Lauren Hallow / Lantern photographer
A few years ago, I had to explain to an 8-year-old boy that Ohio State was not just a football team. Actually, it is a school and the football team is just part of it.
Unfortunately, I think it is necessary to have a similar conversation with nearly every person in Central Ohio.
When I reveal to others that I am enrolled at OSU, there is always one question that pops up rather quickly.
“Do you ever see Terrelle Pryor?”
Well, he’s skipped out on our last couple lunch dates, actually.
I’m not necessarily opposed to anything football related. In fact, I like to watch a couple games now and then, and have no problem with a little school spirit.
I just wish I could find an Ohio State T-shirt that didn’t have, “Go Bucks!” printed across the front.
I also don’t feel the urge to lose control, jump on a table and fling my arms into various shapes every time “Hang on Sloopy” is played in a bar.
When I think of OSU, I think of classes and homework.
I didn’t come to this university because of the football team.
I didn’t make my college decision based upon the year’s top picks or BCS rankings, although I have a sick feeling some may have.
The only thing that could make the obsession with OSU’s sacred football program even more intense is the addition of drama, and there has certainly been drama lately. Jim Tressel, Pryor and the gang’s spectacle has been dominating TV, radio and conversations for months.
I am not an avid football fan. I don’t necessarily search out each update, but the news always finds a way to my ears.
Everyone seems anxious to get my opinion on the matter, as a student.
“So, what do you think of this whole controversy, Andrea?”
Well, as a regular Jane Doe student, I actually think the majority of fans are being pretty hypocritical. And no, this does not mean I am a Michigan native; I’m sharing a perspective of someone who is not affected by the potential change in coaching staff.
There’s no doubt that bias affects many opinions when fans argue Cam Newton should have been chastised for the debate surrounding his eligibility, while “our guys just made a mistake.”
The excuses are endless.
“Tressel was trying to save lives by staying out of a federal drug investigation.”
“The players weren’t adequately educated about NCAA rules.”
“Leaders weren’t informed about the violations.”
“The players needed the money to give to their struggling families.”
It’s become an embarrassment for anyone affiliated with the university, even though the majority of us have nothing to do with it. President E. Gordon Gee’s press conference comment about hoping he isn’t fired by Tressel, Pryor’s relentless social media outbursts and the flip-flopping stories have only added to the humiliation of the university as a whole, which boasts achievements much greater than an athletic team.
The drama is overshadowing what really matters here: the academics.
So, take Tressel and company off of the pedestal. The true “Best Fans in the Land” can admit to their team’s mistakes, instead of generating incessant excuses, and move on. This controversy has become more sensationalized than the royal wedding, and included more apologies than Tiger Woods’ press conferences.
Can we talk about something else? OSU is one of the largest universities in the country. There are lots of other – and more significant – topics to discuss.
Or, we could just talk about the weather.
That’s something worth ranting about.