A Banquet of Media Day Morsels

The football Buckeyes are a week out from the start of training camp, and coach Urban Meyer feels his team will be ready to go.

“We had a conditioning test that our players are telling me about,” he informed the reporters covering his first ever appearance at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago. “And the energy level is real high right now in Columbus, so I’m anxious to get going.”

The start of training camp could also mark the end of Jake Stoneburner and Jack Mewhort’s exile. Meyer says he has yet to reinstate the two, whom he suspended following their arrest on disorderly conduct charges, but that could change soon.

“They have to fulfill their penance or obligation that we’ve asked them to do,” he said. “They’re doing what they are supposed to do. We’re monitoring it closely, and as of now they’ll be reporting to training camp.”

For a transcript of all Meyer’s comments from the podium yesterday, click here.

The question of the day…

All the coaches at Big Ten Media Day were asked whether they are or will pursue Penn State’s players, now that the NCAA has ruled that they can transfer without penalty. ESPN has done a really nice job of compiling the answers.

I’m officially a dork…

Coaches weren’t the only speakers at Media Day. Commissioner Jim Delany addressed reporters, as did Big Ten Network president Mark Silverman.

But some of the remarks that most interested me* are those of Big Ten coordinator of officials, Bill Carollo.

Carollo naturally discussed this year’s rule changes, but also spoke about how he’d like change the perception of the league’s referees.

He pointed out that that there are indeed consequences to missed calls…and not just for the teams involved.

“We do grade our officials on every play, every game,” Carollo said. “And they have to grade out. If they don’t grade out, they’ll have a limited schedule or they’ll be moved off the staff. So there is a great deal of accountability for our officials.”

And the league is taking a rather holistic approach to making sure the officials can get the calls right.

“Recently we brought in a four-star general to talk to our referees about what leadership really means,” Carollo said. “A couple of weeks ago we brought in a cardiac doctor to talk about stress management, how do you handle the tough calls under pressure. So we are trying to improve.”

*I was licensed to officiate football around 2001 and have officiated basketball for over a decade, so I have a great fondness for the men and women in stripes.

For some more great coverage of Big Ten Media Day, you can check out the following links:

ESPN writes about Commissioner Jim Delany tackling the issue of conference scheduling.

Brandon Castel of the O-Zone does a really nice job bullet pointing Meyer’s speech in Chicago.

If you’re interested in keeping tabs on Ohio State’s rival up north, Angelique Chengelis of the Detroit News has Michigan’s Media Day news and notes.

And for an overview of all the developments of the day, Chicago Tribune reporter Teddy Greenstein has an excellent synopsis, which includes some video of more of Meyer’s comments.


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