While You Were Out

By Johnny Ginter on March 10, 2011 at 4:00p
We don't, we don't, we don't mess around hey

Congratulations, intrepid Ohio State fan. You've somehow summoned up all of your powers of perseverance and survived for the past 48 hours. You've read every tweet making comparisons between Jim Tressel and Hitler, listened to every radio show telling you about how you (yes, you) are personally responsible for the predicament Ohio State football currently finds itself in, and read every article gleefully detailing the staining of a decent man's overall image using florid, apocalyptic imagery more suitable for an account of the overthrow of Housni Mubarak.

Of course, given the general chaos of the last few months (Tatgate, the Sugar Bowl, the basketball team, Tresselmania), you could be forgiven for having a slightly skewed sense of scope when it comes to Ohio State athletics. Eleven Warriors isn't immune from this either of course; football and basketball naturally dominate what we write about because A) they're both extremely popular, B) people enjoy reading about them, and C) surprisingly we do not have a women's ice hockey expert on staff. With that said, today I wanted to focus not on shenanigans related to Jim Tressel and the football team, but on other student-athletes and varsity sports at Ohio State that don't begin with the prefix "basket-" or "foot-".


The Midwest Fencing Conference Championships took place on March 5th and 6th, and the Ohio State teams flat out dominated. The men took first place in Epee, Foil, and Sabre, while the women won in Sabre. Overall, Ohio State managed to grab 7 of 24 possible medals in the individual competition. In the team portion of the event, held on March 6th, Ohio State ultimately finished second to top ranked Notre Dame. Tough loss, but OSU fencing remains a powerhouse, and has won 4 of the last 6 MFCCs.

Women's Rowing

Erika Benford, a coxswain (she's in charge of the boat) for the women's rowing team, was named as a semifinalist in the Coach Wooden Citizen's Cup. Erika is a huge fan of the American Cancer Society, and in her four years at Ohio State she's helped raise over $20,000 for various cancer related causes, including personally raising $4,200 dollars in 2009 for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Given the other charities and volunteer organizations she's involved with (Habitat For Humanity, 2nd & Seven Reading Foundation, the Girl Scouts) and the fact that she's a rower, she is likely to be an extremely gracious winner when she beats you at arm wrestling.


In one of the 8 NRA Air Pistol Sectionals, which was hosted in Columbus, pistol team member Aaron Tourigny finished with a score of 558 and placed first in the competition. The top scores from sectionals held around the country will converge on Fort Benning in Georgia for the NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships on March 17th-19th. The US Military Academy is currently the top team in the country, but honestly this is probably a competition that they might have something of an advantage in. Best of luck to Aaron.


On a recent road trip, the athletic department asked pitcher Audrey Plant to write a blog about the goings on with the softball team on their trip. It's a pretty terrific account of goofy bus drivers, her getting stuck in fences, her teammates getting stuck in stairwells, and her getting hit in the face with luggage. Summarized in a video:

The softball team isn't very good, but from Audrey's blog it's pretty evident the kind of camaraderie they have, and that they all really enjoy doing what they do. Teams don't have to be world-beaters to be easy to root for, and I think Audrey and her teammates exemplify that.

Men's Volleyball

Shawn Sangrey was recently named Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Offensive Player of the Week. Shawn averages over 5 points per set, and leads the team in a bunch of categories, including kills and aces per set. I consider myself to be a semi-athletic dude, but volleyball was a sport I could never wrap my hear around, so I'm definitely envious of another big lanky dude who can do all that stuff that I can't. OSU men's volleyball on the whole is also pretty good, and are ranked 4th in the country. They'll be playing at St. John's on Friday at 7, so check em out.


Ohio State sponsors 39 varsity sports. One of them, the one we all stake our happiness on for about 5 months every year, is going through a scandal. Fans and the media will grind their teeth and spit fire and brimstone for months, alternately slandering and venerating a man who made a simple, and foolish mistake. Meanwhile, the 38 other teams and hundreds of student-athletes will, in relative anonymity, continue to devote an enormous amount of time and energy to the sports they love.

My point with this post isn't to divert your attention away from what's been going on at the WHAC (not totally, anyway). The Tressel story is a big one, and we'll have plenty to talk about and dissect over the coming weeks and months. But what I want to make clear is that nothing Jim Tressel or a few of his players has done should color the perception of the work that other Ohio State athletes do in other sports.  Audrey Plant didn't get discounted tattoos by selling a pair of gold pants. Aaron Tourigny didn't file a report to the NCAA last September saying his teammates were compliant with NCAA rules, even though he knew they weren't. Erika Benford didn't convince the NCAA to let her teammates row in a competition even though they had already been suspended.

It's been pointed out on this site before, but the nature of the beast when it comes to college sports fandom is that entire universities can be defined by the worst actions of the most visible team. That's unfortunate, especially when other Ohio State athletes are doing great things, and doing them the right way.



Squirrel Master's picture

"OSU men's volleyball on the whole is also pretty good"


Did you just compare the men's volleyball team to Preparation H?

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

GOOD BLIMEY! Even stink would say that stink! Oh wait. I thought we were referencing Gold Member....

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Olentangy's picture

does anyone honestly care about any of this?

How firm thy friendship

William's picture

Is that a serious question? I find both the pistol and volleyball write-ups interesting, as well OSU usually fields an excellent men's soccer team and the men's lacrosse team did beat a top 5 UNC team a couples weeks ago. If you don't care then don't read the post, but considering that OSU has 39 varsity sports, I'm pretty sure a lot of people do care.

Marshall's picture

You know what, this is a great writeup, and EXACTLY the shot in the arm I needed.  People are running us down right now, but darnit, we're still BUCKEYES!  That still MEANS SOMETHING!  We dominate in a bunch of sports, our mens basketball team is #1!  Our womens basketball team won the Big Ten!  Our other sports are competitive...our fine ladies of synchronized swimming trounce the others, our cheerleaders are still hotter (with classier uniforms), our stadium is bigger and better, we win like crazy in a whole mess of sports, but wait, there's more...

The Ohio State University is a major research university that is ranked #1, #2, or #3 in more majors than any other in the world.  The research contributions, the folks who attend and get educated there, and the work our professors do in engineering, science, agriculture, and the arts and humanities offers something to the world.

For pete's sake, people, now's not the time to cry in the corner and worry about what happens next!  Now's the time to take the initiative...to make 'em just deal with it, to sing the praises of this fine school, to double down on enthusiasm, to remind everybody of who we STILL are!  We mess up every now and then, but we are still better than the others.

At the end of the day, boys and girls, they hate us.  Why do they hate us?  Because losers hate winners!  The sooner we understand this, the sooner we're free from the bondage of the knuckleheads who mean nothing more than to hurt us, by any means they can get away with.  They want us to fail.  And they see that hoops team, and hate us even more.  We need to be proud and stand up to this cloud they're trying to hang over the heads of everybody who cares about the university...our university...OUR OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY!

Phone's ringing.  It's WOODY on the line.  He wants something from you.  He needs something from you.  He needs you to shake this off!  He needs you to back your team, now more than ever!  It's time to double down on the support for your team.  The basketball team needs us to back 'em, even if we're hurting!  We are on the verge of supporting our team to ANOTHER championship!  Now's not the time to run.  Now's the time to earn the right to wear that OSU #0 or #33 with that NATIONAL CHAMPION logo on it!

LET'S GET IT DONE!  Let's go for 2...because we can't go for 3!

#GoBucks #DoubleDown! #Woody4Ever!

2002 graduate of The Ohio State University
National champs.  Coincidence?

Johnny Ginter's picture

i want someone to read this at my funeral in place of a traditional eulogy

BuckeyeChief's picture

Written in my will, everyone is singing "Hang on Sloopy".

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

ERIC OSU's picture

even though i just read that on my computer screen, its as if i could hear you coaching us up with that recitation.. knocking over a few chairs, the 11W community standing to our feet,

I'm ready to knock the walls down....

JakeBuckeye's picture

"even though i just read that on my computer screen, its as if i could hear you coaching us up with that recitation.."

I felt the EXACT same way.



bstadnik's picture

This is what I'm talking about. This is the attitude we need to take BuckeyeNation!! I'm wearing my OSU golf shirt and OSU hat to work tomorrow. I'm gonna walk tall and proud (easy to do as I'm 6'5") and I hope I see someone in NYC wearing Michigan garb, cause I'm still gonna point and laugh at them!!

Let's Go Bucks. Remember, that which doesn't kill you, just makes you stronger!!


Go Bucks!

osubucks10's picture

Just curious what the source is for OSU programs ranked in the top 3?


I'd like to prove a point to someone

Marshall's picture

Heard it in my "welcome to campus" talk offered up by one of the deans.  It was in January 2000...but YOU KNOW we've held onto that distinction!

2002 graduate of The Ohio State University
National champs.  Coincidence?

William's picture

When I was accepted to OSU this year they sent me a packet with several facts about the academic distinctions the University holds. They're second in the nation in industry sponsored research and I think US News and World Report had them in the top 10 as a research university in the world.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Just noticed "Phone's ringing. It's WOODY on the line." as one of the slogans at the top of the 11W page.

BuckeyeMark's picture

I'm voting for Marshall for post of the year.  "Phone's ringing.  It's Woody"  that is awesome-ness, and this was a great article. if tOSU has a tic-tac-toe team I'd support them and be interested in how they are doing... especially if they were beating scUM.

no one is saying foil and sabre news should replace bball and fb, but it clearly didn't here.  nice piece to pick us up a little.  good work, and go Bucks!

KenK's picture

Buckeyechief, I'm a pretty piss-poor singer, so out of respect I'll just hum along.

Marshall, the "Phone's ringing..." line is superb, well done.

Johnny, great article. Yes, there is so much more to being a Buckeye fan.


Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

slidingscrapes's picture

How about some love for the synchronized swimming team? They've won a ridiculous TWENTY-SIX national championships in the thirty-five years the event has been held, and they're going for #27 next week. "What's your record?" "Twenty-six and nine." "That's a good season!" "No, that's championships. Still pissed we didn't win it all those nine times."

Show them Ohio's here!

Marshall's picture


Absolutely ticked about those 9!  Enraged!

For the next month...we need to do our part for OUR Buckeyes. From here on out, until we cut down those nets in Houston.  All sports.  All the events on campus.  I don't care if we have an intramural game of yahtzee going against Capital or Otterbein.  We...all of us...need to make sure they remember forever the night they played the Buckeyes!

2002 graduate of The Ohio State University
National champs.  Coincidence?

tomcollins's picture

Is it that impressive when there are only 3 teams that compete?



William's picture

They've still won 74% of all national titles in the history of that collegiate sport, even though they only compete against two schools haha

slidingscrapes's picture

I don't believe they compete division by division. I believe that since it's not an NCAA-sanctioned sport, they can and do throw all the schools together to vie for one title. I've looked for confirmation on that and can't find any one way or the other, but I'm confident they compete for titles against more than just two other schools.

Show them Ohio's here!

NoVA Buckeye's picture

mens lax is currently 5-1 and ranked 13th. hopefully i can drive down to charlottesville and see the game against uva

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

painterlad's picture

Is it just me or does that mens volleyball player look a lot like a young Adam Sandler?

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

buckeyedude's picture

No mention of the OSU synchronized swim team? WTF?