Perhaps more than anyone else, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has had a lot on his plate since the university’s “Tattoo-Gate” scandal began in December 2010. In an interview with The Lantern, Smith talked about thoughts of leaving OSU, the school’s revamped compliance department, football coach Urban Meyer’s first season in Columbus and the possibility of a 2002 national championship reunion including former OSU coach Jim Tressel. Thought about walking away It has been more than 18 months and there are still plenty of OSU fans who think Smith should have lost his job because of the “Tattoo-Gate” scandal that led to Tressel’s firing. Smith said there was never a moment he thought that was a possibility, but he did consider walking away for the sake of those around him. “I never thought that I would be dismissed by our president because I really did nothing wrong,” Smith said. “I did everything that I was charged to do and accountable for. Did I ever feel that I should leave? Never. That I should resign because of the pressure I was under? Never thought that. Did I ever have thoughts that I should walk away for the betterment of the institution and the people that I work with everyday and I serve? Yeah. “I care more about those people and our athletes than I do anything. Sure I thought about (leaving), but I came to the conclusion that the best way for me to help them was to fight for them and make sure we stay on track.” Those disappointed by that decision will likely not see a change anytime soon. Smith said he has not considered retirement and is very content with his situation at OSU. “There’s no other job I’d rather have,” he said. Random audits to ensure compliance As part of an 805-page report Smith and OSU sent to the NCAA, Smith said the athletic department will conduct random audits to make sure the players still have various Buckeye memorabilia given to them. “First of all, we retain a lot of things so we build a locker room in our equipment room, so, for certain jerseys and helmets, we keep those there until you graduate. Or your eligibility expires because, you know, somebody may leave and we give them their stuff,” he said. “But also your rings, your gold pants, if you have them, there’s times where you have to bring them in to certify that you’ve retained them or certify where they are because you may give them to your mom.” Smith said the audits – which are a brand new idea – will be random. “It’s a random process. It could be tomorrow,” he said. “So it’s kinda like drug testing.” The process, however, isn’t just limited to keepsakes like rings and gold pants. It also applies to cars, Smith said. “You have a car, you register that car with us,” he said. “We check it every now and then just to make sure there’s no change. “So we’ll go over to a parking lot, walk around, check cars, check the numbers, things of that nature, just to make sure nothing has changed or see if there’s any new cars that pop up and say, ‘OK, who’s car is that?’ Might be (OSU spokesman) Dan Wallenberg’s, might be you visiting, but we check them all out just to be sure that nobody got a loaner car that they shouldn’t have.” Big Ten Woes There’s no denying the Big Ten struggled during its non-conference football schedule. The conference lost three games against the Mid-American Conference, lost three of four games against the Pac-12 and only has three teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. At No. 12, OSU is the top-ranked Big Ten team with Nebraska (No. 21) and Northwestern (No. 24) also representing the conference. Smith did not skirt the issue. “We’ve struggled, we’ve got to win games,” he said. “There’s no question that the Southeastern Conference has dominated and rightfully so. But that’s not what bothers me as much as we’re losing to other conferences and other programs that frankly we shouldn’t.” Smith isn’t panicking, though. Conference strength is cyclical, he said, and what he is really concerned about is making sure the struggles don’t become a pattern. “It doesn’t surprise me periodically that a team emerges and beats people, that’s happened in the Mid-American Conference for years, jumping up and biting somebody,” Smith said. “But that’s happened more this year than normal. So I’m interested in seeing how things go this next year and make sure this is not a trend.” “Tapegate” closed After Michigan State received altered game tape before its contest against the Buckeyes last Saturday in East Lansing, Mich., Smith said Spartans athletic director Mark Hollis informed that they did not receive the full video. “I hung up and contacted our video guys and said, ‘Send them the full video. Get it done,’” Smith said. “And we sent them the full video.” The issue is “done,” Smith said. “Urban had no clue, so we should’ve sent them the full video from the beginning,” he said. Tressel reunion OSU will honor its 2002 national championship football team during the Buckeyes’ game against Michigan this year, and there is some disagreement as to whether the leader of that team, fired Tressel, should be on the guest list. Smith said he would have no problem seeing his former co-worker. “I don’t know if he’ll come back for that recognition,” Smith said. “If he does, we will recognize him like everybody else.” Meyer fulfilling his family’s contract At Meyer’s introductory press conference in late November, he pulled out a crumpled pink piece of paper from his pocket from behind the podium. It was a contract written by Meyer’s family and, specifically, his daughter, Nicki, to ensure that her father would take care of himself in ways he often failed to do so while at Florida. Smith told The Lantern Meyer is indeed abiding by his family’s contract. “He and I’ve talked about that a lot during the summer and at the beginning of the season and I hit him every now and then with it,” Smith said. Smith said he went into the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to see Meyer this past Sunday after the Buckeyes’ game against the Spartans. Meyer, though, was at his son Nate’s football game. “I was like, ‘That’s what you want.’ You know, so he takes his time on Thursday nights, takes his time on Friday mornings, you know, with family,” Smith said. “Not sleeping in the WHAC overnight like he had slept down at Florida some nights. So I think he’s there balance-wise and doing what he’s supposed to do.” Scheduling OSU announced Tuesday that it scheduled Texas Christian University for a home-and-home football series with games in 2018 at Fort Worth, Texas, and 2019 in Ohio Stadium. Smith said the series represents a change in mentality for OSU when it comes to non-conference scheduling. Each year Smith said he looks to schedule “one top 10 or top 15 (team), hopefully two (teams) that are in the top 30 to 40 and then another BCS team. That takes us away from playing two Mid-American Conference teams a year or three in some cases.” Meyer hitting the mark After hiring Meyer almost a year ago, Smith said the first-year coach has done a “great job” so far in his inaugural season in Columbus. Smith didn’t limit his praise to just Meyer’s on-the-field endeavors, either. “You know, I think everyone is focused obviously on wins on the field and how the team is executing, but I look at that as well like everybody else,” Smith said “but I look at also how he handles his staff, he handles the players relative to academics, how he interacts with other coaches in the league and just how we communicate relative to issues and, so, he’s just doing a great job.” Communication between Meyer, Smith Smith said he normally tries to pop in to the WHAC once a week to see Meyer. “We don’t have – during the football season – we do not have formal, set meetings unless there’s an issue we need to do that with other people, but I pop in – Sundays, I usually I try and get in on Sundays – and walk around,” Smith said, “and this particular year, congratulate the coaches and then I usually go meet with the trainers, pop into his office.” And what if Meyer’s not there? Smith said he and the former Florida coach are “big texters.” “You know, he texted me today on one issue and I texted him back so we’re big texters. I kinda know his schedule when they’re in meetings, so, I know when he’s on break. So if I’m on break and I need to go see him about something, I go see him,” he said. “So it’s nothing really formal. But it’s almost every day.” Meyer’s undefeated (5-0) squad faces Nebraska at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has urged his team to rewrite history by winning at Anfield when they face Liverpool on Saturday.The Cherries are still waiting for their first win at Anfield, while the Reds have not lost at home in the Premier League for more than a year.But with Klopp’s men currently dip in form following two consecutive draws, Howe feels his side can seize the opportunity to further damage their title aspirations with a rare win.When asked about Bournemouth’s poor record at Anfield, Howe told Sky: “These things have always faced us before.“In the Premier League, every game when we first came into the league was a case of rewriting history and proving we could do things for the first time.“I think we tend to look at these things as a nice thing to do, to try and write a new history for the club all the time.“The Chelsea result was where everything came together with the result. There have been other games where we’ve performed really well and just missed out.“We’re going to have to defend well for long periods, but if we can show that mentality and desire to defend our goal then I believe we will have moments in the game to show what we were capable of going the other way.”Top 5 Premier League players to watch for next weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Premier League’s Top 5 players to watch this weekend.After…Bournemouth will be without a key player on Saturday 🤞https://t.co/JRlz5GE5m4— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) February 5, 2019Bournemouth will be without both David Brooks [ankle] and Callum Wilson [knee] for the trip to Anfield, while Jefferson Lerma faces a late fitness test.“David has been to see a specialist and had scans, so I think around the four-week mark for him,” said Howe.“Callum, it’s just a clean out of his knee, he’s probably around the same mark. We’re not going to be able to get them back earlier than that.“[They are] big misses for us. Big misses for the team, for the group, they are big personalities for the group so we’re keen to get them back fit.“In the meantime, I believe we have the squad strength to cover those players.”
TSX Venture1,405.051,499.142,125.68 Those who have already averaged down and find themselves, if not “all in,” then perhaps with less cash than they’d like, must hold and not lose their nerve. We’re in front of what may be the most spectacular buying opportunity in years. Sure, if a company suffers a major political setback, runs out of money, or shows in some other way that it’s unlikely to deliver, then sell – but do not sell just because the market is down. TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)11,871.2312,178.6613,611.32 Gold Producers (GDX)44.0546.7058.34 Gold1,642.021,620.381,515.88 Gold and Silver HEADLINESTravelers to India Face Special Gold Scans at Major Indian Airports (Emirates24|7)Travelers to India are being scanned for gold and gold ornaments in the country’s major airports in an effort to collect duties on gold amounts exceeding a law-defined maximum.According to an Indian law enacted in 1967, people traveling to India are obliged to pay a duty for carrying any gold ornaments valued at more than Rs20,000 (roughly $375 at today’s exchange rate); for males the allowed amount is lower by half: Rs10,000 (roughly $185).At current gold prices, the amount of gold one can carry without paying additional custom duties is tiny. An Indian woman on average wears a gold chain weighing 16-25 grams at least, which at the current price would be worth at least US$845-1,320 and exceeds the tax-free allowance.People of Indian origin can carry up to 10 kilos of gold, provided they pay a duty. Recently the authorities have seen a spike in undeclared gold being smuggled into the country as gold prices, and the amount of applicable duties, rose.The market for gold in India is legendary, and since 2008, the metal has remained one of the preferred investments for Indians. The increasing amounts of gold smuggled into India are not accounted for in official statistics for gold imports, so we can only guess how much more gold Indians are buying than what is reported in government numbers, which must be seen as the lowest figures in a possible range.Indonesia Plans Export Tax on Copper, Gold, Silver Ores, up to 50% (CommodityOnline)Indonesia plans to impose a 20-50% export tax on a wide range of commodities sold in ore form. Fourteen minerals are subject to this legislation, including gold and silver. The justification?“We want miners to process and refine the ore in the country and therefore stimulate the construction of more smelters here,” stated Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa who also added that the implementation of export tax was not aimed at increasing the country’s revenues but was targeted to deincentivize the mining companies from selling the commodities as ores.This initiative may look reasonable: the government attempts to maximize the use of the country’s natural resources and expand the value chain of the local mining industry, which would incentivize creation of new production facilities and consequently workplaces, as well as generate tax revenue.But changes in legislation – and Indonesia has already made some questionable decisions this year – do not encourage foreign investment and may strangle local industry. Such moves are certainly keeping our investment money out of the country. This Week in International Speculator and BIG GOLD – Key Updates for Subscribers International SpeculatorDespite rising costs, this company’s increasing production keeps cash flow up. We like the potential this play has for production growth and discovery – see our latest comment and recommendation update. Copper3.733.794.12 Rock & Stock StatsLastOne Month AgoOne Year Ago Oil102.54101.47109.24 Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ)21.9722.8337.94 Silver Stocks (SIL)20.1421.2725.85 Those who are new to the sector should buy first tranches on great companies and prepare to average down with second tranches and stink bids, should they be so fortunate as to get opportunities to do so.What if I’m Wrong?At the close of our conference in Weston, David Galland polled our attendees, asking how many thought the US and global economies were actually recovering (implying that we should not be investing with further crisis in mind, but improving economic conditions). In the entire, packed room, only a handful of hands went up. Okay, we had just presented a lot of evidence for why the Casey consensus is for more crisis ahead, but there were different views among speakers, and the overwhelming majority of independent-minded thinkers present agreed that the fundamental trend we’re betting on remains solid.If they – and we here at Casey Research – are all wrong, and the bull market for metals is over, you may lose some money. This is why we always urge readers in the strongest terms not to speculate with money they cannot afford to lose. There is, however, no practical limit to how much money you can win, if we’re right – and that’s why we do urge readers in the strongest terms to embrace intelligent speculation.As Rick says, in these markets, you’re either a contrarian or a victim. Bear markets are for buying and bull markets are for selling. We believe we have entered an acute, but temporary, buyer’s market. Our path is therefore clear: we must buy the bear.Sincerely,Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research Silver30.3531.3539.31 This company is one of our favorite takeover candidates. It’s well cashed up, consistently delivers high-grade intercepts from its multiple projects, and the shares are trading near 52-week lows. Here’s our latest take. BIG GOLDA number of BIG GOLD companies filed their quarterly reports last week – check out the latest on your favorites on the portfolio page. Dear Readers,Your metals team has just returned from the Casey Research Recovery Reality Check conference in Weston, Florida. I think the quality of the speakers was perhaps the best ever. There were clever tales and insights aplenty, but I’ll cut to the chase for investors in the metals and mining sector: The correction we’ve been experiencing was discussed at length, and while no one is sure when it will bottom, legendary investors in our sector are buying now.Some say my calls to buy the best of the best mining stocks in the midst of a continuing share-price decline evoke a fear akin to what one feels trying to catch a falling safe. It may help to know that investors today are buying alongside Rick Rule of Sprott Global, John Hathaway of the Tocqueville Fund, and Doug Casey, of course – among other legendary resource investors.I interviewed Rick in Florida, as you may have seen in last week’s Conversations with Casey. We both have a sense that the meltdown in our sector may well get worse before things get better. The “sell in May” conventional wisdom could collide with an already bearish sentiment and truly rustle the whole resource-sector herd to the share-price slaughterhouse.We Should Be So LuckyI’ve said that before: we should be so lucky as to get another 2008-style buying opportunity – and that’s what we’d have if the market melts down from this low point.I’ve also said “buy low and sell high” so often, it’s starting to sound like I’m stuttering. It sounds easy, but it’s not – if it were, everyone would do it, and there’d be no profit in it. Contrarianism 101: You have to buy when others are panicking and there’s blood in the streets. That means you have to master the fear and do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.Email from some unhappy readers whose recent share purchases are down have made me wonder if they thought we were joking or merely being rhetorical about this. The whole idea behind the tranche buying system we advocate is to take advantage of downward volatility, and the objective of placing stink bids is to capture “stupid” prices. I meant exactly what I said: we offered guidance on lower prices because we believed a major correction was a distinct probability. Well, here it is.I see the buying opportunities shaping up with fear and excitement. My fear is not that our speculations won’t work out: rather, it’s that – as happened in 2008 – too few investors will have the courage to follow through on their contrarian ideals. The excitement, of course, is that we face truly spectacular contrarian opportunities.“When Will the Pain Stop?”A friend, reader, and fellow speculator who attended our conference asked me half-jokingly when the market would bottom. He knows I don’t have a crystal ball, but the way he phrased it was interesting: “When will the pain stop?” It was delivered with a smile that showed he understood the long-term trend we’re betting on remains solid; when you believe in a better future but suffer pain in the present, you don’t want your life to end – you want the pain to stop.I said I saw the slaughterhouse potential mentioned above, and that I was hoping for a chance at phenomenally stupid prices on great companies. However, any number of factors could reverse the market’s current fear-dominant sentiment back to being greed-dominant again. Scary news on the geopolitical front – just one potential black swan among many – could send gold shooting north in short order. With many gold companies severely undervalued, that could bring greed back to the forefront with a vengeance.I also interviewed John Hathaway (coming soon to an inbox near you), who said he thinks we’re close to the bottom now. Gold stocks are already undervalued and he’s buying.He may be right. I had dinner with a friend the other night who is a much more mainstream investor than I am. He told me he’d just bought Newmont for the reasons Jeff Clark outlined in BIG GOLD last month – but he’s not a subscriber. He reasoned that while gold is up over the last year, the retreat from last fall’s peak has producers so beaten down, many are deeply undervalued relative to the strength of the underlying commodity. He saw an opportunity, liked Newmont’s dividend structure, and took it.If mainstream investors are waking up to the opportunities in oversold gold stocks, Hathaway could be right: We have bottomed, and the time to buy is now.Rick, by the way, says my anecdote matches his observations; he thinks more mainstream investors are becoming aware of today’s specific opportunity in gold stocks, as the high-visibility gold indices such as the HUI have diverged substantially from the gold price. He says that’s bullish, but suspects that present market negativity will take a while yet to reverse – and that that’s a great thing. He likes to buy what others are afraid to touch; usually, that means grassroots plays, but now he’s very pleased to be able to buy advanced developers and even producers that are on sale. Rick shares my excitement at the prospect of 2008-style prices – he seemed almost gleeful when I spoke with him.I talked about this with Doug, of course, and he agrees – he said he looks forward to seeing my shopping list.What to DoIf John is right and we are at a cyclical bottom, now is the time to buy.I would not go “all in” even if I were positive John is right, because no one knows the future for certain. Still, I would move aggressively, deploying more cash into gold stocks. In fact, the divergence between gold and gold stocks has become so great, some of our conference speakers mentioned selling some of their gold to buy more gold stocks.[Some of the biggest institutional and mutual fund managers believe that gold miners are severely undervalued, and they’re urging their clients to load up.]If I were sure Rick is right about lower prices in the months just ahead, that would not make buying some undervalued stocks now a bad idea. Again, no one can be sure – a point Rick himself made. If the companies are solid, well financed, and have projects of genuine merit and the right people to push them forward, today’s buyers should come out well, regardless of the fluctuations along the way – as long as they don’t panic and sell at the real bottom, when they should be buying with gusto.Key point: no one can call the exact market bottom, except in hindsight.That means you have to buy when prices are low and not worry too much about how much lower they could go. That takes discipline and nerves of steel – the DNA of the contrarian mind. This is precisely the rare and difficult ability that makes fortunes for speculators – and the reason they deserve to make those fortunes.Profiting from 2008 was only “easy” in hindsight – many people chickened out at the moment of truth, when share prices went into freefall and I was putting “BEST BUY” on many stocks. Others were willing but lacked the liquidity to follow those recommendations. I know – I got the agonized emails.So, here we are in 2012, potentially on the verge of a similar sell-off within an underlying trend that remains as bullish as ever. What to do:Those who’ve taken our advice to take profits along the way and maintain a cash reserve should remember 2008, hold on to their courage, buy first and second tranches where appropriate, and prepare to buy low in a big way with stink bids.
We are not quitting. We can’t. We won’t. Yes, there may be bruises and even blood along the way, but like the first Christians, our people do not turn back – they continue regardless. We’ve come out of the state’s cultivated darkness, and we are moving into more and more light. Why would we want to go back to where we were? Even if we tried to do it, could we really stick with it? Could our minds really fit back into their old restraints? This is why freedom will win, my friends: The genie is out of the bottle, and the Internet has spread the message to the four corners of the Earth. It’s a better message. It produces better people. And in the end, we will win. Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.com Our people are better than theirs. Not because we were born better, but because finding and living according to truth produces better people than blind obedience and fear of the lash. You may have heard that Silk Road – the truly free online market – was taken down today, by the FBI. In response, the price of Bitcoin crashed 24%. Yet here I am – just a few hours later, feeling very optimistic. Why? Because the philosophy of freedom just showed itself to be massively stronger than statism and its “don’t think, just obey” philosophy. Here’s What Happened As I was finishing my lunch, I saw a story posted on the takedown/crash. I did a bit of checking and conversed with a friend, and then hustled over to a place I know where crypto-anarchists hang out online. These guys were already talking about replacing Silk Road, and doing a better job of it. Forget about the drugs aspect of this – I don’t care for drugs and neither do the people I listened in on – they just want to build free markets. Contrast that to a financial site, where I found a couple of Bitcoin haters, a Fed trying to supercharge as much fear as he/she could, and several people trying to buy Bitcoin at its lows, or lamenting that they were out of extra cash to buy right away. But here’s the interesting part: In the face of an orchestrated attack (and you can be sure that the Feds arranged the day’s events for maximum fear – that’s what they do), even these people, within minutes, were walking forward, not backward. A Better Philosophy Wins Out Arguably, the greatest triumph of a new philosophy has to be that of the early Christians (of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries AD), they simply would not be stopped, no matter what was thrown at them. And why wouldn’t they turn back? Because the Roman way was ridiculous and barbaric. Their gods were vile, vain, sometimes stupid and often cruel. Who wants to worship that? These Christians – whatever their faults or virtues – had found a God who loved them, who wished to help and enlighten them, who said they were meant to be free and prosperous. Which way would you choose? The Romans persecuted them and sometimes killed them, but they would not be turned around. These people chose the better philosophy, and in the end, they won. Today, I saw the same thing, wrapped in modern circumstances. Freedom-minded people are not stopping, are not abandoning their views. And why should they? Shall we go back to the idiocy and self-contradictory life of worshiping the state? Of pretending that robbery is somehow – magically – not robbery when the government does it? Our minds have been removed from the state’s intimidation and conditioning. Shall we go back to believing lies and repeating vapid slogans for the rest of our lives? There are real reasons why individuals move from bondage to liberty, but very seldom the reverse. The Bottom Line Facts At the end of all the discussions, all the fears, all the questions, all of the explaining to newbs and concerned friends, stand these facts: Our philosophy is better than theirs. We offer men and women truth, understanding, compassion (the real kind), and strong, direct relationships. The state offers punishment, fear, an occasional promise of plunder, and intrusion into every relationship in your life.