“Attitude reflect leadership Captain.”

By Tim Naida

That line from Remember the Titans fits well with the Ohio State Buckeyes. As you all probably know by now, Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, Devier Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas will be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. According to the press release, they are being suspended for “selling awards, gifts and university apparel and receiving improper benefits.”

Pryor, Posey, Adams and Thomas sold their 2008 Big Ten championship rings. I bet there are guys on 10 other teams that would love to have those. Terrelle Pryor and Solomon Thomas sold their gold pants. The same gold pants that they get for defeating their rivals in the biggest game in college football. The same gold pants that generations of Buckeyes have revered. Just pawned off for a little cash. Pryor even sold his 2009 Fiesta Bowl Sportsmanship Award. The players will be repaying $7,405 in benefits, with Pryor leading the way at $2,500.

For those of you that didn’t hear the press conference, here’s what you missed: OSU AD Gene Smith claiming the players did this to help their families, the players did not receive adequate rules education, there were mitigating circumstances and on and on and on. He ended the press conference with a joke that the University should hire a tattoo artist in the Woody Hayes Center for the players to use.

What an utter embarrassment. No wonder these guys thought it was okay to sell this stuff. It’s clear that Gene Smith isn’t taking the allegations too seriously, so why should they? It’s painfully obvious that the players aren’t being held to any standard by the school. Unless the players are suspended for the Sugar Bowl (and don’t kid yourselves, they should be) by Ohio State, I’m not buying that the university is taking this seriously. These guys essentially spit in the face of tradition and rules and the school is defending them for it. Gene Smith and Jim Tressel are taking the blame and letting the players dump on them. Think future recruits will figure that out?

That he can sit there with a straight face and say they did this to help their families is borderline hilarious. How? Did Dan Herron trade his cleats to get a tattoo that reads “Mom” on his arm? I find it hard to believe that these guys were sending checks home. 20-somethings in college? You can all guess where that money went, and it wasn’t to mom and dad.

The university admitted that the players had not received adequate rules education. You can argue that these guys should have enough sense to know they were breaking rules, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t need to be educated anyway. It’s just incredible that OSU wasn’t making every effort to educate the players. They are a perennial contender, and have seen what other contenders have lost amid similar violations. The school should know better, especially post-Maurice Clarett.

And cracking jokes over this? Come on now. That’s just a slap in the face of the NCAA and Buckeye fans. He may as well have just come out and said they’ll keep breaking the rules because they can get away with it. What have they really lost? They didn’t lose any players for the Sugar Bowl (their big pay day). All the players in question can enter the draft and not worry about even dealing with their suspensions. Business can easily go on as usual in Columbus, Ohio.

And that’s a shame. So just wait Buckeyes fan. We’ll see this come back to bite us in the ass. This is going to happen again. After all, attitude reflect leadership.



  1. Yup, and “punishing” players by giving them more free stuff at the Sugar Bowl sends a rather mixed message, dontcha think?

  2. I also agree. The Buckeyes players have use their student-athlete positions to enrich their families and they should never be allowed to win awards or play in BCS games ever again. It is an embarassment to their conference and their school.


    Tom Slive

  3. I completely agree with what Tom said and stand by it. At least we up north abide by the rules 24/7.


  4. Hey genius,

    Ohio State did suspend the players for the Sugar Bowl. It was the NCAA that reinstated them and punished them for next year.

  5. I completely disagree. Tressel has run one of the cleanest and best programs in the country over the past 10 years and now your going to dump on him. Doesn’t sound like a real Buckeye fan to me. Sure the 5 guys are stupid and deserved to be punished. However, did you know that OSU was going to suspend them for the Sugar Bowl and the NCAA stepped in and said that’s not necessary. We will just suspend them for the five games of 2011. Tressel is the one who reported the violations. But you think he doesn’t hold his players to high standards.

    Basically my point is this…did those guys deserve to be punished? Absolutely. That’s what happens when you break the rules. Even if they didn’t know them. But to blame this on Tressel is crazy. He is one of the most respected coaches in all of sports. And to suggest that their decisions reflect his leaderships….that just doesn’t sit well with me.

    Whether you agree with me or not….I hope we can agree on one thing…..Mark May is the worst college football analyst in sports.

  6. Are you really Mark May in disguise? Or just spewing your ugly (but you think edgy) opinion to rustle up some conversation for yourself?

    After letting the Cam Newton scandal just skate on by the NCAA deserves a slap in the face. Don’t tell me you believe that Auburn & Newton are innocent in that matter? That Cam didn’t get paid to go to Auburn? Cam got paid son.

    And damning the entire program, claiming a total lack of institutional control, over this incident is ludicroustupidiculous. People are people. Teenagers are worse. You can’t tell them anything. Especially rules.

    Don’t be so quick to persecute OSU. And don’t be so naive. NCAA football is big business. For OSU. For Allstate as Sugar Bowl sponsors. For ESPN. And most of all for the NCAA. The kids are eligible for the Sugar Bowl for the same reason Cam Newton maintains his eligibility. If TP et al don’t play, less people watch, less benefit for advertisers, less money all around for everyone. The kids get to play on Jan 4 because of the money.

    Heck, I bet ESPN is thrilled with this controversy. Sugar Bowl ratings are sure to bump up a few points now.

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