Big Ten Conference, American football, Nebraska Cornhuskers football, Ohio State Buckeyes football, College football Morning Scoop: Can Nebraska Football Parents Force The Big Ten's Hand?
This is your daily buckeye fix. I’M tom orr, ohio, state’s football parents association has a protest planned at ohio stadium for this saturday at 11 a.m. They’Re, inviting fans and anyone who else who wants to come out to support their call for transparency from the big ten surrounding its decision to scrap the 2020 fall season. This is a follow up to last friday’s parents only protest outside the league’s offices that generated absolutely zero response for the conference. The university of nebraska football parents are taking a somewhat different approach. Last friday, their attorney sent a letter to the league demanding all documents relating to all votes regarding whether to cancel, postpone or delay fall sports, including the results of all such votes, including how each council, member voted all meeting minutes reflecting all such votes. All audio and video recordings and transcripts of all meetings at which all such votes were cast all conference, bylaws and or rules and regulations governing the decision making process and all assessments, memorandums studies, scientific data and any other medical information and or advice considered by the council. In the process of making a decision based on health concerns not to allow student athletes to play this fall, and yes, a lawyer did write that i’m just reading it and this being 2020, you can find people online who think this is brilliant and you can find Those who think this is completely pointless, buckeye scoops, ross fulton joins me this morning.
You know him as the x’s and o’s guys for the site, but he’s also an attorney by trade ross. What did you make of that letter? Maybe somewhere in between i mean, i think, it’s just a generalized attempt to keep the pressure on the big ten uh, whether that’s their public perception uh. You know, i mean i think that they’re continuing to try to attempt to get information. I think probably the foia process from the schools, the universities themselves – will probably be more a more efficient way to do so um, but you know i don’t think you know in terms of as a legal matter. This letter doesn’t really provide a lot of specifics in terms of what’s their their right to receive this information from the big ten, whether the big ten even has to go through any sort of formal vote process to make these decisions uh. So, in terms of as a legal document it’s much more of a public relations document than a legal document, let’s put it that way now did the the things they’re asking for in the letter suggest you that they’re pursuing some kind of specific theory or idea. I mean the idea, the item about the conference bylaws and conference bylaws and or rules and regulations governing the decision making process. I mean that seemed suggestive to me that they may not think this was done strictly by the book or at least the version of events.
As they’ve discussed them was not done by the book um. Is that suggestive at all to you of of anything or is? Am i reading too much into this? No, i mean, i think, that’s i think that’s, certainly where they’re going. I can’t sit in here right now. Tell you for certain whether they’re, right or wrong about that. I think it again because the big ten is, i mean it’s, a it’s, a non profit institution it’s, not a public institution, necessarily um. You know how transparent their decision making process has to be. Uh, i think, is, is subject to the eyes of the beholder and even if, even if there are bylaws saying that they have to have a formal vote, i’m, not sure what the remedy is for violating those um. So i think there’s there’s quite a few stages here you know, i think what they’re first trying to do is is get this information out um. You know at this point i i i’m not entirely certain what people hope to accomplish um. You know, i think the ship is sailing on having a fall season for the big ten and for allowing big ten schools to play this fall. But again i think they’re just trying to keep the public pressure on the big ten and you touched on something there. That, i think, is an important distinction that people may not know if they don’t uh do journalism or law stuff for a living.
You’Ll hear about people filing foia’s or freedom of information act requests with a lot of the schools uh tom mars. The attorney who you know from all of the uh transfer situations over the last few years, you probably heard his name there. He’S, followed freedom of information act requests with 13 of the 14 big 10 schools, because public institutions, all public institutions, are subject to them and you can request documents and they have 30 days to get them back to. You is sort of the short version of it and they can redact personal information, so you know block out personal information, but otherwise they have to turn over documents as sort of a uh. You know as an accountability thing as uh public institution, the only one that’s not subject to that is northwestern, because that’s, a private institution, the big ten as you mentioned, is a non profit. They are not a public institution, so they are not subject to foia. So this that may be why nebraska is kind of going going about this a different way. They can’t fly this from the big ten, so they’re going about a different way. The letter that they sent last week demanded that those materials be turned over no later than monday. So two days ago, now that didn’t happen and the group’s attorney released a new letter on monday saying that the league did not respond at all. That i mean that strikes me as a little odd, because i mean again with a foia which this is not, but with a foil when i fly something from ohio state like the ohio state oregon game contract.
For this year i filed a freedom of information or act request to get that, so i could find out you know: what does the force major clause say about cancelling that game? Send that you receive an acknowledgement from the league and then they can say? Okay, we will get it back to you as soon as we can and they have 30 days to do it. The league didn’t respond at all to this request. No, they don’t have to because it’s not a foia, but normally you receive an acknowledgement and it would have been very easy for them to say. Yeah i’m sorry it’s going to take a while for us to get that information together. Kick the can for another 30 to 45 days, the fact that they didn’t do that there was no acknowledgement at all from the league. I certainly read that as a sign that they’re not going to turn any of this over, they can sit. Don’T. Consider this legitimate at all i mean is that is that your read on things it seems like sort of kicking. The can would have been a very easy decision here, but you know, maybe that opens them up too happy to turn it over later yeah. My my initial, what i would surmise is that the big tens attorneys do not feel that they’re under any obligation to provide any of this information and so they’re not even going to acknowledge it. If you ask for more time that in some ways is an acknowledgement that maybe you have that there isn’t a legitimate claim to this information, and i assume that they’re saying they have no claim so we’re not going to even recognize it with a response um, you Know three days is sort of an absurd turnaround time, as you hinted at that uh, comparing that to the 30 days for foia, but that’s.
Also because foia is a law that’s, you know, and this is sort of uh. You know they don’t the attorneys. In this letter do not cite any legal basis for obtaining this information uh. So again to me, it strikes me as more of a first step in a in a public relations campaign uh than an actual legal. You know if they file a lawsuit in court, then they’re, obviously gon na, have to provide a legal basis for getting this information beyond what’s in this letter. Well, if you were to uh by the fact that this is maybe more of a pr thing than than a true legal move, um the letter on monday that was released after they did not get the information they wanted talked about meeting with the parents who hired The attorneys take the next most appropriate step and then it tries to basically shame the league. I think by saying that it’s frustrating that student athletes quote must pay must, on their own dime pay to educate professional adults, about basic transparency and fairness. I mean it’s. Quite a singer, i will give them that, but i mean i. I would assume that you’re, probably reading that the same way i am, which is you, know, it’s a bluff, maybe aimed at shaming the league rather than you know, that’s, not a legit legal strategy right yeah, no there’s, you know there’s all legal saying where, if you Know you, the laws on your side will rely on the law if the facts are on your side rely on the facts and if neither you just sort of throw throw mud and see what sticks uh.
To paraphrase – and i i mean i think, that’s sort of uh what they’re doing there they’re they’re, trying to publicly shame which is hey, i mean, as you said at the beginning, i mean there’s on twitter, especially you will find everyone on very uh strong positions on All sides of this, and so i think, they’re trying to create a groundswell of support and uh. You know whether that works. I i don’t know i think that the big ten, even for people who support the ultimate decision to postpone playing the season. I i don’t think it’s hard to find people who think the big ten handled this correctly, so they they may get to the point of of being able to get gather some more information. You know i don’t again, i don’t think that’s going to probably change the big 10’s decision at this point, but it may provide some clarity eventually to the process. Well, there’s this and there’s also the foia pathway, which we’ve discussed a little bit tom, mars and others, including buckeye scoop, have filed freedom of information, act requests with some or all of the big ten schools. I mean it seems like that sounds like it’s, probably more likely to bear some fruit at some point down the line than than this. I would think so again, you know hey a really uh. A lawyer would probably have told the universities at the time to handle things through the big ten, for this exact reason that uh you you, as a public institution you’re, going to be subject to foia, whereas the big ten is not uh.
That said, some of these decision making processes would be difficult to handle uh without some sort of internal communications. So i think you’ll. I think something will come out of it again. What that is, i don’t know i mean i, you know i really do have to say you know if you think about it, though i’m not sure any of it’s going to be earth shattering per se. I mean, i think we all know sort of the arguments on both sides of this we’ve seen what the pac 12 has produced. I think it’s going to be some of that and i think you’re going to have you know a general risk aversion attitude probably coming across and perhaps some discussion of you know taking the the cautious step. Perhaps but you know i, i don’t think it’s gon na be there’s gon na be any sort of smoking gun uh, but it probably will provide again some more light on the decision making process, perhaps yeah, i think, back to the 2018 urban meyer uh. You know summer, the summer of uh scandal at ohio state a couple years ago, and the freedom information act request that uh. You know the documents that came out of that and the most interesting stuff was all text messages and a lot of the interesting stuff had little to note nothing to do with the actual uh, with the actual uh case at hand, and it was him saying that Some player name redacted was uh, you know had shown up out of shape and all of that so yeah you.
Never you never know what you’re gon na get with a foia. No, i agree, and i mean what i remember out of it was that his text messages were set to to delete in 30 days, and so you know you get that kind of stuff, always that you know well what could have been their uh discussion, and so You know i i don’t think that the whatever comes out of the foias, i don’t think will will settle this issue because, ultimately again, there’s very passionate views on both sides of this matter, and i you know, i don’t think it’s gon na change. A lot of people’s minds on the ultimate substance of it. I think a lot of this transparency is both i i do think warranted, but also the low hanging fruit. If you will it’s it’s easy to target the big ten on this because of how poorly they handled it all right, that’s enough law talk for today, ross uh ross is on staff, not as our staff legal uh analyst. He is on staff, as our ex is a nose guy, and i mean at some point: ohio state is going to play football again, no matter what it might feel like right now, whether it’s uh later this fall or next spring or next fall at some point. They are going to step back on the football field and play a real football game, won’t that be exciting whenever they do they’re going to have a new defensive coordinator, carrie combs, who is has to put in at least you know, an updated version of the defense.
They missed virtual, yellow spring ball only got a few practices. This fall before they had to shut things down again. They are likely more or less going to have to go from scratch. Whenever things resume, you hear about people talking about install the idea of install with whenever a new coach comes in or – and you know, they’re going to change the offense. What does that look like? What does install look like, and you know how long does that process? Take yeah install just basically means you’re, inst you’re, putting in the basis of your offense or defense. So you know every offense or defense is, is based around certain types of core concepts. So you know urban meyer, for me is always a classic example that tight zone read was the basis of the offense. So to me that means like on day one install you’re putting in your bread and butter couple of play so like for meyer would be tight zone read and then maybe usually what installs are they’re grouped together. So let’s say on day one you put in tight zone read and then you put in the play action pass off of that or you know the speed option off of that uh and then day two it’s gon na be you know for meyer. It would have been like putting in power, so you know day one you’re putting in zone blocking day two you’re putting in gap blocking and so you’re putting in your core concepts, usually probably the first week, let’s say a practice, you uh and then by that point, You’Ll have have put in 80 to 90, maybe of your scheme, and then everything builds off of that.
So now you’ve installed sort of the foundation. If you will, and now you can, you can put the bells and whistles and now, on the other side of the ball you’ve got depending on when the next game is, if it’s january 1st, then maybe justin fields is still the quarterback for ohio state. If it’s march, 1st or april 1st or september 1st, then probably it’s someone else if they’re breaking any new quarterback, whether it’s gunner hoke or you know, cj stroud or jack miller or kyle mccord, if it’s in the fall, what is the learning curve for a new Quarterback, like whoever that is, how quickly can they get up to speed if there’s you know, and how much does that depend on whether they can have fall practices this year, let’s let’s, say it’s, cj stroud, for example, and they’re starting either april 1st next year or September 1st next year and cj stroud is the guy who’s going to win this quarterback jog? How steep is that learning curve, and how much does it matter how much time they get on the field? This fall in terms of him being ready and what what they can do whenever that season starts. Yeah it’s a like many things with kobe 19 it’s created a unique situation where a person like cj stroud has been now been there for what, like nine months, almost um, so there’s a lot of time for mental reps for studying, but just not a lot of Physical reps uh, so you know it’s going to be a steep learn.
You know i i’m sure at this point he has the playbook down pat, but actually implementing it and and working through it and learning it is going to be a steep learning curve, and so you know whether that’s you know the same thing on the defensive side Is you know they all i’m sure have it down and a lot of it’s going to be the same, but to the extent they’re changing things it’s, just a lot of of missed reps that you’re, just you just need to put in the physical time doing. It is that something that, having having a some kind of a fall practice schedule, you know if they’re able to have 20 hours a week, all fall, how how far ahead. Does that put him? If you know for for an april first season next year, how far ahead did that put him um versus if the big ten sticks with no? No? No, no, no, we can’t do anything. We have to all sit. You know sit on the side and not do anything or or a january. First, you know how what what kind of a difference does that make in terms of what this team might look like and maybe even who could be the starting quarterback next next spring yeah? I certainly think it would make a difference now again that the devils and the details, you know what kind of practices are these. Are they just in helmets and doing walkthroughs? Are they doing actual practices? I mean to me, you know you can accomplish a lot through through michelle’s and just walking things through, but you need to actually have some practices where people are on full pads and the bullets are flying as well.
To learn to you know, learn sort of trial by fire for lack of a better word. Have that opportunity to practice uh because that’s, where you really make some strides and it’s. You know if you’re jumping from doing you know seven on sevens and doing everything in shorts to suddenly having to play in a game. That’S gon na be a steep learning curve well ross. Thank you for joining us for two very different halves of a morning. Scoop episode you can find ross and the rest of our incredible team of reporters at buckeyescoop.com. We have great content available for free outside the paywall every day and then even more incredible stuff, including staff, chats insider reports on our ask the insiders board that’s all at buckeyescoop.com. You can also find all of our podcasts by searching buckeye scoop on apple podcast, google, podcast soundcloud, or your podcast platform of choice while you’re there please subscribe and leave us a 5 star rating and review. Thank you guys for listening have a great day.