Does OSU have a player loyalty problem?

Submitted by Fresh Meat on June 11th, 2011 at 9:50 AM

What has struck me odd throughout this whole process, is how willing OSU players have been to thow OSU under the bus.  Players going on twitter, talking during interviews, etc., about how hook ups have been going on for years and everyone knew about it.  When I was an athlete in HS, we NEVER would have turned each other in.  I never would have considered telling stories of my teammates smoking weed (which almost all did) or underage drinking (which almost all did) or cheating on homework (which almost all did).  I can't imagine ever, in a million years, doing that to my teammates, even the ones I didn't like.

To be clear, I am not talking about a few things.  First, I'm not talking about turning them in for something heinous or violent.  If we are talking about rape or murder or serious crimes, different topic.  I'm comparing the trouble we got into in HS to free meals, tats, golf, etc.  Second, I am also not talking about the coaches/administration.  Of course they have a responsibility that is quite different.

I am simply talking about turning in your teammates for arguably minor offenses.  Again, I'm not trying to debate the seriousness of the OSU offenses by the players, I'm just saying compared to not ratting them out for major criminal violations where others are in danger is different, and those of you who played sports know what I am talking about.

Am I the only one taking crazy pills or are you guys also shocked to see so many players come out and talk like this?  Because honestly, I can't picture a situation where I'd talk about this stuff about my teammates or where any of my teammates would either.



June 11th, 2011 at 10:02 AM ^

Of course they do.  A certain segment of the players there are simply mercenaries in their mindset.  Trading things for tats, drugs and free cars.  They have no loyalty to anyone beside themselves.

The other segment of players is likely there because they love the school and the football rivalry.  They remember Woody and his ideals the same way we remember Bo.  To them the first segement is betraying their ideals and deserves to go down in flames.  You can also see these in their alumni base with people like Herbie or Eddie George speaking out.  

So when the NCAA, SI or ESPN comes to down the first group is going to look out for themselves and no one else.  The second group is doing its best to shove the first group in front of the oncoming bus.  

coastal blue

June 11th, 2011 at 10:11 AM ^

The way many of our former players acted over the past three years makes me feel UM might have a player loyalty problem. 

Basically if something doesn't meet what they feel are the proper expectations (Ray Small didn't get to play enough, UM alums feeling like RR froze them out) they lash out. 



June 11th, 2011 at 10:25 AM ^

TP was violating rules in a hilariously open and obvious way from BEFORE he stepped foor on campus, and it took a Federal raid at the end of his Junior year to bring this stuff to light. Hell, the school has been breaking these rules for the better part of a decade.

They did a pretty decent job of not snitching.  Even when guys like Ray Small were snitching, they thought they were HELPING (Protip: "Yes we broke the rules, but we didn't think it was a big deal" is not the best defense).


June 11th, 2011 at 10:32 AM ^

On the other hand, you did just nonchalantly tell on almost all of your teammates for smoking pot, drinking, and cheating, and I'm sure that if there were a legion of reporters obsessed with your case they could figure out what school and time frame you were talking about.


June 11th, 2011 at 10:34 AM ^

The told on factor is something unfortunate, but if we had problems like that over here, i would hope our players would do what is necessary to right the ship and with motives to match that. Being loyal to a teammate that has potentially f'ed over you and your teammates that haven't broken the rules isn't an example of being a great teammate. Guys like Henton to me appear to me that they may actually care about tOSU and that deserves respect, not a label of snitch. With that said, if there motivation is revenge, then that doesn't represent what I am trying to convey here


June 11th, 2011 at 10:23 AM ^

but it's a little different when you're either being

1. investigated yourself and looking to save your ass

2. part of a nationwide fascination into your school and you want some publicity.


There is no way in hell that the guys on your high school teams would not have thrown you under the bus for underage drinking or smoking if it meant they got off and you fried.  It's nice to think that, but it would never have happened.

Fresh Meat

June 11th, 2011 at 10:27 AM ^

Maybe, but when you are talking about former players the NCAA can't do anything to them.  They can't "fry."  So why does Antonio Pittman come out on twitter and make his comments.  He isn't saving himself, and he's a had a lot of attention.  Surely the little bit of attention he gets from that tweet isn't worth betraying all of your friends and your alumni support system when you are looking for a job, right?


June 11th, 2011 at 10:27 AM ^

I can understand your point but I think major college football is way different than high school.  Most of these guys did not grow up together and the competition for playing time (earning power) is dead serious.  In high school there is more of a bond and the stars aren't worried about someone else taking their spot.  College football is a business, high school football (for the most part) is fun.


June 11th, 2011 at 10:29 AM ^

of being on a h.s. team.  First and foremost I'd wager you knew most of your h.s. teammates from a very early age. Second, you probably all had a fierce loyalty to your school and hometown.  Basically, by time you reached the h.s. level you all knew what was expected and due to h.s. rules being so much clearer than the vague and often misunderstood NCAA regs, it was very easy for the coach to follow the rules because there is simply no reason I can come up with for him to try and circumvent them, especially in the days of "school of choice."

I have no way of knowing what your head coach was like or how much talent was available at your h.s. I do know at the school I attended, if we had 14 good to very good players on the roster, we had a hell of a good chance of contending for the league championship. It would have been disastrous for the coach to become a "politico," and insert players based on their relationship to school board members, administrative staff, etc. I noticed, however, this took place to a degree at some of the larger schools in the area.  This takes a lot of the "nastiness" out of the equation because most coaches simply don't have the luxury of playing anyone but their very best.

When you are recruited to one of the premier programs in the nation, it goes without saying you are an extremely confident player and to a degree, somewhat myopic. It's extremely difficult for these players to consider, let alone admit, that the teammates they are competing with for p.t. deserve the spot on the first team at their expense. This, in itself, builds a degree of animosity toward the player you're playing second fiddle to. 

Add in, in OSU's case, the fact there was clearly preferential treatment, especially in the case of T.P., as pointed out by both Chris and Herbie, and that too builds friction among the players. How could one not grow to dislike a teammate like T.P. who showed no hesitation whatsoever in regard to making practice optional, driving better, and more, cars than the other 5*s, and a great deal nicer than the mere 4 and 3*s? It's not difficult to see  why these players are talking now because to do so while Tress the Mess was still in charge would have been tantamount to being tossed from the team for actions detrimental to the program. 

You actually liked most of your teammates. This is not the case at many D1 schools, especially those that have such an abundance of talent that many players who have been told they were future Sunday material often see the field only on special teams.

You can see the differences are immeasureable, but I just wanted to toss a few out there to demonstrate you're comparing apples to oranges here.


June 11th, 2011 at 10:40 AM ^

I by no means want to sound like I'm coming to the aid of tsio, but did you hear the backlash against Ray Small by other former players when he said what he did? Even Clarrett stood up and said the issue is with a few bad apples, but by no means the university itself. If this is considered an issue with loyalty to the school, then what a few of our alums did during the RichRod era could be seen as the same. I depise the buckeyes, but I think if any school comes close to U of M when it comes to former player loyalty to their alma mater, I think it would be tsio. And that I can honestly say I respect.


June 11th, 2011 at 10:43 AM ^

turn on you that you would not expect.  But the vast majority of turn coats had zero character to begin with.


Former players mad at Rich were the half that weren't mad at Lloyd and were claiming they were shut out.  The rest were the half that were mad at Lloyd and they were coming out of the woodwork to say it was the first time in yrs they were welcomed back.  Pick wich side you want to believe or care to worry about their opinion on the matter cause it really is was picking and choosing to be upset or not and publically support or tear down.


Osu, look at the number of problem stars they had...then consider how they handled things and how former players come out.  There was a definite line of jealousy there that is very obvious and a disdain for them by those who do love osu. 


June 11th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

Given how much shadiness has been going on in Columbus under Tress, the fact that there aren't more former players calling him out suggests some fairly deep rooted loyalty, in my mind.  I mean, we're talking 100 players (including walk-ons) on a team per year (roughly).  Conservative estimate is that, assuming the players are there 4 years, at 25 new kids/year, Tress has coached what, 250+ players during a time when there was apparently rampant extra benefits-taking and other stuff going on?  From what I can tell, less than 5% of his former players are cooperating with reporters, or calling him out on Twitter, etc.


I gotta say - find me an organization that has that much shadiness going on and only 5% of people willing to whistleblow, and I'd be impressed.  It's human nature to want to be the scoop for a story, to be in the know, even if you don't intend to harm the program/company, etc.  I've been hoping for the floodgates to actually open up on this, because the NCAA is going to need some cooperation (unless the documentation that the Dispatch, Plain Dealer, Yahoo, and ESPN have found really do back this up as well as it appears to).


Of course, reasons for this might not be loyalty to Tress, per se.  May be fear of the backlash from a fan base of crazies, etc.


June 11th, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

These kids and institutions need to "snitch" or self report.  Bottom line in college sports and the NCAA is that if you find a problem, report it and deal with it and at the end of the day it in all probability, the NCAA will accept you're self imposed penalties.  Part of this 4  year experience and something that the coaches tell these kid's parents is that they will do their part in turning these kids into men (good men).  This means teaching them to do the right thing, to be accountable for your actions.

Failure to do the above can bring your program and school down......not worth it for the sake of one or two kids who cross the line.


June 11th, 2011 at 11:56 AM ^

If you are truly a Michigan fan and not an OSU fan posting here, just think of how many recruits Michigan lost out on because of all the "not that big a deal freebies". How many players were teetering towards UM and went tOSU because of those perks they heard other players got- that they wouldn't have gotten or nearly to the level they ended up getting at tSIO?
It's a rule to give all schools an equal recruiting chance, plain and simple.

Just ask TP, etc. Especially when the athletes were not born into a money family. The perks are given for a reason- to persuade them to go to the beneficiary's school of choice.


June 11th, 2011 at 12:05 PM ^

and everyone feels afraid to be honest to anyone outside the" brotherhood" of players/coaches/etc. And then look at how tOSU's fanbase treats those who tell the truth- they are ostracized, harassed, and basically run out of town. Why is it a player's fault for telling the truth, for whatever the reason may be, the truth is the truth. At least some have the cahunas to tell the truth and not join into what has turned into a "ignore or deny any wrong doing for the sake of the school" cult.

It's a slippery slope- once you break a few minor rules it becomes that much easier and commonplace to break more and bigger rules. It's the principle of it but the NCAA needs to quit looking at how much money a fanbase like tOSU or USC can bring them and look at how many other honest programs they are screwing over in many ways by letting those violators break rules.

Fresh Meat

June 11th, 2011 at 2:42 PM ^

Did you read my post?  At no point did I say the rules were dumb or that OSU shouldn't be punished.  And I'm not exactly sure what I said that could make you think I was an OSU fan.  I'm just talking about teammates telling on teammates.  Nothing to do with whether the rules are wise or dumb or whether OSU should be punished or not.  Just speaking from experience that I would have never ratted out my teammates.


June 11th, 2011 at 2:30 PM ^

players saw Pryor raking in the goodies, didn't like it. An undercurrent of this whole mess has been questioning, inside and outside, to why Tressel let Pryor get away with so much. Each greased the wheels for the other, obviously, but it rankled onlookers. But--further--the corruption was rampant. Some people got sick of it. 


June 11th, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

I think you just did tell on all of your teammates for smoking weed, underage drinking, and cheating on homework in your post. How do you cheat on homework anyhow? You do it at home, so techincally they weren't really cheating.

Blue Ninja

June 11th, 2011 at 12:43 PM ^

Here is the way I have seen these guys, they are loyal in fact they are too loyal. We're looking at it from a different perspective, from the point of this program is dirty and rogue. These guys have from their viewpoint not been ratting out other players but defending their program.

Let me put it this way, the main issue is that the Buckeye players don't think anything wrong happened. If you look at it from that perspective you will see that they have been defending their program by saying that everyone's doing it so it must be all right.

But that right there is the crux of the problem. The don't see that what they are doing is wrong, and to be honest a certain % of people agree with them. Most of us here however, want our college sports to remain pure and what they have done defiles that.


June 11th, 2011 at 12:55 PM ^

Before this scandal, I was almost envious of OSU's player loyalty as it seemed like MICHIGAN had the biggest player loyalty problem in the country, with all the ridiculously unnecessary potshots at Rich Rod, from players past and present. Even before that, Amani Toomer and Ty Law made it known they were not big Lloyd fans.

If anything, it goes to show how the media will leave no rock unturned. Twitter aside, they are giving EVERYONE a chance to say something headline-worthy about this, just as lazy local reporters made "So do you hate Rich?" a stock question when they talked to ex-Michigan players.




June 11th, 2011 at 1:10 PM ^

there are 2 kinds of buckeye players: the hard working kind who live frugally and really bought into the horse shit Tressel was shoveling, and the other kind of buckeye that Tressel recruited that perrenially broke the rules and got kicked off the team, ect. In the columbus meltdown the 2 groups are even more pronounced. You have Chris Spielman on one side, and Maurice Clarret on the other. As a lifelong Lions fan Chris Spielman gets a pass from being from TSIO because of who he is, while other buckeyes get the universal stink eye treatment because of who they are. I think its telling that factions exist within the team when they were all recruited by, or worshipped at the feet of, Tressel in the first place. It makes him look even more phony in hindsight, that he'd build a "brotherhood" that couldn't make it a single day through adversity without turning on each other in public.

Huntington Wolverine

June 11th, 2011 at 2:29 PM ^

So wait, the OSU players that are being honest are the noes you consider as having "loyalty problems?" They're the ones being dysfunctional?

I would hope the student-athletes on a team would have the integrity to disclose impropriety and cooperate with investigations. That's integrity.


June 11th, 2011 at 3:04 PM ^

As to the OP, I hear what you're saying, but I think that the situations are quite different. The mischief that you describe your teammates getting into was separate from the program. The kids were goofing off in their free time, but it was in no way connected to the football program.

The behavior of the OSU players is entirely based upon their status as OSU football players, and as we are seeing, can have direct consequences on the team.

If I had been in your situation, I also would see little reason to inform anyone what the other players had been up to. It didn't affect me, and it was none of my business. What Pryor and his accomplices did is going to directly affect all of the OSU program, including players that conducted their affairs within the rules.

If I am a freshman at OSU who is working within the rules, I don't see why I should work within an oath of silence so that Terrelle Pryor can sell out the program through his own selfish behavior. I would not agree to being on probation, losing scholarships, and suffering a bowl bid that will last my entire career so that he can have free goods and services that he is not entitled to. By trading my and my team's future for his own personal benefit, he has in fact stolen from me and kept the profits for himself.

Pryor and co are not teammates and do not deserve to be treated as such. I would not allow him in the locker room, let alone cover up for him. If I saw him walking in, I would be more likely to handle things myself than to simply tell a coach or send a tweet.

In the Navy, there used to be a penalty for someone who was caught stealing in the barracks. (I don't know if they do this anymore) The thief was stuffed in a footlocker which was rolled down the stairs. Given that Pryor has effectively stolen the future from his program in return for a few trinkets, I think he should be glad that all his teammates are doing is telling the truth, which is what they agreed to do when they came to OSU.

All players are given the rules when they arrive on campus, and they all agree to follow them. They all agreed to report transgressions such as these if they became aware of them. To me, it is much more disappointing that they all broke their word on behalf of a common thief, who is no teammate to anyone there. A true teammate would never have put them in the position that they found themselves.