buck-i-corner
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I have defended my Buckeyes against attacks before, usually against haters who believe we're not a legitimate powerhouse because we won't run up the score against our opponents. (They're not defensively minded and don't appreciate the intricacies of ball-control offense.) I have spent hours pulling up facts, figures, and statistics refuting those who, year in and year out, use two high profile losses to call us "overrated", when our BCS appearances and wins should put that question to rest. I haven't had reason to question my football program or my coach, because whatever faults you may have, above all else, honesty and integrity have been your hallmark. Needless to say, I am completely stunned by the revelations of this week, and questioning whether or not I should try to defend what is, in my mind, indefensible.

After watching your prepared comments, I understand the issue is more complicated than it was presented by the media to be. (No big shock there-- the media guys hate us. When you run a clean program, graduate your players, and still manage to remain relevant in the big picture every year, you're going to have a bullseye on your back.) Nonetheless, a lie of omission is still a lie, and I am having a hard time reconciling this situation with the image I have of you. You show humility. Your concern is for the boys and not your own interests. You are not just a coach, you are a teacher and a mentor. At least, in my head you are all these things. You're not like the others I despise; at least, in my head you're not. But maybe I'm saying that because you are my coach and someone I've admired, someone above the fray.

Maybe the fault is mine-- I've made you into something superhuman, a god-like figure. But you are not a knight in bright, shiny armor; you are just a man and subject to the same flaws, faults, and foibles as every other man.

So, no-- I will not defend what you did. Regardless of your motives, what you did was wrong, and whatever punishment you receive you deserve. And as painful as it will be, I will accept the NCAA decision. I will not call it unfair and try to justify an appeal; I will take it like a big girl, just as I did with the decision about boys' case.

I usually talk about how much I love you and the program. When the story broke, I was asked if I still love you. The answer is yes-- you and the boys gave me a reason to smile during the toughest year of my life when all I was doing was crying. Your armor shows some tarnish now that I didn't see before, and your pedestal is not nearly as high off the ground, but yes, I still love you. I'm angry, frustrated, disappointed, and hurt, but I still love you and my team.

Go Bucks.

March 9, 2011  03:00 PM ET

Almost as good as the Swimsuit rants... And that is saying something.

March 9, 2011  03:08 PM ET

Excellent post.

March 9, 2011  03:56 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Almost as good as the Swimsuit rants... And that is saying something.

x2

March 9, 2011  05:03 PM ET

I understand your loyalty. I have 3 problems. 1) The way the original situation was handled. How do you set an example by letting kids play in a Bowl game and not punish them until the next season? 2) What signals does how the coach handled this send to the kids? 3) I can't believe the explanation that either the school or coach gave. Even if I give the coach the benefit of the doubt about "confidentiality" of the source, the first thing I would do is get THAT monkey of my back by dumping this in the lap of the school and their attorneys. Not only would that show you had no prior knowledge, but that you don't tolerate that kind of behavior.

Either clean up college sports or admit you can't and set reasonable pay for play!

Comment #5 has been removed
March 10, 2011  11:02 AM ET

Unbiased-- on the original situation, I wasn't too keen on it either. It appeared to me that it was taken completely out of Tressel's hands and was handled by Smith, Delany, and the Sugar Bowl guy who openly admitted lobbying the NCAA for the exception. Knowing what we know now, that was probably a good thing. On #3, that was what I said to my mom who replied, "You've never been part of a federal investigation; it's not that simple." (She has.) OK... I would think that contacting your attorney is protecting yourself and not a violation of anything...

And I firmly believe that paying players is not the answer to cleaning up college sports. The NFL setting up a "minor league" a la baseball or hockey is a start-- that way, those who truly want a degree can be student athletes, and those who are using university sports as a gateway to the pro realm can get the training they need without detracting from the college game. It would be a start, anyway...

March 10, 2011  11:31 AM ET

OTF-- If you read the title, it's addressed to the current coach. Therefore, it's talking about the program under Tressel, which has been clean to this point. (Remember that he inherited Clarett from Cooper.) And for the record, Ohio State has been reasonably clean compared other major programs.

From Dr. B-f-G, http://tinyurl.com/4sdg6op

March 10, 2011  11:34 AM ET

OTF-- If you read the title, it's addressed to the current coach. Therefore, it's talking about the program under Tressel, which has been clean to this point. (Remember that he inherited Clarett from Cooper.) And for the record, Ohio State has been reasonably clean compared other major programs.

From Dr. B-f-G, http://tinyurl.com/4sdg6op

Comment #10 has been removed
March 11, 2011  12:37 PM ET

Very well said. Great post, B-i-G.

 
March 12, 2011  02:08 PM ET

Excellent post....go bucks!

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