With many former Ohio State Buckeyes running the combine and getting ready for the April draft, four draft eligible players are getting ready to serve their time. This spring, Ohio State’s senior leaders won’t be spending their time behind bars. They won’t be doing any community service. Hell, they’ll still be participating in spring football activities.
But the consistent thought of missing the first four games of the season is enough to drive a football player mad.
Letting down your team, your coach and your fan base would force most to crumble. Instead, Terrelle Pryor, Mike Adams, Daniel Herron and Solomon Thomas are serving their sentence humbled. No matter what their feelings are on what they did, they realize that there’s only two days of their sentence that matter.
The day the season starts, and the day these players can redeem what they did by being on the field.
Just months ago, sports minds across the world were bashing the Ohio State athletic department and football staff for letting these players be a part of the Sugar Bowl. Media pundits made it clear to fans that these fans were going to witness these players stab the back of the program they suit up for by breaking promises made and jumping to the National Football League.
Even fans bought into it after Terrelle Pryor dodged a silly NFL draft question after the Sugar Bowl.
Others didn’t buy into his apology to Buckeyes fans after the game. The one in which he poured his heart out to Buckeye Nation. Undoubtedly, Pryor knew what he was doing as well as all his other teammates who did the same thing. It doesn’t matter on whether what they did is wrong or should be in the right. The NCAA has nothing to do with the next step.
Sometimes football grants players to experience things that change their life at a personal level. You can only teach so much on and off the field until the field is taken away from the player. Only these players know if they are truly sorry.
All we can do is recognize that these players kept their word and our doing their time. We need to put faith in head coach Jim Tressel in the same fashion as when he is on the recruiting trail and trying to bring in the next best athlete.
It won’t ever be easy to get over the fact that these players sold their Ohio State pride to better themselves, but sometimes you have to look around the mistakes and forward to what someone can become.
It’s going to take most fans until the end of game number five to put these players in the good graces of Buckeye Nation. Right now, they’re already growing and learning as young men. No matter what opinion we have on what they did, Buckeye Nation supports one another.
Love them or hate them, they are still Buckeyes.