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Ohio State will not schedule California schools if Senate Bill 206 passes

AD Gene Smith said that the new bill could make the competition “unbelievably unlevel.”

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Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer Press Conference Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

“If the California law goes into effect in ’23, and let’s say the NCAA legislation, how ever it emerges, doesn’t quite meet what California wants it to be and they continue to hold that law, who’s going to play (California schools)? We’re certainly not. They won’t be members of the NCAA. I think that’s going to be the problem.”

-Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith via Steve Berkowitz, USA Today

In case you missed it, California Governor Gavin Newsom is looking at a bill that would make it easier for college athletes in California to make money from their name, image and likeness. If he approves, the bill is expected to officially go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

The NCAA, of course, is urging Newsom not to sign it, saying “it would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletics and, because it gives those schools an unfair recruiting advantage, would result in them eventually being unable to compete in NCAA competitions.”

If the bill goes into effect and they are no longer members of the NCAA, Smith told Berkowitz of USA Today, then Ohio State will no longer schedule games against California universities.

“(California schools are) going to have a model where they can almost pay for play – not quite – but I think they’re going to be challenged to maintain their membership in the association because, as an association, we have the authority as a group to make our own rules and regulations, and they will be outside those rules and regulations. So, I’m not quite sure how they will stay in the association,” Smith said.

Smith also happens to be a co-chairman of the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group, whose job it is to look into issues that arise from student-athletes profiting from their names, images and likeness. So, I think he kind of has to say that.

Nonetheless, Smith does make some good points. The Pac-12 conference has four schools in California — UCLA, USC, California, and Stanford— which leaves eight other schools in the Pac-12 operating under different rules.

“I would really be interested in how the Pac-12 will handle those schools who are not in California that are members of the Pac-12,” Smith Said. “And how those schools will compete against those schools in California who have an unfair advantage because they’ll be able to offer student-athletes benefits that the other schools will not be able to offer. So, yeah, my position would be we walk.”

It’s also important to note that, while California contains seven FBS schools, the best of those schools are their Pac-12 teams. Yet, none of them have made the College Football Playoff, and I don’t see them making it anytime soon (even with the law in effect). In other words, the Buckeyes don’t really need to play these California teams anyway, making this a relatively easy claim for the Ohio State athletic director to make.

Let’s just all be thankful that this bill isn’t getting signed in Alabama or South Carolina...yet.

The new Nissan USA Heisman House commercial is out and it’s—in my opinion—their best one yet. It begins with Arizona Cardinals and former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray— who was drafted No. 9 in the 2018 MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics and ultimately decided to play in the NFL instead— sneaking into the house late at night with his baseball equipment wearing Oakland Athletics colors.

Former Ohio State running back Eddie George turns on a light, catching him in the act like a dad catching his son returning past his curfew.

“Baseball, again?” George asks?

All of the other Heisman winners come out of their rooms in their pajamas with their former college team’s logos, expressing their disappointment in Murray for playing baseball.

“We’re worried about you, sport,” Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield says.

It ends with former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow—who played baseball in the minor leagues—saying “guys, I don’t get what the big deal is here!” Which resulted in Eddie George throwing his pillow at Tebow’s face (my favorite part).

“No, I’m happy for those guys. It’s easy to look at the rookie class and be like, ‘Rookies are playing, why am I not playing?’ I want to be like Tom Brady and Drew Brees and that’s something that doesn’t happen overnight. Tom didn’t play at first; Aaron Rodgers didn’t play at first.”

-Dwayne Haskins on other rookie quarterbacks in the NFL starting lineup via John Keim, ESPN

Kyler Murray is starting for the Arizona Cardinals, Daniel Jones is starting for the New York Giants and Dwayne Haskins is...well...not starting in Washington.

All three rookie quarterbacks were drafted in the first round in the 2019 NFL draft. Murray was the No. 1 pick, Jones was No. 6, and Haskins went 15th. However, the former Ohio State quarterback doesn’t compare himself to rookies. He wants to run with the big dogs.

“I know I can play well and play at a high level,” Haskins told Keim of ESPN. “But I want to keep getting better. I feel I can be really, really good. I want to be a great quarterback, one of those guys you talk about for years to come. That’s not going to happen overnight. Everyone has a different path and journey. That’s good for (the other rookies) and that’s the situation they’re in and I’m not.”

While Ohio State fans are 100-percent certain Haskins will “be a great quarterback” and “talked about for years to come,” he is waiting for his chance to prove himself in the NFL, a chance that may be just around the corner.

In Washington’s 31-15 loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday, Redskins starting quarterback Case Keenum had five turnovers. Fans in the crowd chanted Haskins’ name. Still, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden made it clear that Keenum has not lost his starting spot (yet).

“If we feel like Dwayne gives us the best chance to win in a coming game, we’ll definitely put Dwayne in there,” Gruden said. “If we feel like it’s Colt McCoy when he gets healthy, it could be Colt. Right now, we feel like it’s Case Keenum and we’re going to move forward with him this week.”

The Redskins’ buzzword for Haskins is “patience,” but if Keenum doesn’t start to produce soon, the rookie may not have to be patient long. On top of that, their head coach is in the hot seat and the Redskins don’t really have any reason to stick with Keenum if he, say, continues to have five turnovers per game. If the New York Giants are willing to bench Eli Manning for their arguably better, drafted rookie, I see no reason why Washington won’t do the same.

Oh and just for the record, Haskins went 10-of-17 for 104 yards and a touchdown, and zero thrown interceptions in his preseason finale. Just saying, Gruden.

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