I really wanted to leave this 5-part series, "The Dirty Game" published by SI, alone, really I did but Part 5: The Fallout sent me reeling, flying off the handle if you will. I wanted to leave this story alone because I am an OSU Alum and I am proud to be a product of Cowboy Country and therefore some may think that my opinion is biased. Yes, I am proud to be a Cowboy. No, I am not a die hard football fan. gasp. In fact, most of the names in this "story" I didn't even really know who they were, but that does not change my opinion of the final part, The Fallout.
I'm not going to discuss my thoughts on the first 4 parts, The Money, The Academics, The Drugs, The Sex because I do not think that a legit investigation has been completed yet. There were definitely not enough facts presented by Mr. Dohrmann and Mr. Evans to convince me that the OSU Football program was, beyond a reasonable doubt, guilty of the accusations.
Now I will say this, I'll be disappointed in OSU if there isn't a legit investigation of the allegations. If NCAA rules or OSU rules were broken, there should be consequences. Why do I believe there should be consequences if allegations can be substantiated? Well because we are adults and adults are supposed to be responsible for their own actions and held accountable.
Now that being said, The Fallout, I do not believe OSU, the OSU football program, the coaches, the Resident Assistant, Pistol Pete or anyone else except the ex-players themselves are responsible for the sad, sad stories that have become their lives after leaving (for whatever reason) the OSU football program and ultimately OSU. I too left a collegiate athletic program, I am not hooked on drugs, I am not on unemployment, I do not drink too much, I am not a convicted felon, I am not in prison, I do not live off my Mother, I am not uneducated and I am not broken. If fact, I feel like I'm a mostly productive member of society.
Yes, as we head off to college as bright eyed, smart ass 18 year olds we aren't quite yet adults, but we aren't kids either. We are, however; old enough to know right from wrong. We are old enough to know that our actions have consequences. We are old enough to be responsible for our own decisions. We are old enough to know when to ask for help. Adults AND almost adults are responsible for our own actions, have consequences and make our own decisions. While I was playing college ball I was responsible for me...for me going to class, passing my classes, going to practice, completing community service projects, going to strength and conditioning, graduating on time in a degree of my choice, paying my bills, going to work, securing scholarships, jobs, loans etc to fund said education, feeding myself, passing drug tests. Just because you are a D1 athlete opposed to a D2 athlete or an ordinary student opposed to an athlete...why should you not be responsible for doing these things? And if you can't or don't know how.....ask for help!
We are ultimately responsible for ourselves and our decisions. I'm sorry that "credible" sources that SI found didn't make their dreams of becoming NFL stars, but fact is....a majority of college athletes do not become professional athletes. And just because you didn't make the starting roster, the NFL, or even the team for 4 years doesn't mean that your life is over. There are still hundreds, maybe even thousands, of good decisions you could have made to better your life, but you didn't. You chose drugs, you chose alcohol, you chose crime, you chose not to complete your eduction. YOU chose, not OSU, not OSU Football, not Pistol Pete, not Les Miles, not Mike Gundy, not your professor. You.
I hope after this 5 days of fame YOU are ready to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and Cowboy Up because where you go from here is YOUR decision. And where we go, as OSU representatives and an OSU family is OUR decision. I hope we can get to the bottom of this, dish out the consequences of past actions if need be and move on.
Here's to making America's Brightest Orange, keep on shining. GO POKES.