It’s never easy admitting when you are wrong. No one wants to face the music when you know you will be talked about, ridiculed, and or have your good name slandered when a mistake is made. Such was the case on Monday when Ryan Day opened up his press conference by informing the media that Ohio State football tight end Bennett Christian had been suspended for one calendar year after testing positive for a banned substance.
"“Just have some unfortunate news to share,” Day stated. “We are not going to have Bennett Christian this season. He tested positive for a banned supplement in January. He feels terrible, he knows he made a mistake. He is still going to practice with us and is still an important part of the team. He’s a great young man who made a mistake (and comes from) a great family. I commend him for being transparent. He accepts his responsibility and wants to share his story with everybody and the team, which we will allow him to do later today so that others do not make the same mistake.”"
Shortly following the press conference, Christian released the following statement from his Twitter account.
When I attended the open practice a week and a half ago, Christian looked good. He was getting second-team reps at tight end and even mixed in with the ones for a few plays. I commend him for his positive attitude and for not just throwing his hands up and walking away from the issue, Ohio State, or football. He has shown tremendous maturity and bravery in the face of an embarrassingly poor decision that has stolen an entire season away from himself and his teammates.
I also commend Ryan Day for how he has handled this situation. Instead of dropping this bomb months ago, he has patiently and quietly waited for the right moment when Christian was ready to publicly announce what took place. The positive feedback Christian has received from Buckeye Nation via social media has also been encouraging.
In a world where athletics has become so competitive, I’m surprised we don’t hear about more players getting caught trying to find an edge. I’m not naive to understand that this sort of thing has been going on for decades.
Most of us can remember the steroids era of the 1990s when almost every professional athlete was either juicing or knew someone who was. Let us hope as Ohio State football fans that this is a one-time isolated incident where not only Christian, but the entire team, can learn from it and not a systemic problem inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.