Support Your Local Buckeye

I sit here tonight with so many thoughts running through my head. I am as die hard of a Buckeye fan as there is. In the last 7 months we have had really good times and really bad times and as a fan it is hard to avoid the emotional roller coaster that we have all been on. At times I feel like John Candy in National Lampoons Vacation and I am begging to get off this roller coaster just so Clark Griswald can shoot me in the butt with a BB gun. At least then the horrible motion sickening aches I have will be over and I can go back to feeling normal again.

Thanks to El Kaiser I became a member of the Twitter world right around the time that the issues started back in December of last year. Since then I have come to follow and be followed by a plethera of different types of Buckeye fans. We are a huge Nation and we have very differing opinions on the people and situations currently causing our roller coaster ride. Also via twitter I have learned to like (Jason Whitlock and Ken Gordon and anyone affiliated with the Columbus Dispatch) certain media members and loathe many others (Bruce Hooley and Sports by Brooks and anyone affiliated with ESPN and recently bush league reporters at WSYX ).

Mostly though I have found Buckeye Nation has decided to choose camps. There is the Tressel is a scapegoat camp or Tressel is the problem camp. There is Terrelle Pryor is a dirt bag and Terrelle Pryor is a kid who made a mistake camps. There is the Fire everyone left who was involved camp and the Stop the bleeding camp. The biggest problem I have found is that Buckeye Nation is splitting up and I have seen infighting amongst our fans that should be saved for OSU fans vs. scUM fans. I know my fellow fans are angry or hurt or saddened or happy depending on which camp they are in. I feel all your pains. I understand what you are going through.

Terrelle Pryor is a guy who has made horrible mistakes. Has he made bad decisions lately? Yes, of coarse. Has he done harm to the school we all love? Yes, of coarse. Is there a lot of rumors and innuendos flying around about him right now? Absolutly and some or all of them may even be true….. or GASP some or all may not be true at all. We dont know the whole story yet. I dont trust the media to be unbiased and fair in their reporting since they have yet to do so. He is under investigation by both OSU and the NCAA and I am sure they will dig deeper then they already have and they have dug to China in his first 3 years here trying to find something that will stick. He is taking all the blame for what is going wrong at OSU currently but if you believe the rumors this stuff has been happening for longer then he has been at OSU by many years. He isnt the only player already suspended but yet he is taking all the heat. Which is fine I suppose if he gets all the glory for winning he should prob get the brunt of the bad as well. My question to all of you who wants him gone for good before the investigation is even over… Wat happens if he doesn’t get kicked off the team and comes back after his 5 games off and he leads the team to 7 or 8 more wins? Will those same people still be calling for him to be gone? or Will they stand and cheer and buy his jerseys and pretend like they always supported him? I vote for the second option.

Jim Tressel is now and will forever be my SENATOR. I dont think any less of him today then I did after he won the NC in 2002. He is a man of great character and great flaws. He is basically just like you and me….. HUMAN. He made a horrible mistake and has paid a heavy price for it. I dont know if the punishment fits the crime but if it doesnt it is really darn close. I will never buy into the National media telling me I should feel betrayed by Tressel. I have lied to my bosses and covered up for other people probably at every job I ever had and I imagine 99.9% of you can say the same thing. He isnt the coach anymore that is his pill to swallow for breaking the rules and making a huge mistake.

Gene Smith doesnt deserve to be fired or forced to resign. He didnt break any rules. He didnt help in any cover up. Did he bungle the handling of the Public Relations part of this whole thing? Yes, indeed he did. Honestly though how could anyone be prepared for all that has happened in the last 6 months? I am sure he has learned a lot from this all and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did resign sooner rather then later. Doesn’t mean I think he should.

E. Gordon Gee is a bumbling idiot. He is also a great President of one of the largest Universities in the world. He has done a wonderful job of making the University a better institution and has been masterful in fundraising and making OSU a research leader in many fields. He shouldn’t be involved in the athletic dept day to day dealings and shouldn’t even be targeted by the media for firing or resigning. His job is so large and expansive and involves so much more then Athletic Dept duties. Give the guy a break I am sure he could answer every question correct on Jeopardy but he clearly has no idea what a blitz or a Option Pass is. He is doing his job and he is doing a spectacular one at that IMO.

Lastly, Doug Archie and the compliance dept. Which until recently was 6 people. I heard they asked for and received 2 more people so they are now a dept. of 8 strong. That is 8 people teaching and enforcing compliance to over 1100 athletes and countless other coaches and Athletic Dept. employees. Having said that WHAT THE HECK HAVE THEY BEEN DOING THE PAST FEW YEARS? I wont pretend to know what their jobs entails but I get the feeling they haven’t been doing much of anything work wise for a while other then have classes where they read the NCAA manual to the players who some clearly aren’t listening. I don’t know if they should all be fired or not but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were or disappointed. I do hope OSU will take some of the millions of dollars they have and hire a staff of 50+ compliance people to help fix the issues we have and prevent future ones.

So I end this with a hope. I hope Buckeye Nation will pull together and become the close family we have always been and stop making camps that will divide us. We should support all of our Buckeyes from the top to the bottom until we have an actual reason with proof to not support them. Now more then ever we need to rely on each other in support during this crazy roller coaster ride ends and Clark Griswald shoots us all in the butt letting us know the ride is over and we can relax. Football season cant get here quick enough for any of us thats for sure. Until then Support Your Local Buckeye and hope we all make it to see better days as BUCKEYE NATION.


  1. CalPoppy says

    As far as the compliance dept goes…have you any idea the minutiae that they have to deal with on a daily basis? It has to suck. I was the president of the local OSUAA chapter in Sacramento and the crap we had to deal with just to host a lunch women’s softball team (a barbeque when the were in town playing some local schools) was ridiculous. I had to deal with talking to the compliance dept. about the rules, making sure that we charged everyone from the softball team (including parents and friends) the price of the meal…even though the club was covering the cost for the 50 club attendees as it was just cheap grilled food at someone’s house. Then we had to file the list of attendees and compliance had to check that everything was on the up-and-up. I have skipped like 50 little steps but it was a nightmare and we only did it to make the players feel welcome so far from home for no more than two hours. Compliance is a pain and I think it’s impossible for them to monitor everything. It’s just too much unless you spend 10 times the amount of money to get that last one percent that flaunt the rules. And my experience was in 2008. This is an instance where the rules are so difficult that you cannot catch everything. I’m amazed at what they can do and now you know why OSU self-reports so much.
    In summary, they might have been dealing with crap in other areas and may not have noticed players hanging out in the wrong places. So I guess maybe I’m somewhat to blame? I think Tressel and some players should be punished but I don’t know if this is lack of institutional control.
    Also, what’s really funny in that my sister wrote a Lantern article in 2000 about Derek Ross selling his Sugar Bowl ring on eBay. So this goes back further than Tressel. So maybe Dohrmann can start investigating Cooper and the lack of institutional control that he maintained. Let’s just bring down the entire empire! Death Penalty!

  2. @CalPoppy I can’t imagine how hard of a job the Compliance Dept has at any school. My main concern with how compliance depts work is they seem to be stuck in an office atmosphere reading manuals and going over dreadfully boring details. Maybe it isnt their job to follow these kids around to see what they are driving or where they are living or where they are hanging out…… but maybe it should be? I doubt it is plausible to do this but what I can say is what they have been doing isnt working the way they intend it to. It might be time to stop self-reporting all of these violations after they have happened and start taking to steps to try and prevent them sooner.

  3. CalPoppy says

    I agree that something can probably be done in a better way to avoid some of this in the future. But the point I failed to get across in my rambling is that if I’d had screwed something up with compliance they would have had to take days to straighten out and report. I think the rules set forth are difficult to manage due to the complexity and I think your point about being stuck in an office and reading manuals is right on…it reminds me of trying to follow the IRS code. I always feel that I will get dinged by the IRS even when I think I’m doing everything correctly.
    It just stinks that had Tressel just reported this last spring it would not have been the issue it is now.
    Good article, BTW.

  4. @CalPoppy- Thank you, I enjoyed your insight immensely.

  5. Great read, SYR. I find myself waffling back and forth between different camps. I’m with you, I just want to get back to the one big camp, the one where we all get together on Saturdays to cheer on the Buckeyes.

  6. Sylvester, you’re a credit to this site. With regard to the compliance issues, I’ve been thinking about it — these athletes (I’m not calling them “kids”) take a class and even get a get-out-of-jail-free card after taking it that explains everything they’re NOT allowed to do, and giving them a chance to own up to it. IF an athlete goes through that and doesn’t disclose the breach (or does something improper after the class), then I think the university should have the right not only to kick them out of school, but also bill them for whatever portion of their scholarship and fees they have used up to the point the infraction is uncovered.

    These players get housed, educated, fed, along with access to training facilities, trainers, and coaches that most of us could only dream of. Those huge benefits should come with huge responsibilities–and huge penalties, if you knowingly step out of line, and NOT just for the coach and administrators.

    For anyone that insists on continuing to call them “kids”, I would point out that we have brave service members worldwide killing people on our behalf that are no older.

  7. Miller- I agree to an extent they aren’t kids. They have the bodies of full grown men for sure. They do however have the brain capacities of 10 year old boys. We all did from age 18-22. I look back at what I did during those ages and thank God I am not dead or in jail lol. I agree there should be harsh penalties but not so harsh that it ruins their future life.

    Let us not forget these athletes traded their personal items for other items or cash…. In my world that is called CraigsListing.

    I wish the NCAA and schools would be much harsher on people who drink and drive or rob people or get in gang fights at a dorm. What these athletes did was against the rules and should be punished but make the crime fit the punishment.

    Furthermore, if rich people would stop giving handouts to athletes this wouldnt be an issue at all. If fans werent so FANATICAL maybe we wouldnt put them on a pedastal they dont think they can fall off of.

    I still see this as a Societal issue. There is enough blame to go around the NCAA is to blame so are the schools as are the coaches and ADs….. so are the athletes and their families. Most importantly though so are we as fans.

  8. SYR — I agree completely. I understand how tough it would be for the NCAA to devise an actual, standardized scale of punishments for given infractions, but they should certainly at least try, rather than continue spinning the Roulette Wheel of NCAA Doom. I’m not suggesting a young person’s future should be ruined in every case — but these aren’t isolated incidents, and the effects can be wide-ranging. How much money will USC (and probably tOSU) lose from missing post-season bowl games? How many people have or will lose their jobs? How much trouble comes down on the teammates they leave in their wake, who did nothing wrong? They shouldn’t be let off without penalty, if they knowingly did something wrong.

    And I wholeheartedly agree WRT fanatical “boosters” and fans. We need to find a way to discourage this kind of stupidity.

  9. I just hope people in Buckeye Nation remember that all these new allegations are just rumors and innuendos at this point. The more we hear the more it appears the SI story is full of lies and that his “sources” are liars at best. The car issue is slowly but surly proving to be more of a non-story.

    The further we get in this process and the more we hear the more I start to believe no more violations or suspensions will be happening. I hope thats the case and I hope all those who are judging TP now will accept him back into the fold as quickly as they kicked him out.

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