By Aaron Wannemacher
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. I will just say that for now I’m not really worried about format and more about getting my views and thoughts out. This is all brand new to me but I gotta start somewhere. Over the past few days I had been thinking about some topics to discuss that pertain to college football and more specifically Ohio State, and I’d planned for this to be the day I wrote my first one. Then came some unfortunate news out of Ohio State this morning, and now I’ll instead be writing about something I wish didn’t have to be discussed but here we are.
It came out that Ohio State defensive end Chase Young has been suspended by the school, and there is no timetable for his return. I’ve always said I plan to be honest and open about how I’m feeling and quite frankly this whole thing upsets me quite a bit. Chase Young is suspended because he accepted a loan, but Chase Young himself said he paid the loan back in full and now has to prove his innocence. One thing I would like to bring up is how stupid it is for any player to be immediately suspended before even being allowed to prove his innocence. If after the fact the truth is the loan was paid back, then what? Who gets in trouble for jumping the gun and breaking a story if the loan was repaid before this story ever even came out.
The law is that someone is innocent until proven guilty, but apparently when it’s the NCAA and Ohio State higher ups, when a player is accused of a wrong he is guilty until proven innocent, and nobody talks about that. Also, Chase Young is a player who is the best player in college football, and most people don’t even dispute that. So here is a player who is making the university and the NCAA a lot of money, and when it comes out he accepted a loan he is immediately suspended before all the facts are even on the table. Any way you slice it that is absolute garbage, and Ohio State and the NCAA both have a history of botching stories and issues like this. Yes I am an Ohio State fan, but other teams I have seen where players have done much worse and nothing has came of it. When the school happens to be Ohio State, the story and speculation spreads like wildfire and I’m trying to figure out why.
Three of the biggest college football scandal stories in the last 10 years have come from Ohio State. In the offseason a story broke out of LSU that a booster named John Paul Funes paid the father of former offensive lineman Vadal Alexander $180k. That’s not all though, as the booster pleaded guilty to stealing $550,000 from a foundation and sending $180k to James Alexander, Vadal’s father. Yet LSU faced no penalties or charges for it and the story blew over. Last year before the national championship, Clemson star defensive end Dexter Lawrence tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and wasn’t the only one who did. 3 out of 20 players they drug tested from Clemson failed the drug test. So Clemson went on to win the national title and nobody batted an eye. These are things that actually happened and were proven, and there are many more stories. Now I’m not here to compare and say which ones are worse, but performance enhancing drugs for a team who won the national championship is pretty noteworthy. Especially when I see people saying Ohio State could have wins vacated if this is in fact true. Even if that were the case, that is just plain wrong when a team had a player play all year who was taking performance enhancing drugs and nothing came of it even after his team won the title. If it’s not the case, people are overreacting big time and there is no penalty for people blowing this story out of proportion. If someone is innocent until proven guilty, why does a player have to prove his innocence before getting back on the field? Again if it turns out he did pay it back, there is no scandal here and nobody has to pay that price. You only have to go back to last season with Urban Meyer to see another story blown out of proportion, where the coach followed protocol exactly how he was supposed to and still ended up with a 3 game suspension, and nobody in the media bats an eye or even questions it.
The goal of my blog is to be honest and say things that nobody else will say, and I can’t understand how so many people can act blind to these issues when this information is out there. Nobody talks about how these other schools have more major scandals that spread further than 1 player, and how penalties aren’t consistent at all. Ohio State takes the brunt of the punishment when they screw up, and other schools simply aren’t held to the same standard. Yes Ohio State has not been perfect, but no other school has been punished near as severely for something so minor. Or for worse things for that matter. Every school should be held to the same standard, and from what I see Ohio State is held to a higher standard than anybody else and it’s wrong. The point is that every school and team should be held to a same high standard. I can even go back and talk about Ohio State’s bowl ban in 2012 after a perfect 12-0 season, but I’ll save that for another time. I hope you enjoyed reading this and I’m looking forward to getting your feedback and questions. If I get enough feedback and questions I’ll start doing blog posts where I just answer questions I receive. Stay tuned for more, and in the future hopefully I get to write about something more positive!