Public urination is no laughing matter. Americans live in a country where pee is confined to toilets, urinals, beer bottles, and in emergencies, boots found underneath the seat of your friend's '95 Accord. But never outside! Our founding fathers didn't invent the electoral college and the Elastic Clause so that college sports players could run amok, spreading their solubles over all hill and dale where children (children!) might inadvertently smell it maybe if no one cleans or it doesn't rain for four months.
So when Urban Meyer rightly took away the scholarships from Jake Stoneburner and Jack Mewhort for their disgusting acts of both peeing outside and running from police who were trying to get them in trouble for peeing outside, he wasn't just doing it for their own good, he was doing it to save the souls of all citizens of this great land.
For you see, if Stoneburner and Mewhort want to regain their precious scholarships, they will have to climb out of the inferno that is doghouse hell. Today I want to examine the factors that led them to the deepest pit of offseason hell, and why Urban's punishment is a just and worthy penance to be paid for such a heinous crime. Both players earned their way into each circle of hell, and only though the grace of a man named after a pope will they find their way out.
FIRST CIRCLE: LIMBO
Jake Stoneburner and Jack Mewhort are in both football and academic limbo as we speak, as they (or, more likely, their parents) are now on the hook for tuition and board for the summer at Ohio State. As stated by Coach Meyer, they'll be able to earn their way back into the Elysian Field that is Ohio State football, but Limbo is far, far too generous of a placement for offenders such as they. No, ever downward we go, until their true punishment is discovered.
SECOND CIRCLE: LUST
Lust for golf, lust for beer, lust for bro-ing out while ducking significant others at 2 AM. Professional golf tournaments bring the nonstop pulse-pounding thrill rides that they are, tend to bring out the animalistic sides in those who partake. And sure, these are vices that for most people are readily accessible and not punishable by a suspension or monetary loss, but keep in mind that when you're a scholarship athlete you sign away all rights and privileges to being a real, lustful human being.
THIRD CIRCLE: GLUTTONY
The fact that Stoneburner and Mewhort actively sought out this excess and then proceeded to attempt to thwart the fine police officers of Shawnee Hills suggests a gluttony for both sin and for punishment. They will likely have their fill of the latter this summer as they attempt to get back in Meyer's good graces.
FOURTH CIRCLE: GREED
There's a tendency among people to think that when things are going well, they're going to go well forever. Avarice and greed doesn't just refer to physical, tangible things. They can also mean a desire to keep and horde a sense of happiness and prosperity. No doubt that as respected members of the football team, Stoneburner and Mewhort thought that they were deserving of continued happiness in their lives, when in fact they are subject to the same winds of fate as the rest of us. For attempting to elude the inevitable downward spiral of life (and the police), they are counted among the greedy. The mud that they accumulated on their Eddie Bauer shirts from hiding in bushes matches the mud on their souls.
FIFTH CIRCLE: ANGER
Clearly the only thing that could've driven Stoneburner and Mewhort to such wanton destruction was an unyielding anger at the established institutions and authorities of these great United States. Think about it; with one errant splatter of pee, they managed to denigrate our school system, our police force, our institutions of higher learning, their parental authority figures, their coaching authority figures, and most damning of all, random people on the internet. For them to not to consider how their actions would effect us, the casual fan, implies what is surely a conscious effort to enrage us.
SIXTH CIRCLE: HERESY
The lone bright spot in all of this, as Mewhort saved Stoneburner from this torment when they were sitting in the Shawnee Hills police station:
Mewhort: "(The) first person I'm calling right now…"
Mewhort: "Coach Meyer."
Stoneburner: "What will you say?"
Mewhort: "Say, 'Coach, I made a bad mistake this week.'"
Stoneburner: "Don't, don't call him."
Mewhort: "You want to let him find out by himself?"
But it was not enough to save them from what lay ahead.
SEVENTH CIRCLE: VIOLENCE
Think about all of the things you use your pinkie finger for. It's probably the most useful appendage on your body. So when the Shawnee Hills police chief fell and broke his pinkie during what was surely an adrenaline pumping high speed chase of public urination suspects through the backwoods of a Columbus suburb, violence in an already tense situation exploded into an orgy of terror and hatred. Police versus football players. Ohio State versus the State of Ohio. Dogs versus cats. World War Pee.
EIGHTH CIRCLE: FRAUD
Here's the real reason why Stoneburner and Mewhort are being punished so harshly for their sins: it makes Ohio State and Ohio State football look like frauds. Despite all the bluster, the significance of their crime (which, while stupid, barely registers as an actual criminal offense) pales in comparison to the level of paranoia that coaches and administrators alike have about the football program right now. Keep in mind that this is a program that is still on probation, still has yet to serve a postseason, and still continues to rack up secondary violations like so much candy stuffed into Marge's modified trenchcoat pockets at a candy convention. Ohio State is trying desperately to restore its image, and Stoneburner and Mewhort set themselves up like bowling pins to be knocked down by the coaching staff.
I doubt that Urban Meyer or Gene Smith or any rational human being acting as an outside observer to this whole ridiculous saga is honestly that concerned with the overall moral fiber of the football team because of this incident (which I don't want to discount the stupidity of; had the Shawnee Police chief been somehow seriously injured during the chase, it would've been sad and legitimately serious).
But for Meyer it's an opportunity to flex his disciplinary muscle and show his team he means business. For the school, they can nod their heads and use this as an example as how OSU athletics isn't the den of inequity that outsiders perceive it to be. And fans can watch things unfold and be happy that Meyer isn't the permissive Meyer he supposedly was at Florida, who allowed his team to get away with everything.
In the meantime, Jake Stoneburner and Jack Mewhort will work their way back into their coaches' good graces, pay a few hundred dollars in tuition and other expenses, and likely not have to miss any real playing time as a result.
Overall not too bad of a deal for everyone involved, and not a huge price to pay to get out of hell. But it's also all for show; because as Ohio State fans have seen, the real test of fraud and lies doesn't come when the world is breathing down your neck to make an easy decision. It comes when no one is watching and you have to make a hard one.
NINTH CIRCLE: TREASON
Dude you can't pee on a school and then run from the cops! I think they take away your voting for that.