Greetings Hoops Fans! This is Dave Horning for HoopsOnLane.com Fan Podcast with a post-game review of the Ohio State Buckeyes’ exciting victory over the Indiana Hoosiers in double overtime, the Buckeyes winning in Bloomington by the score of 80 to 78.

Isn’t it great to be a college basketball fan? What fun it was watching this game! What an emotional up and down and up!

With a minute left in the second overtime, Keita Bates-Diop drives while heavily defended and makes a layup to give Ohio State a 77-76 lead. Coach Holtmann calls his last time-out. It was a great use of the time-out as it allowed the Buckeyes to have a rest and set up the defense at this critical point –and it was a success – Ohio State’s defense by Jae’Sean Tate against the next Indiana slashing drive was better and Indiana’s Justin Smith missed a layup – Keita Bates-Diop grabbed the defensive rebound. Buckeye’s ball with 45 seconds left and a one-point lead. If we can make a basket on this next possession, we just about have it sewn up – but wait – Oh No! Andrew Dakich takes his eyes off the ball on the pass coming to him, and it goes out of bounds – Oh No! Now Indiana has a chance to score a basket and take the lead with just 16 seconds left – they can wait for the last shot. Again, it is the slashing layup, again it is defended, but Indiana’s Juwan Morgan, comes back across the land moving left and puts it up and in! Oh No! Indiana 78, Ohio 77 and there are only 7 seconds left. No timeouts. Jae’Sean Tate inbounds the pass to CJ Jackson and he runs the ball up-court. When he gets to 30 feet away, Keita Bates-Diop is positioned at the left wing – CJ fakes a pass to Keita, which causes CJ’s defender to move away to double-team Keita – great ball fake – not a bobble – CJ lets it fly and it is GOOD! Indiana tries a half-court shot and misses – Ohio State wins 80 to 78!

What a great game!

How ‘bout them Buckeyes?

It was a great game and fun to watch the entire 50 minutes – Ohio State jumped to an early lead, Indiana came back and tied it at half-time, the Buckeyes were strong the first 5 minutes of the second half, Indiana came back again, and it was back-and-forth the last 10 minutes of the second half and in both overtimes. The Buckeyes did play strong the entire game, and never gave up.

I’m so happy to see the Buckeyes win. Andrew Dakich played well in the overtimes, he had an important strip/block and a great assist in the second overtime to Jae’Sean Tate. He played well and his one mistake at the end did not matter.

Our two big men, Keita Bates-Diop and Kaleb Wesson stepped up big time and led the team – like we needed them to – Keita Bates-Diop hit two 3-point shots early, and finished the game with 24 points. I was glad to see Keita keep shooting. Kaleb Wesson was dominant underneath until he fouled out. That 4th and 5th foul calls on Kaleb were terrible – should have been no calls both times. The refs called Ohio State for 21 fouls and Indiana was called for 13 – at one point the announcer even talked about how Jae’Sean Tate was being bounced around, but that he was so tough that it doesn’t look like a foul – this was hilarious – it was an admission that Jae’Sean was getting fouled and the refs weren’t calling it! It was bad, but expected on the road in the Big Ten.

My concern going into this game was that Indiana would enjoy the home court advantage and shoot well from behind the 3-point arc. They were 7 of 16 for 44%, but the Buckeyes were able to overcome that Hoosier advantage. Ohio State was only 6 of 18 for 33%, but the last one was the difference. Ohio State won the rebounding battle, 41 to 35. Each team had 16 assists, but Ohio State had 9 steals and 8 blocks – 4 by Keita Bates-Diop – that is our star stepping up!

Final Score: Ohio State 80 @Indiana 78 – Double Overtime Victory.

Up next for the Buckeyes, the Big Ten Tournament in Madison Square Garden with a game on Friday, March 2nd at 6:30pm against the winner of the Penn State – Northwestern game on Thursday.

Now, I’d like to spend a few minute talking about the release of the news from Yahoo Sports:

Headline: Federal documents detail sweeping potential NCAA violations involving high-profile players, schools

https://sports.yahoo.com/exclusive-federal-documents-detail-sweeping-potential-ncaa-violations-involving-high-profile-players-schools-103338484.html

I’m not going to review the article as I assume most avid fans have heard about it – and, furthermore, the official report is not yet out – just this leaked story.

I am going to express appreciation to Thad Matta that the Buckeyes are not mentioned in this article. A heart-felt thank-you to former Coach Thad Matta for playing by the rules.

I’d also like to discuss my idea for solving the problem. I call it the Direct Endorsement Plan. The problem is that money is coming into the hands of highly sought recruits, and, under the current system, those coaches, like Thad Matta, that play by the rules are at a competitive disadvantage.

I feel there is no way to prevent money from flowing to those 15 elite players in every class. There are too many clever ways around the rules – for example: give the money to the parents, etc. I do not feel the flow of money can be stopped.

But, I DO NOT want the athletic departments to start paying college athletes – that would destroy the non-revenue sports – say goodbye.
Therefore, I have developed an idea I call the Direct Endorsement Plan.

I am recommending that the shoe makers – Adidas, Nike, Converse, etc – be allowed to give money directly to high school and college athletes – as an endorsement for wearing their shoes. Not a loan and not from or through agents or coaches or universities. Directly from the Shoe Makers to the athletes. It is a Direct Endorsement without any middlemen. Open and notorious.

Here are my reasons:

(1) I believe that high school and college athletes will get money and that cannot be prevented – there is too much money in college sports (CBS paid $1 Billion for NCAA Tournament) and too many (not all or not most, but many – too many) high school athletes living in poverty. It is a condition that cannot and will not simultaneously endure. Money will flow to these athletes. Maybe that shouldn’t happen, but it will. It cannot be stopped. Just like Prohibition couldn’t stop alcohol consumption. We’ve given up on the idea that the Olympic athletes should be amateurs, so let’s give up on NCAA athletes having to be strict amateurs also. I have given up on this “ideal”.

I want a level playing field more than I want purity of amateurism in NCAA sports.

(2) The Athletic Directors will object – they want that shoe money for themselves and their coaches – so this is the opposition that must be overcome. Also, the biggest programs will object to any new idea that levels the playing field.

(3) Allowing Shoe Makers to “Directly Endorse” will level the playing field. A high school athlete might get $500 per month directly from Nike, and then be allowed to decide to whichever college he or she wants to attend, provided they can get admitted. The Shoe Makers will not be able to steer the athletes because they are not giving money to the colleges anymore. That athlete might decide to go to University of Cincinnati instead of Alabama because they would have a better chance of playing. It would put University of Cincinnati and Alabama in a more competitive environment – compared to allowing college athletic departments to pay athletes – then the “haves” would be able to afford more than the “have-nots”. The “have-nots” would be forced to payout money they don’t have – and it would result in non-revenue sports, like wrestling, gymnastics, track & field, fencing, field hockey, etc. to be dropped.

(4) The high school or college athlete getting endorsement money for shoes should still qualify for a college scholarship – that would cover the room, board and education. The shoe endorsement money would cover “walk-around” money … so the college student can afford a concert ticket. That is the only endorsement that would be allowed. I’m not advocating for NASCAR-like stickers all over a player’s uniform.

(5) The Colleges and the NCAA would not be responsible for “fairness” issues – the free market would decide. If Adidas wants to give money to the fencing team but not the rugby team – so be it. Every college athlete would be eligible to strike the best deal in the marketplace. If Nike wants to give to Women’s Basketball players, but not to Men, then that would be OK. The free market would decide. The mascots might even be able to strike a deal. And, the cheerleaders, too. It wouldn’t raise ticket prices for fans – the money would come from the Shoe Makers.

(6) It would eliminate the agents getting control over athletes – the sports agents would be removed – they would not be loaning money to athletes and, thus, have no rights or expectations of future contracts.

(7) The monies paid out by the Shoe Makers would be income, not loans – no payback required – no breaking of illegal contracts, no enforcement of alleged promises made, no broken bones, etc.

(8) The monies would be one-year deals paid in advance to an escrow department that would dole the money out weekly to the players. They would renewal every year or not as the athlete performs or not – if the athlete is not admitted to Duke, they might not get as much money next year. If they get admitted to Duke but ride the bench, they might get less money next year. A bench player at Wright State who is having a great year might be added to the list of income receivers mid-season.

(9) High School and College teams should all have the same uniforms and helmets (for safety purposes) – but shoes are an individual issue – no athlete should be forced to wear Nike if they like Converse better.

I believe this is the way out of this mess. If the present condition continues, there is a huge downside for NCAA athletics. There are 351 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball programs – if the “have-nots” feel the deck is stacked against them – then why should fans put their emotion and money into a mid-major team?

If the “haves” fan-base celebrates their national championship and it is stripped away the next year (or 5 or 20 years later) – and as that happens more and more – they why should the fans of the “haves” invest their emotion and monies into those teams?

NCAA sports could wither and die if the ideal of strict amateurism and money flowing illegally continue simultaneously.

Thank you for your consideration of this idea – your feedback is welcome. Let me know your thoughts at hoopsonlane@gmail.com

This is Dave Horning for HoopsOnLane.com Fan Podcast. Go Bucks!!