Ohio State University.
I get it. They're huge. They lost in the national title game twice, and that upset people for some reason. Then they lost in basketball too, and so they're hated for it.
Oh, wait, the coach too. He wears a sweater vest, and that's just wrong. I get that. Don't think I don't get that. Cause I do. Sweater vests are wrong.
But do you know why he wears that sweater vest? Do you? I do. I know why. Because he cheats, that's why. And people who cheat have to wear sweater vests to cover up all that cheating.
Sweater vest means conservative, and conservative means you pretend not to cheat. That's what I'm guessing everyone thinks.
But prior to 5 of his players selling some of their own items for cash he was wearing the vest because he knew one day he'd have to cheat. The vest provided future cover.
Then it didn't.
Then he actually did cheat. Then he actually didn't notify the authorities about infractions committed by his players. He cheated.
So everyone who thought he was a cheater initially was proven right when he finally did cheat. Even though there's no proof he ever did anything wrong prior, this was the proof that he COULD cheat. And since he did he's now a cheater.
Well, I'm not really in THAT camp.
Let me first say I'm a Buckeye fan, through and through. And I think he should be fired, or severely punished. Just because he has raised the graduation rate tremendously, and that most of his players end up being pretty good people in the end, that's not enough.
No, I think he should be fired because he really did raise the bar, and set a higher standard. That's why I like him so much. But then he let us all down by being like the rest. He likely put winning ahead of all the other things he believed. And even though it happened in an instant, and that he figured he could get away with it, he did. Even though the thing he was covering up is in and of itself absurd, and hardly a crime compared to so many other infractions, it's the cover-up. It always is.
His cover-up resulted in lost revenue for other schools that trickles all the way through college sports. That's just a fact.
So because he didn't hold himself to the standards he set for himself I am totally cool with him being let go.
The problem I have with it all is people equating his "cheating" with that of others.
He's not paying kids to come play. I know this because is STARS are selling items for cash! Unlike the NFL's #1 pick, Cam Newton, whose family fleeced the SEC, and then had their son deny knowing about it. Seriously?
Tressel isn't oversigning kids like Nick Saban is, and then cutting them because a better play has come along.
He's not lowering the admissions bar for half his squad to field a better team.
No, he's not doing these things. He's not in essence creating an unethical, and at times immoral environment, top down, emanating from himself, and seeping through the entire program. Nope. Not doing that.
In a moment he made a bad decision. That's what he did. In the heat of high stakes college football he made a bad decision; the wrong decision. A decision he will now be paying for the rest of his life.
With all of this said, it doesn't make the haters right, and it doesn't make his defenders wrong.
Regardless, hello Urban Meyer...
Sidenote: Kirk Herbstreit is officially a douchebag.
I've defended him for a long time, saying he's a Buckeye through and through, especially after his tear-ridden plea to the Ohio State football team to be accepted by then(yes, this happened). But his comments the past few weeks regarding the program are over the top, and ridiculous.
He basically said Ohio State shouldn't recruit "guys like" Clarett and Terrelle Pryor. Really? Ohio State is different from USC, Miami, Michigan, and Florida, all the schools who recruited these same guys, but they chose OSU?
As if somehow in teh 80s, when there was less oversight, it was different when he played?
I know Herbstreit is hated in Columbus, so much so that he moved to Nashville to escape the town, but when you start allowing your personal hate into it all you become less objective. Herbstreit is less objective. And not just on the negative side.
When OSU won the title on the back of Maurice Clarett in 2003, Herbsteit could be seen here, on the back of their former running back:
Ever since that time he has done everything to make himself seem like he's not a "homer." Well, it has backfired. He has had to leave the state, and now he just talks complete nonsense.
Yes, he's right in saying Ohio State fans blindly follow Tressel because he wins games, but that's the nature of all fan/team relationships. However, when you start talking nonsense about "types of players", and things of that nature solely because you're bitter, then you've ceased being a professional.
Other than sell his own stuff for cash, which seems absurd to be penalized 5 games for, what has Pryor ever done wrong?
And Clarett, the story is documented, but in truth no one has really read the "why" he did what he did. It's a sad story. Not one people should be laughing at. Herbstreit knows the story, and should be better than that.