Cronk dialed in on offensive line

Late-night phone calls seldom bring good news.

So Indiana offensive line coach Darren Hiller was predictably uneasy when his phone rang around 11 o’clock one offseason night. Hiller was driving along the ribbons of roadway connecting him from one recruiting stop in Tallahassee, Fla., to his next destination in south Georgia when he looked at his phone and read the caller ID.

It was Coy Cronk, his starting left tackle. On the other end of the line, Hiller wasn’t sure what awaited.

“He was like, ‘Coach, we’ve got this new nutritionist and he’s awesome,'” Hiller said. “We had a 40-minute conversation about the nutritionist, how much it’s changed his thoughts on his training, his physical well-being and all those things. He’s feeling really good.”

Indeed, the offseason has brought plenty of good news for Cronk. The junior has a lot he’s excited for this fall — his health, the changes he’s made to his body and the opportunity to make strides as a technically proficient lineman — and his coaches are equally raring to see Cronk put it all together.

“He’s gotten a lot stronger this offseason,” IU coach Tom Allen said, “and I really love the way he’s worked in the weight room.”

Before any of that work could happen, Cronk had to get healthy.

Knee and back issues limited Cronk last fall, particularly late in the year. IU’s loss at Michigan State on Oct. 21 was especially tough on Cronk’s body, leaving aftereffects that the two-year starter would deal with during the rest of the season.

In fact, Cronk hardly practiced across the final five weeks, doing just enough training and rehab work to get his body ready to play on game days.

“Not having any live reps is tough when your first pass rush is on Saturday against a Big Ten East opponent,” Cronk said. “It’s tough. You just gotta put your head down, work and fight through it. The training staff did a great job of keeping me healthy for Saturdays.”

Once IU’s season ended in late November, Cronk took a month off from workouts to rest his body, easing back into a training regimen by early January. With it came a new approach to how Cronk viewed his total body health.

Cronk credits Isaac Hicks, IU’s new director of sports performance nutrition, for developing a new meal plan that complemented the gains made in the weight room.

“I stuck to it and I’ve seen the results,” Cronk said. “I eat a lot of bread, dairy, vegetables, meat.”

It’s all led to a new version of the 6-foot-5 Cronk, who’s now benching 405 pounds and weighing in around 310 pounds.

That’s a stark difference to where Cronk was just two years ago, when he stepped into IU’s starting lineup at 260 pounds. Cronk, who has started all 25 Indiana games since his arrival, has always been a better athlete than he gets credit for.

Now, he’s adding the size to match his opponents on the line in one of college football’s toughest divisions.

“I had never played a snap at left tackle before I got here,” Cronk said. “Then I ended up starting my freshman year, which was tough. Really, all I had was playing hard and grit. I didn’t have any technique, no experience to fall back on. The older guys when I first got here helped me immensely. I wouldn’t be where I am without them — Brandon (Knight), Dan Feeney and Wes (Martin), all those guys. I’m not 260 pounds anymore. I think I’ve grown up a little bit.”

The next step is refining the techniques that could take him from a starting left tackle to a star left tackle.

They are little things, Cronk says, such as tweaking his approach to pass protection and the angles he chooses while run blocking — things he’s eager to correct this season.

“From the film I watched of his freshman year to last year, I saw him progress,” Hiller said. “But I just think playing offensive line is so much about fundamentals and the techniques of the position, being in the battle and getting in different situations. I foresee Coy having a great year. He’s bigger, way stronger and feeling really good.”

That, without question, is good news for the Hoosiers.

“He’s respected by his teammates because he plays hard, he works hard and he’s a great player,” Allen said. “I just want to see him keep elevating his game and keep getting technically better.”

59 comments

  1. Recruiting for 2019 has been pretty silent for a while.
    Passing time with somewhat inspirational stories. Does it mean a 3 star player raises his development of play to a 4 star level while a 4 star player raises his level to a 5 star level and a 5 star player raises his level of play to a 6 star plus level?
    So, is it all back to square one? Wins and loses? Competitive vs. Not competitive? Blow outs vs. Upsets?
    A take away from V comments…will find out on the field in game day.

    1. t,
      If the S&C program actually turn out to be revolutionary, remember the advent of the Wishbone Offense. At first, Texas had a huge advantage, then other schools started running it. Eventually though, the defenses caught up and everything level back out again. For Texas Coach Royal, it bought him enough time to retire on his own terms and as a beloved figure in UT history.

    2. Damn, just had a very sought after WR commit on the 2nd and a Florida tackle 4 days before that. I’d say with absolute assurance this staff is at least on schedule or more likely ahead in capturing their targets. I offer no bitch for those results.

  2. HC, I agree the staff is on track with recruiting. It would be great to have breakthrough season encourage more higher rated recruits to come to IU. The more our players talk about the changes in the S&C/nutrition program the more I am convinced we will see a major difference on the field. Based on reports so far Coach Allen is upgrading the program and things look good for the future. I hope the future starts this year and results improve from there.

    1. V13 & HC,
      Biggest issue I see is if we finally see the long, long awaited “breakthrough,” is holding the staff doing it together. At least long enough to set the foundation for long term success. You pull the worst college FB program in history out of the dumpster, everyone associated with it will be hot property. All you have to do is look at Cubs pursuit of Theo Epstein after breaking the Boston Red Socks curse.

      It happened to Mallory and it will happen to Allen, if IU admin does not do what is necessary to keep the coaching talent at home. If everything we hope we are seeing actually plays out in a positive manner on the football field, it is a tremendous resume enhancer for the coaching staff. Anyone who doesn’t understand the amount of dollars which will be thrown at the staff really has no understanding of the modern college football reality. If TA has actually put together a staff which can be successful, it is one thing to build it, quite another to replace it.

      Once again, the Mallory experience is telling.

  3. If I put on 50 lbs….I doubt I would be healthier and faster. The only thing more explosive would be my bowel movements.
    It’s sort of strange how nutritional gains and feeling better includes adding 20% more body mass to an already very big body.
    It will be interesting to see when the science ends and the bodies can take no more cocktails to build behemoths.

    But should we really kid ourselves and promote the idea of building massive bodies(no matter the nutritional balances) is actually making for a healthier and longer life? With the glaring evidence of degenerative brain disease a high probability of being matched to a football career, maybe it’s time to stop the charades of anything about playing the game as healthy?

    It’s a brutal sport. Its goal is to find the limits of punishment absorbed and created by a human body. It is a sport of gladiators. It is sledgehammers upon the bones, bodily tissues, organs, and the brain.
    We build it bigger. We feed it more. Pigs aren’t alone in being raised to be bigger so to bring more price per package in the neighborhood grocer’s store.
    Football is all about consumption. But with consumption comes waste and the desire to emulate unnatural obsessions. The art of individualism is diminished while we make all living and growing processes a test tube project in hopes of manipulating forms to our own desires. Are we really being inventive …or is it just another diet of deceptions aboard the same “get bigger” train?

    1. H4H, you bring up good points about football. This country has always had people that are different than the rest of society. People willing to risk their lives and bodies for others. We see it with the military, police, and fire departments. We also see it though in sports whether boxing, football, basketball, baseball, or soccer. Boxing and football are higher profiles with sports injuries and loong term effects but all sports stress the body causing injuries that can be life long problems. The best thing about football it is something the participants love to play. Like most people they are focus on the now and don’t make decisions based on what life will be like at 50.

      Your other point about is it healthy to develop people into behemoths. It is compared to what happened in the past. NFL and college linemen gained mass based on unhealthy eating habits and were often encourage to eat more. Today the focus is on helathy foods reducing the % fat a player has while increasing muscle mass. We have seen this work in professional bodybuilding where contestants are only concerned with muscle mass and not athletic ability. A combination of proper diet, weight training, and speed training can develop healthy behemoths. There are a number of good examples in the NFL that are huge but physically fit.

      thinkabout it and Po there is always a concern about losing successful coaches but there are examples where they stay at the school they love – NU and Iowa are two but one of the best examples come from Mount Union Larry Kehres that had many offers to got to D1 schools but stayed at Mount Union. NU has held on to its staff and has coaches that have been there close to a decade. Getting the right coaches in the program is the key to holding on to coaches when the team becomes successful.

      1. V13,
        I agree with your examples of how to retain successful coaches at lower tier schools. Mt Union is one of the best at what they do. I also believe TA may possibly fit your bill of getting the right coach for the program. However the school must still give the coach the tools to be successful, otherwise they will become frustrated at some point and leave or they will wear out as did Bill Mallory.

        1. I agree IU must give the program the tools to compete with the top schools. So far it has give Allen the S&C/nutrition program he deems necessary. I think many of the things coach Allen sees needed at IU will be something other than his pay. It will be efforts to retain assistant coaches, recruiting budgets, etc. If IU doesn’t step up the frustation can drive coaches off and IUFB will continue to suffer. I would think coach Hart would jump at the chance to coach UM RBs but he may have other priorities.

  4. A football topic …but somewhat off-topic…but still relevant to the desires to build more interest and national notoriety for IU Football. So here it goes…

    Can somebody tell me how Northwestern, Purdue and Ball State all manage to get Notre Dame on their schedule …but we cannot?

    Hate to complain…but where is our administration in making truly marquee matchups (or, at minimum, matchups with strong local passion/interest)? Where is our UK vs. IU basketball border clash/rivalry? Why do other up-and-coming football programs within a stone’s throw of Indy get a game schedule with a ratings giant like ND…while we remain standing on the sidelines watching?
    Does not rebuilding programs involve refueling old rivalries and making for new local flavors of interest against nationally recognized and respected programs(e.g. ND)? Playing it safe and avoiding some of the best the Midwest(and our state) have to offer sure doesn’t seem like a way to promote more fan interest.

      1. Which game are you going to watch first…? IU vs Tampa Bay International…or ND vs. Ball State in hopes of witnessing a momentous upset?

        But IU simply can’t afford any non-conference losses preceding losing to every quality team in our own conference. Just can’t afford that sort of risk. It would mean no ‘Lump of Coal Bowl!’

  5. The Era of Isolationism for Indiana Athletics…..? Maybe some of those anonymous comments from other BigTen coaches were spot on? We build facilities and put a lot of lipstick on the pig, but do we truly give the Hoosier Nation what they deserve? Are we playing football and basketball with so little risk in non-conference scheduling making for big returns…that it almost appears both major sports are more dodge ball? Is this why we top out at Sweet 16’s and remain forever stagnant in football? We simply want the most dollars out of the fans for the least risk?

  6. thinkaboutit;
    I agree completely with all your comments above, and I’ve expressed this concern several times before. I confess that it is the kind of problem I’d like to see IU have as soon as possible, but I worry that Glass is not up to defending IU against aggressive coaching poachers.

    People claim that IU can’t afford to hire a proven head coach. Well, I contend that it is a “pick your poison” scenario. If IU can’t afford to hire a proven head coach, then IU probably can’t afford to keep its head coach once he proves he can turn a historically moribund program into a winner. think about it right; one way or the other, a winning head coach and his staff are going to cost IU a lot more money!

    So here’s the big question! If IU were to break through in 2018, produce a winning season and go to a bowl game and win it, would the Hoosier nation respond with significantly increased attendance at home games? Would IU fans buy more apparel? Would donations to the Athletic Department increase? In other words, would the Hoosier nation do its part to enable Glass to have the funds necessary to keep a winning coach in Bloomington? I’m not sure it would!

    Please, for all the people who would argue that T.A. would stay at IU out of sheer loyalty, not be tempted to take another job with a Power-5 conference school where his compensation would be doubled, please go back to holding hands with Pollyanna.

    1. Po,
      You said, “People claim that IU can’t afford to hire a proven head coach.” I don’t believe the word “can’t ,” is appropriate. The more appropriate word is “won’t.” The problem has been and always will be what the IU hierarchy decides are their priorities. The Trustees decide they can spend 17.5m on a glass house, but a podunk (no podunker pun intended) school in Mississippi lures away their baseball coach with more money, more resources, and a better chance to win big. Not to mention they figure out a way to renovate, not build new, their existing baseball stadium to the tune of 60m. All the while IU manages to renovate AH for the paltry amount of 40m.

      This is where it always comes back to Hoosiernation, which has the ultimate responsibility. You historically elect these kind of Trustees to hire this type of administration and this is what you get on the FB field or valid reasons for H4H’s fury over the wasted years of basketball.

      1. You could throw Fort Knox at IU Football and it would still be a fly without wings on a BigTen pile of dung….compared to SEC football.
        Correct, Mr. thinkaboutit? Puh-leasssssssssse don’t pretend I can compare to that sort of defeatism aimed at IU Football. You come to our Tom Allen birthday party and tells us we’ll never be a grown up like Billy ‘SEC’ Superior. Here’s your new Tonka Truck, Lil’ Tommy Allen. Just keep in mind that you’ll never be able to drive it on any SEC highways…lol.

        1. Well H4H,
          I guess it serves me right to try and show your opinions some respect. Just like a stray dog one tries to feed and winds up getting bit by it.

          I doubt you would care what they think (I don’t often), but ESPN just ranked the P5 divisions by what they call their Power Football Index. B1G East came in a respectable 2nd place by a decent margin over the ACC Atlantic (11.4 to 10.1). The B1G West as one would expect, next to last of the 9 divisions rated (Big12 rated as 1). SEC West as expected came in 1st over the B1G East (13.3 to 11.4).

          Just for the record once again, which you seem to continually ignore, the fact that the SEC West is this much more superior over the B1G has never made me particularly happy. Not an SEC proponent, born and raised B1G, which you obviously never care to acknowledge. Just as you don’t like to acknowledge the very obvious reality of SEC West’s dominance over the rest of College FB in recent years. You can’t close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears, and sing Kumbaya at the top of your lungs while pretending it doesn’t exist (Although that is probably what you are doing most of the time). You do your best to point out the obvious problems and offer suggestions to fix the problem.

          Isn’t that kind of what you have, and continue to do ad nauseam, regarding the Crean years?

          1. 13.3 to ll.4…? Doesn’t seem like much of a slight. Heck, when I’ve read your assessments, I would have figured 13.3 to -1.4.
            I don’t bite. That was a playful nibble. Sometimes I get defensive because some have tried to ‘put me down’ here(blog euthanasia).
            I tend to favor most your ideas and certainly prefer your manner in presenting them over the condescension and ridicule often aimed at the fan base from ‘you know who’…(the one you seem to tag along behind like a stray dog).

            Blaming a fan base is very simplistic. I tend to think it’s a bit more complicated. Love grows where my Rosemary goes…Let’s pick up the mood! Woof ..woof.

          2. You haven’t. You always have to have your last word and last dig.

            And did I call thinkaboutit a clown or an idiot? Did I tell him he should be ashamed of his opinion? I think he has a love for the SEC and, at times, it feels like a non-stop slight against Indiana/BigTen.

            I am not going to accept that slight anymore than one from somebody who wants to be a bully. I wasn’t bullying thinkaboutit. I was using sarcasm because of tendency to blame fan bases for things they can’t control. I can’t control the superiority of the SEC…or the possible demographics/sport priorities/academic demands/less vigorous academic requirements/weather/population centers, etc at this current moment in history. There are countless factors that may(emphasis on the concreteness of “may”) give the SEC the advantage in football. I think it’s the last of Indiana Football worries…thus the sarcasm aimed at the tendency to blame fans, etc. And why is there such an avoidance in blaming AD’s for the sad state of affairs in football and basketball(though, hopefully, finally moving in a slightly better direction)? It’s always the implied stupidity of the fans. The fans knew Crean was a horrific coach…He had a relationship founded in nepotism with the AD and that is why he was handed extensions and given far too much time and relevance…and microphone. Stop blaming the fans!

          3. Chet,
            You are absolutely so right. You know there are folks who just can’t resist feeding a stray cat or dog when they show up on their door step. You just have to break yourself of the habit and take them on to the animal shelter. Do we have a shelter around here for this one?

          4. ‘Chihuahua Chet’ will gladly heel for your Kibbles ‘n Bits. You may even get some ankle humping…

        2. And in 2018? The SEC can strut, crow and brag, but the level of self-confidence doesn’t match the reality of this year’s situation. The league’s best is better than your best — and that still counts for something. But there’s a steep decline for the SEC after the top three of the Crimson Tide, Bulldogs and Auburn [……] The true measure of the SEC’s unquestioned dominance this century was never the championships but the swath of space that separated the league’s sixth-best team, for example, from the same team in the Big Ten, ACC or elsewhere. That’s simply not the case in 2018 — the SEC lacks the overall horsepower of the recent past. In terms of its top tier of teams, no conference rivals the Big Ten.

          Woof…woof.

          https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/sec/2018/07/18/2018-sec-contenders-alabama-georgia-auburn/796003002/

  7. Maryland suspends football coach- death of player at practice and toxic environment………..Michigan investigating if team members are selling school-supplied shoes……..Rutgers – team member on suspension no longer with the school……….And the Ohio State thing.

  8. Local IU fans – Ten days ago state officials noted state road 37 between Martinsville and Bloomington all lanes were open and I-69 signs would be going up. Last week 37 was again back to one lane both directions. Completion date now in December. IU suggesting alternative routes for new arriving students and probably football fans.

  9. Ron, I hope the schools do the right thing but we all know that is a long shot but sometimes long shot come in. Both OSU and Maryland need to do the right thing and fire their coaches instead of letting the university get shamed. UM is alrady coming up with answers about the shoes other than players did it. I have no idea if players sold their shoes or not but coming out early saying they didn’t does give me confidence they didn’t.

      1. I can’t claim to know if he should or not bit I’ll be very surprised if he goes anywhere.

        If he does leave every big time program in the country not named Alabama or Clemson will probably hold their collective noses and throw money at him.

  10. I’m not a fan of Urban Meyer, but I am a fan of Due Process and basic fairness, so unless it is be proven that Meyer lied to his chain-of-command, failed to report the incident in question, or conspired to cover it up, he should not be fired. Of course, OSU, after sticking its collective finger in its mouth and then holding it up to the wind to see which way the cultural wind blows, may choose to take the hit to its football program and its treasury, pay Meyer a bunch of money (about $15 million should do it) to make him go away without a fuss, and then claim they did the right thing for the good of OSU. But my guess is that someone else, some AD or other administrator is going to get sacrificed. The media, having already found Meyer guilty of something, must have their pound of flesh. If I was Meyer, I’d negotiate a huge severance package, force OSU to tell the world that I did nothing wrong, and then bolt for the NFL. I think the Cleveland Browns are going to need a new head coach in about eight weeks.

  11. Meyer’s mistake was that brought all this about was keeping Smith on staff despite the abuse that was known about [according to Meyer he knew]. Meyer screwed the pooch at the B1G news conference when he blamed media for writing a story that wasn’t true even though he knew it was true. He belittled writers and when asked what had changed after 2015 that led to Smith being fired Meyer couldn’t answer. The writer asking that question hit the nail on the head – why was Smith retained after the incidence but fired in 2018. The answer is Smith lost his job once the story hit the press. Meyer did nothing until the story came out then fired Smith to avoid looking bad. If OSU can handle looking like protectors of abusers until it reflects badly on them, then Meyer will keep his job.

  12. If OSU has any sort of ‘house cleaning’ I would expect that Kevin Wilson will be one of the first heads to roll. He has too much high profile baggage and it is the kind the university will want to put behind them.

    He hasn’t exactly been on their ‘fast track’ anyway. He went from offensive coordinator to co-offensive coordinator in one season.

    His next coaching stop may be less glamorous.

  13. v13;
    My point was that we do not know the facts, only what some in the media are reporting! And media reports do not qualify as evidence in either a criminal or civil case. Furthermore, and again, I am not defending Meyer, you can’t fire an employee simply because another person accuses the employee of committing a criminal act! If that becomes the norm, any person-A with animus toward person-B, can simply make a false accusation against person-B and get person-B fired from their job. REMEMBER, the wife did not file charges against her abusive husband with the police. Therefore, according to the law, whatever she told Meyer’s wife was hearsay. And when charges were eventually filed against the jerk, he was fired immediately. Imagine how an innocent man’s career and reputation could be destroyed if a women decided to make a false accusation against him in the press. Let’s say you’re that man’s boss and you’re made aware that your employee’s girlfriend is accusing your employee of domestic violence. Do you just automatically assume this women’s accusations are true and fire your employee? If you do that, and the accusations turn out to be false, and your employee is innocent, you’re the one who is going to lose his job; then you’re going to get sewed, and your former employer is going to spend big bucks to either settling the lawsuit or defend itself against a wrongful termination lawsuit in court. When an employment contract is in place, you can’t fire people simply on the basis of an accusation. There must be evidence and due process. That’s what seems to be missing from all the media reports that have already found Meyer guilty of something beyond telling lies to the media. And if a college coach should be fired for treating members of the media badly, Bob Knight ‘s tenure at IU would not have lasted more than two seasons. The lawyers representing OSU know all this, and that’s why the school is doing its own investigation.

  14. It may not be a crime to avoid reaching out to a woman making many claims of domestic abuse, but it is sure despicable, callous, and inhumane.

    And Mr. Smith’s statement/claim on an ESPN interview(though not official testimony) that Meyer told him “If I find out you punched her in the face, you’re gone” is also an insult and sickening low bar for an abusive relationship. One punch to the face can easily end a life (see Wake Forest basketball coach accusation). That’s Urban Meyer’s defense? If you punched her, you’re done.. Kevin Wilson and Bob Knight were fired for far less in terms of bullying, berating, tolerance for how another human being should be treated, etc.

    Smith’s wife was reaching out to many close to the OSU program…”We’ll give you a call back when/if he punches you into unconsciousness.” There are numerous reasons why a victim of domestic abuse may be afraid/delaying pressing formal charges. There is no reason for those she was reaching out to be dodgy and dismissive(telling an accused that all is fine unless you punch her) and inhumane. Is it a crime to be inhumane? No. Do you want those types of individuals running your sports programs?

  15. Po, text messages between the two of the Smith’s show he agreed with what she said which is proof. 2009 incidence showed he was abusing her physically when angry. Meyer said he knew about all this and didn’t fire the guy until 2018. Lying at the Press conference and calling out the press shows he was afraid of them finding out about it. The issue isn’t about lying to the press but about ignoring the abuse. My point about Meyer lying to the press was about how he was still trying to cover up for knowing about the abuse.

  16. Po, one additional point – Meyer’s wife texted she was afraid of Coach Smith and if it were my wife saying that she would have ripped me a new a$$hole. You can talk about evidence I am believe we should wait until it all comes out before OSU makes its decision but we do have some evidence already.

    1. V13,
      I don’t disagree with the sentiments regarding Urban Meyer, IF the press reports are accurate. However OSU cannot make a decision based on what is reported in the press, they have to make sure their information is absolutely correct and will stand a court challenge. I’ve seen far to many employers in a rush to judgement get nailed with a wrongful termination lawsuit after the dust settled. These things usually don’t get much media attention, but they do happen and are usually settled quietly out of court.

      I believe Po mentioned if Meyer were guilty of some infraction that 15 m should be enough to make him go away quietly. Maybe so, but if he is not and OSU decides to terminate him to save their so called reputation, 15 m ain’t gonna touch what the wrongful termination lawsuit will be. Try in the vicinity of 100m+!! You’ve got to figure his current earnings plus market inflation (thank you Coach Saban, now at 8m + and more) times his potential remaining career time. OSU has to be extremely careful in this or the “ripped new a$$hole,” you mentioned, for OSU damaging his “career” will be monumental.

      1. Zach Smith will have “ripped new a$$hole” tattoos if he eventually heads to prison for beating his wife. And if he truly is an “abuser,” the odds are that he won’t stop until behind bars.

        1. H4H,
          I don’t disagree with you on this at all. My only concern is they get it right and don’t mess it up by making decisions without absolute facts to back it up. Nothing could be worse than doing what appears to be the right thing publicity wise then having it all come apart with a successful wrongful term suit. Would undo all the good done by holding the parties involved accountable for their actions.

  17. But they are right, v-13…It’s not a crime to be a totally inhumane a-hole.

    Anyone see the movie “Lean on Pete?” Very few crimes committed in the life of an isolated boy surrounded by inhumane/cold/distant behavior(toward the boy and all living creatures). Highly recommend though, often, quite depressing.

  18. It’s a helluva note that the football scandal isn’t even the bad scandal in the OSU athletic department. Compared to claims of molesting between 1500 and 2500 athletes by a team doctor the football coach affair is small potatoes.

    1. It may be ‘small potatoes’….or small toxic buckeye acorns….but it is the festering cancer upon a program sending messages of tolerance for inhumane deeds. It is that tolerance which puts the poisons into the bloodstream fostering the “bigger” potatoes/poison. Power…and nepotism…begetting more power. Inhumane behavior to one seems so tiny when you’re a king of your land atop the world.

  19. If Meyer does lose his job, he will join a string of Ohio State football coaches who found themselves out of work based on scandals. The most recent was Jim Tressel, who resigned in 2011 following the revelation that he covered up potential NCAA violations. Another on that list is the legendary Buckeye Woody Hayes, who was fired for punching an opposing player in the 1978 Gator Bowl. Hayes’ replacement was Earl Bruce, Meyer’s former mentor and grandfather of Zach Smith.

    Grandson of Meyer’s former mentor….? A buckeye acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. Is there really much question as to why Meyer kept Smith on board despite evidence of despicable behavior? If only there was ‘due process’ in hiring decisions….instead of the revolving doors of nepotism despite major questions in character surrounding family/friend applicants given positions and protected in those positions.
    We see it all the time: Loyalty in relationships rooted in nepotism venturing into the realm of unchecked, unqualified, and unfit….but still gainfully employed….and, thus, UNTOUCHABLE.

  20. v13;
    yes, I know what Smith’s wife texted Meyer’s wife and what is being reported that Meyer’s wife told Meyer back in 2015. And I believe Smith’s wife was telling the truth. But none of that is legal justification for firing a person with an employment contract. Legally speaking, it is hearsay, and therefore not legally actionable. If Smith’s wife had simply filed criminal charges against her husband in 2015, then the legal process would have taken over and we’d all be on solid ground demanding OSU fire Meyer for not firing Smith at that time. But she didn’t and therefore, Meyer would have been on shaky ground (legally) if he had fired Smith back then. If you’re a victim of a crime, call the police and file charges.

  21. Following that report, Meyer admitted that he knew Smith was arrested in 2009 on a charge of aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, based on a claim that he pushed Courtney, who was three months pregnant at the time, against a wall. At the time of the incident, Smith was a graduate assistant on Meyer’s staff at the University of Florida.

    If that is the case, then Meyer knowingly hired Smith for an Ohio State position even though he had a history of domestic violence allegations.

    He allowed this scumbag on his staff at Florida as a graduate assistant because he was the grandson of his mentor, former OSU coach, Earl Bruce. Meyer allowed the scumbag, Smith, to follow him to OSU despite the history of abuse he was already aware of while at Florida. Why would Meyer do this? Because the perks of decisions based in nepotism are greater than taking domestic violence seriously…..?

    In a vacuum, Podunker’s legal standing works. But it’s not a vacuum world. At the end of the day, it’s a coverup world to keep a stain off of the family serving as an important mentor to Meyer….(and one that just happens to be a former OSU coach). Makes one wonder who was putting Meyer into a corner to keep Earl Bruce’s grandson employed? If the reports from Florida days are correct, the history of domestic abuse has been there since 2009….

  22. Also, it’s evident that police were called in Florida…and an arrest was made. Smith’s wife has called the police. Why she didn’t file charges? Sadly, it’s very common in cases of domestic violence. Consult domestic violence centers for the many explanations for the fear dynamics at work when someone is being threatened and children are involved.

    But let’s not claim she never called the police….and that Meyer didn’t know a damn thing. I’m pretty sure there’s lengthy record of the police being called.

  23. Getting back to the subject of IU’s Offensive line, I found Sports Illustrated feature on Wisconsin’s Offensive line to be quite interesting. That article lists the height, weight and class (i.e., sophomore, junior, etc.) of each of Wisconsin’s starters. First of all, assuming they stay healthy through fall camp, there is no dispute who the starters will be. Deiter is a 6’6″, 310 lbs. Senior LG; Benschawel is a 6’6″, 315 lbs. Senior RG; Dietzen is a 6’6″, 323 lbs. Junior LT; Edwards is a 6’7″, 315 lbs. Junior RT; and Biadasz is a 6’3″, 319 lbs. Sophomore Center.

    Comparing IU’s O-line to Wisconsin’s O-line, generally considered to be the class of the Big Ten, relative to eight years ago, IU’s starters have closed the size gap. The only problem is that Wisconsin is three guys deep at each O-line position that are the same size or bigger. Those sausage-eating German-heritaged cheeseheads grow up to be very big.

  24. Wisconsin averages 6’5.5″ 316 lbs while IU this year is 6’4.5 313 lbs. You are right that IU is closing the gap which is why it was so important that a new S&C program was put in. If IU has closed the strength gap in the B1G then IU will be in good shape with the OL this year. IU is closing the strength/power gap and the speed gap they have had in the past. Now the question is have the closed the play maker gap as the top teams have play makers. It will be one or two more years before they fully can close the depth gap if recruiting can continue improving.

    It would be great if the running game can get back to the threat it was in 2014 and 2015. It would improve the passing game and IU has some skilled players at the receiver spot.

  25. v13;
    Yes, it would be great, but IU’s running backs won’t get back to producing the yardage gained back in 2015/2015. The only way we’ll get close to producing rushing yards like that is if our quarterbacks are rushing for a lot of yards each game. We lost too much Offensive coaching talent after Wilson left, and that always sets recruiting back a few years. Not back to that level of RB or O-line talent just yet. That’s why the QBs have got to be highly productive and efficient this season.

  26. Allen has already stated he wants a RB rushing attack and not centered around a QB rushing attack. With a sound passing offense I can see ME with 1k+ yd. and Gest with 7-800. That’s the ball control/field position offense Allen wants.

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