and outs of his personal life, his family and what his long-term aspirations are. “Once those players know that you have that genuine love and care for them they’ll move mountains for you,” Meyer said. “And I saw that with Ryan Day.” Despite having a bit of a different personality than Meyer, Day said he and the current head coach share many common values, morals and beliefs, but that it might be shown in a different style, something that will be sorted out in the weeks heading into the Rose Bowl — Meyer’s final game — and the weeks after. “Most of what Coach has built here is going to stay,” Day said. “And as we go along, there’s going to be some changes in terms of the way we do certain things. But our beliefs are strong.” Smith believes in Day. He believes in the transition process promoting an offensive coordinator, despite not having long-term coaching experience, brings. For Smith, three games were enough. He saw a future head coach. But Day still has so much more to prove.“Now, if he wasn’t talented I wouldn’t have him here if he couldn’t X and O, let’s be clear,” Smith said. “He’s gotta win ball games. He knows that. Gotta win ball games.” And that starts Wednesday as Day travels to four states, beginning to build, to mold his version, the 25th version of the Ohio State football program.
Sean Dyche insisted that he doesn’t want to spend a lot in the upcoming summer transfer window despite his side have been doing really well and is likely to make it to the Europa League for the next season.The talented British coach claimed that he has to think about future – not just about the next six months, but about the next couple of years and he can’t spend all the money that he will be given just for a couple of high-profile players.Dyche spoke about his plans for the transfer window as he said, according to Independent:It’s hard for us to buy ‘the one’ who can walk straight into our team.”Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“We have to look at a high level of development player – not necessarily someone for £100,000 to turn into a world beater – but the kind of market for us is a few million quid.”“We can’t jump to £25million for people, five times over, we’ve got to look not just for the next six months but the six months after that, 18 months, 24 months, and that is tough.”“But you have to keep looking and future proofing, getting the players in we think we can mould for the future.”
Germany legend Lothar Matthaus says Mesut Ozil should have expected criticism.The former Germany captain believes that both the Germany Football Federation (DFB) and the Arsenal start should have expected the fallout of his controversial actions.Ozil decided to announce his retirement from international football with Germany after stench criticism from the media and public alike, and Matthaus believes the attacking midfielder should have expected the backlash of his actions prior to the World Cup in Russia.Following his country’s exit from the World Cup, Ozil released a three-part statement on social media in which he criticized the DFB and its president for their insensitivity towards his Turkish heritage.Matthaus who captained Germany to their 1990 World Cup glory in 1990 believes both the player and the football federation failed to identify how big an issue it would be following Germany’s second-round exit from the World Cup.“It is sad that things turned out this way. It could have been dealt with from the beginning,” Matthaus said, according to Goal.Report: Emery says Arsenal need Ozil George Patchias – August 31, 2019 Unai Emery has told Mesut Ozil that he and Arsenal need him.According to Goal.com, Unai Emery has told Mesut Ozil that he is not…“Anybody can take pictures with whoever they want to but they must be ready to face the criticism. The DFB underestimated how big of an issue it was from the start.”The 29-year-old Ozil, played an important role in Germany’s run to World Cup glory four years ago in Brazil after helping the country finished third in 2010.However, his performances in the German National team shirt have under intense scrutiny and Matthaus believes his performance levels have dipped.“Ozil has been important performer for the national team in the past eight years but for a year-and-half now his performances have dropped. I’ve criticized him for his performances on the pitch alone because nothing else concerns me.” Matthaus added.“I know it sounds harsh but from a sporting perspective it’s not a loss, it’s a chance to change something in that position.”
Aaron Lennon admits that it’s unlikely he will get a call-up to the English national team, despite an impressive display for Burnley on SaturdayThe 31-year-old winger found the net for the first time in over two years in Burnley’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth.It was the Clarets first of the new Premier League season.But, despite impressing in front of England boss Gareth Southgate, Lennon is not expecting his first England call-up since February 2013.He told Sky Sports: “It’s a long time since I played international football.“You never know. But the only thing I am concentrating on is playing well for Burnley. Whatever happens, happens.”Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.On his goal drought, Lennon added: “It’s been preying on my mind to be honest.“I should score more. I’ve had a few chances this season but it is great to get the goal.“If you are playing every game you want to aim for double figures. But for me getting assists is just as important. It makes my day if the other lads score as well.“It didn’t matter how we won. We knew it was just important to get back to winning ways. To win 4-0 was even better.“We worked on it all week, getting back to basics, being on the front foot and doing what we do. From minute one we were in their faces and it has paid off for us.”Burnley are now 16th in the Premier League table.
Simon Mignolet believes Liverpool would learn from their late title twist in 2014 as they close in on their first Premier League crown.Only three players Mignolet, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge who were all instrumental in that campaign are in the current team.And five years on they are on the cusp of something special with a four-point lead ahead of Man City.“So much has changed over the past five years here,” he told the ECHO.“It’s only Hendo, Studge and me still here from the last time we really fought for the title.“Back then a lot of it was about Luis Suarez and Studge, whereas now the goals are shared about more. We had a really good team in 2013/14 but the moment we got one or two injuries it became difficult.“We’ve got a broad squad now which means we can cope with injuries. That’s probably the biggest difference with last time.“If a game is deadlocked there is always someone ready on the bench who is capable of opening a game up. In that sense, we’re in a much better position than we were then.23 – Mohamed Salah & Roberto Firmino have combined to set up 23 goalscoring chances for one another in the Premier League this season; more than any other pair. The next best is Mohamed Salah & Sadio Mané (22 chances created between each other). Dangerous. pic.twitter.com/EbtRefEXZP— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 21, 2019Top 5 Premier League players to watch for next weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Premier League’s Top 5 players to watch this weekend.After…“The general quality of this squad is the best I’ve ever known. When we play 11 v 11 in training it’s like being involved in a top match in the Premier League.“It’s not 11 first-teamers against 11 reserves, it’s two Premier League sides facing each other in training. It’s high quality.”Klopp’s men are breaking club records with their tally of 60 points from 23 games the best return at this stage of a season in the club’s illustrious history.Defensively, the difference is vast. Where Liverpool leaked 50 league goals in 2013/14, now the foundations are much stronger with just 13 conceded this time around.7 – Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool won seven league games during December 2018 – the most they’ve ever won in a single calendar month in their entire history. Award. pic.twitter.com/4n4yGN2ggQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 11, 2019“Exactly and that’s massive,” Mignolet said.“I think a big part of that is Virgil van Dijk. Ever since he’s come in he’s made a huge difference.“It’s not only his playing ability but the character and the leadership he sends out from the back. It’s especially important when you play teams like Brighton and Crystal Palace recently.“It’s the pressure he eases with his clearing headers. He always makes it look so easy. Something that’s very difficult for anyone else, just looks like a walk in the park for Virgil. He’s made us a lot more solid than before.”