The Basics to Not Getting Arrested

By DJ Byrnes on July 7, 2014 at 12:18p

This article has been sitting in the nether regions of my brain for the last month, because the off-season is the worst. The only good thing that comes in the summer is verbal commitments that can't be legitimized until February.

The rest is a hellscape of "the [team, unit or player] is going to be better this year" stories, #teens stiff-arming your favorite school, and arrests.

For reasons that largely are stories for another time and place, I get sick whenever I see a non-Michigan football player pinched for things that basically aren't murder, rape, pedophilia or selling heroin to toddlers.

hate seeing young people throw away opportunities.

In 27 years on Earth, I've had a handful of dust-ups of differing severity with various penal codes across America. They were all avoidable. Thankfully, I didn't play football for a major university and my idiotic decisions didn't makeup headlines.

It's not fool-proof, but there are a few #lifehacks — besides, you know, following the law — to avoid getting pinched for something as mind-numbingly stupid as brawling at the Grown & Sexy Lounge in Lorain.


Because I'm a #90sKid, I had a D.A.R.E. class in which a cop told our 7th grade science class, "marijuana is a gateway drug" to things like horse and smack.

I'll leave the judgement on cannabis up to the reader, but look at some of Ohio State football's recent arrests:

  • Jack Mewhort and Jake Stoneburner pinched for public urination. 
  • Marcus Baugh's two underage drinking citations.
  • Carlos Hyde's Sugar Bar 2 incident.
  • Roby's knuckleduster with a bouncer in Indiana, and the OVI citation he plead down.
  • Tracy Sprinkle cited for rioting and cocaine possession, among other things.

Notice a common thread there? Alcohol.

Don't get me wrong, alcohol can be awesome, but its darker side can't be ignored. It's like DirecTV's "Don't end up in a ditch," commercial, except the consequences don't end with the commercial. 

Drink enough alcohol, and you will do things you would never do in 10,000 sober years. Sometimes, this results in a story that will enter personal lore. Other times, it puts you in a jail cell for a whole weekend with nothing but an anti-suicide vest as your only clothes, blanket and pillow. (Hope you like ham sandwiches.)


Here's a guest speaker, Jacksonville's Lil Duval:

The folly of young people is thinking partying in large groups of people is good. Only later in life do you learn it is actually bad.


If you're at this stage of the night, you've obviously treated my first two suggestions like Craig James treated those five brave hookers at SMU.

This point, however, can't be ignored. It doesn't matter if you're sober and are planning to only drive to the bar and take a cab home.

Don't even give your crunk-self the option of driving home from the bar. Don't give your keys to your friends either. They'll be drinking too, and you can get a DUI for allowing a person you know is inebriated drive your car. Take a cab, Uber, Lyft or WALK. Whatever you choose, it's always cheaper than a DUI.

(Plus, if you've been paying attention, you've come to realize YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS.)


My 11 readers know I'm from Marion, and I have nothing but love in my heart for the City of Kings. As I grow older, however, I put my shoes on the streets of Marion less and less.

Remember Woody Hayes' quote?

"only three things can happen when you pass and two of them are bad."– Wayne Woodrow Hayes

I view Marion the same way Woody Hayes viewed passing. Of all the things that can happen when I make the hajj to the City of Kings, an overwhelming majority of them are bad. Really bad.

They say nothing good happens after midnight, but at the OK Café, my Marion watering hole of choice, nothing good happens after the lunch hour. I wish that was a hyperbole.

The problem with the OK Café is it's frequented by people who are ready to die over anything. Putting alcohol (and other substances) into people like that is like setting yourself on fire and tap dancing on top of a wooden keg of gunpowder. One way or another, it's ending badly.

What's the point in dying because you scuffed some heroin dealer dealer's Spacefoamdepositcrystal Jordans? That dude is in his early 30s, lives with his mom and deals with junkies on a day-to-day basis. Do you know what kind of aggravation that man keeps within him? If you don't know, trust me, you don't want to find out.


This only applies to the young bucks.

These days, I pretty much talk to my cowokers, my girlfriend, the eight members of my fantasy football league and a guy I've known since kindergarten. That's why I'll never attend a high school reunion: I already keep in touch with everybody I care about.

Maybe it has a little to do with my evolution into a middle-aged hermit who lives in a cave, but maintaining real life human relations is an unnecessary burden. Outside of your family, a person only needs about eight other people. 

And choose wisely, because just because somebody is your friend doesn't mean they have your best interests in heart. In some cases, your friends are your friends because they share common, self-destructive tendencies.


It's not an original thought, but that's because it's true.

Tracy Sprinkle had a chance to walk away, but his pride (and perhaps the cocaine he allegedly had in his possession) didn't let him.

From Lisa Roberson of The Chronicle-Telegram:

Both [Wayne] Blue and Sprinkle were told to leave, but instead continued the confrontation. Blue was the first to be arrested after refusing to leave and continuing to confront Sprinkle.

The officer once again told Sprinkle to leave.

“The group that had been trying to hold Sprinkle back responded by saying, ‘We got him’ as they pushed him toward a car,” the report said.

Tracy was in the clear. He had already (and allegedly) hit his rival in the head with a liquor bottle. That rival was already en route to jail. The cops had given him the Go-Home-or-Go-To-Jail card (link NSFW). Usually, that's an easy decision.


However, Sprinkle did not leave the area as instructed. He later was seen arguing again with someone, and at that time he was arrested, the officer wrote.

Fighting, and the egotistic pride that leads to it, are two of the most worthless things in human discourse. When they're mixed with alcohol (and/or drugs), the results are always downright calamitous.


Here's the lesson I've discerned: Don't mess with people who possess the power to knock the piss out of you and then put you in a cage.

You don't have to speak to them, but I would not advise disrespecting them. 

Otherwise, you end up with a mugshot like this:


It's not easy to see which guy respected the police during his apprehension, but if you look closely, the answer is there.

These #tips, along with simply following the law, will go along way in reducing your arrest rate. 

After all, it only takes one bad decision to torch everything for which you've spent your whole life working towards. 

It might not be fair, but it is life. 



jeremytwoface's picture

For those who don't want to read the whole article, here's one rule to sum up all of the rules listed:

1. Use common sense

And when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of boooooooooze!! And we'll drink to old Ohio 'till we wobble in our shoes.

+10 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

In the biz, they call this a TL;DR notation.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

As my dad always says "common sense ain't too f*ckin' common any more."

Get your shine box, Gumar.

+2 HS
Earle's picture

For those who don't want to read JeremyTwoFace's whole comment, here's one word to sum it up:


Your Noble Savage is a Straw Yeti.

+14 HS
MassiveAttack's picture

And herein lies the real problem: When drinking (to excess), you don't have common sense. Alcohol use also has it's effects on thinking straight. its hard to do.

I'm not saying don't drink, as it has it purposes.  But "mean drunk", "angry drunk", "liquid courage", and "beer goggles" are terms for a reason.  People with scholarships to major universities should drink at home.

The Ohio State University - "Haters love us!"

+2 HS
11UrbzAndSpices's picture

Aaron Craft spent every Friday night studying for four years, why can't others do it?

"Quit skipping leg day bro" - Dr James Andrews

+3 HS
Bugsyk's picture

"Common" Sense is so rare it should be declared a superpower.

+4 HS
toad1204's picture

I guess cocaine is better than heroin?

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+2 HS
Unky Buck's picture

Sadly, according to Rick James...yes it is.

If you jiggle your monitor, does that make a jiggly gif?

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Well, that's perfect.

buckeyedexter's picture

Pride can get you into a lot of trouble.  I think it's tied to low self-esteem, where you feel you need to prove yourself to your friends, a cute girl or even yourself.  I know it got me in trouble before I stopped caring what other people think of me.

+5 HS
cinserious's picture

Because I'm a #90sKid, I had a D.A.R.E. class in which a cop told our 7th grade science class, "marijuana is a gateway drug" to things like horse and smack.

Tell me about it!


One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

+6 HS
sox33osu's picture

Pretty fantastic article DJ, well done.

+3 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

Rule #1: Attend Florida State University.

+14 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

If you're at this stage of the night, you've obviously treated my first two suggestions like Craig James treated those five brave hookers at SMU.

Man, this was hilarious.  I got looked at like an idiot for choking on my drink of water when I read this.

Get your shine box, Gumar.

+9 HS
exnwohiobuckfan's picture

I got the same response from my boss.

+1 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Carlos Hyde's Sugar Bar 2 incident.

Hyde was drunk?

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+1 HS
Crimson's picture

Would anyone go if not?

+4 HS
BuckeyeStrong2's picture

Hyde may not have been drunk, but he was in a bar...


Earle's picture

Can we get a ruling from Mindy?

Your Noble Savage is a Straw Yeti.

+9 HS
11UrbzAndSpices's picture

*Common Man impression runs through my head*

"Quit skipping leg day bro" - Dr James Andrews

+2 HS
808buckeye's picture

You sir get a upvote

seize the carpe

Tater_Schroeder's picture

This should be a must-read for all incoming freshman. 


+2 HS
ponder10's picture

Alcohol is and always will be the "gateway" substance when the situation is looked at rationally, but publicly the alcohol lobby will never allow that to become public discourse.

“In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” ~ Baba Dioum

+3 HS
FitzBuck's picture

So to be clear they should join the 4H club for Friday night box socials.  

Im sorry but Roby and The linemen should  not have been big deals at all.  Hyde wasn't much but I live by don't put your hand on a women....this might be the worst Of the bunch.  

Allways walk away from a Cop when offered...they are being nice regardless of how they say it to you.

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+1 HS
pcg396's picture

Great 'real world' advice, DJ.  Well done.

Scottsdale Buckeye

buckeyebfd's picture

I remember a jaywalking ticket I got on High Street many years ago, the cop was going to let us off with a warning but one of my friends talked us all into getting tickets.

+3 HS
BierStube's picture

A party animal is not something to strive for ... leave it to the professionals

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+13 HS
Zaphod Beeblebrox's picture

Proof that Jagermeister & animals are a bad combo.

+4 HS
Tater_Schroeder's picture

On a related note, Luke's Bar & Grill in Bluffton, Ohio does have some good food.


Phoenix824's picture

I always got my pizza there when I was in college there.   We just called it "the pub"    At least I assume it is the same place in the middle of Main Street

FitzBuck's picture

Well I just picked up Bluffton as part of my territory.  I will let you know.

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

Tater_Schroeder's picture

Well if Bluffton is in your new territory, I would have all sorts of places for you to try.

As for Luke's, watch out for deer. The video above was taken there!


Zaphod Beeblebrox's picture

The basics to not getting arrested? How about not breaking the law?

+3 HS
Crimson's picture

DJ has that covered.

It's not fool-proof, but there are a few #lifehacks — besides, you know, following the law —

hit_the_couch's picture

I think it's un-American if one doesn't do at least one over nighter in county jail in their lifetime. <---apparently I need the sarcasm font for this. *edit

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

BuckeyeStrong2's picture

I hope when one does do "at least one over nighter in county jail" I hope it is many years after their OSU playing days are over, because one usually leads to the other.


+1 HS
Northbrook's picture

What if you are from Marion? I understood that getting arrested at least once was de rigueur if from Marion.

tussey's picture

 Take a cab, Uber, Lyft or WALK. Whatever you choose, it's always cheaper than a DUI.

So true. 

+3 HS
OSU_ALUM_05's picture

These player arrests are such a pet peeve of mine. It is so unbelievably easy to go through life without getting arrested.  There were times in our country's history when that wasn't the case ... I understand that.  But, this is not one of those times.  

You play football at Ohio State.  It's a full time job - we get it.  You don't get paid - we get it.  But you get a free education along with some other perks.  Let's name them:

1.  Getting paid under the table (admit it people);

2.  New gear/clothing all the time;

3.  Beautiful co-eds;

4.  Opportunity (albeit small) to get to NFL to play a game for a living; and

5.  MOST IMPORTANTLY:  If you get through Ohio State's football program, keep your nose clean, throw some nice comments to the fans once in awhile, etc., you can have a wonderful career in Columbus selling insurance, selling cars, or doing a whole host of other honorable jobs that your localized fame will give you a running head start into success.  Do you hear that ... play football, be a good citizen, and have a nice career to provide for yourself and your family.  How much more do you want?

BUT ... no ... you have to go out to the bars with your bros, get drunk and do drugs.  I mean is it that hard to stay home?  Or .. how about go but leave without drinking ... because at your age it's ILLEGAL.  

[steps off soapbox]

I wish you the best Tracy ... I hope you learn something and turn it around ... whether its at OSU or somewhere else.

Yeti's have feelings too.

+7 HS
Zimmy07's picture

What's the point in dying because you scuffed some heroin dealer dealer's Spacefoamdepositcrystal Jordans? That dude is in his early 30s, lives with his mom and deals with junkies on a day-to-day basis. Do you know what kind of aggravation that man keeps within him? If you don't know, trust me, you don't want to find out.

Just when I think the whole world is crapping on me I read something like this & have to think that I've probably got it pretty well after all.  Thanks for helping to remind me with the different perspective.

Menexenus's picture

DJ, droppin' some serious wisdom on us today!

The Craig James comment was priceless.

And I couldn't agree more with this one:

That's why I'll never attend a high school reunion: I already keep in touch with everybody I care about.

Nice job!

Real fans stay for Carmen.

+3 HS
buckeyedude's picture

27, DJ? Damn, ur just a pup.



+2 HS
sharks's picture

(shame on me- I missed that someone posted this first, and did a better job than I did).

A man got to have a code...

+1 HS
causeicouldntgo43's picture

Much like Birm was sent to the Nike camp to cover crootin', perhaps 11W can send DJ to places like the Grown & Sexy Lounge during July to cover future potential grey box activity. He may even be in the right place at the right time and offer his counsel to prevent said grey box activity from occurring.

Does anyone have any suggestions for dive bars in your area that should covered?

+2 HS
Phoenix824's picture

DJ makes some good comments about Friends.    I can count of all of two hands with fingers left over how many true friends I have and on one hand with some left over the ones I would trust with my life and kids lives.     

+1 HS
cplunk's picture

I'm 43. There are five people I consider friends, and they're pretty much the only ones with whom I stay in touch. When I was 18 I would have thought somebody with five friends was a loser. Now I know if you have five true friends you've done really f'ing well. 

Hang on to the ones that tell you that you're full of shit when you're riding high, pump you up when you're low, and aren't afraid to kill your buzz when you're being stupid. 

+5 HS
bucknut94's picture

You become who you hang out with.

ziplock007's picture

Other than the obvious, police reports, let's take a look how football players got 'caught' throughout the years

  • 1900-1990: A newspaper man, donning a skinny black tie, pressed suit, and crinkled derby, hinds behind a bush with a flashbulb camera.  He snaps a photograph of you and your cohorts practicing ill refute, then celebrates by taking his dame out to the fanciest be-bop joint in town.
  • 1990 - 2003: Surveillance cameras... by 1990 the resolution was probably good enough to make out your face.
  • 2003 - 2007: Them camera phones keep gettin' better, them social media sites like MySpace keep growin... What's this I hear about Facebook and Twitter, they must be new.
  • 2007 and beyond: Everyone with a smart phone is a journalist.  Everyone has a smart phone.
+2 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Take a cab, Uber, Lyft or WALK. Whatever you choose, it's always cheaper than a DUI.

Quick safety note ... Bolded = potential public intox.

+1 HS
Boxley's picture

I have not always been a fan of your stuff DJ, most likely due to the age difference (X2). This piece however, displayed your talent and impressed me  quite a bit (not that that matters)

Well done. I consider this one of your  best submissions and maybe I am starting to get where you are coming from a little better. You have a good future in front of you.

Stay out of Marion! but leave a little Marion in your heart.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

ChimdiCheckyaselfbeforeyawreckyaself's picture

My D.A.R.E. teacher would take smoke breaks behind the portables between lectures - we were all smoking by age 13

A little is better than nada, sometimes you want the whole enchilada

+2 HS
BroJim's picture

Yeah, there are tons of studies that say D.A.R.E. and other scared strait programs just don't work. In fact, research show they actually have the opposite effect then their intention. 

I season my simple food with hunger

Crimson's picture

Yeah, D.A.R.E. is a proven waste of money, but it's a feel good program that people like.  I've heard better things about bringing in high schoolers who have had drug problems, but I don't remember the effects being that big.

IH8UOFM's picture
Another good rule of thumb is to not run from the cops (unless you possess Chris Gamble-esque speed)
+3 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Another good rule of thumb is to not run from the cops

Or walk apparently.

+2 HS
Earle's picture

I wonder if that cop has any eligibility left. 

On second thought, that would be a clear targeting flag.

Your Noble Savage is a Straw Yeti.

+6 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

The last thing the D needs is someone else who doesn't wrap up. I bet he's a beast in roller derby though.

+3 HS
808buckeye's picture

Damn..!!!  Gotta love the police...... 

seize the carpe

luckynutz's picture

I work i work in a bar. Have for 11 years. And have seen my fair share of fights, tazings and just overall generally stupidity. I also know a lot of cops...heres the biggest thing about them: if you can follow their orders and not be a jackass, they arent taking you to jail. They can be pretty understanding in situations involving and overload of testosterone ajd alcohol. When asked to leave, leave. When asked to ease up and walk away, walk away. The problem isnt what you started out doing....its what you continue to do.

Also...dont fight a bouncer. It may seem like a great idea....but keep in mind there are more of them than there are of you. And they arent employed for the charm, wit and diplomacy.

+1 HS
DMcDougal24's picture

Which brings me to my next point. Don't smoke crack.

+3 HS
THEOSUfan's picture

Unfortunately, I'm 50 years old.  There's some negative that comes with that.  I helped my son put in 640 feet of drainage pipe last week and I won't feel right for at least a week.  On the other hand, I have lived through some stuff, and seen some stuff.

Younger people seem to poo-poo what I am about to say - until they become older people.  There is a forumula for heap big trouble and I applaud the author for recognizing it.  The forumula is this:

Mind-altering substances + bar/club and/or 12:01-5 AM = arrest, OD, death, rape, robbery, car accident, etc.

Avoiding heap big trouble?  Drink within reason, and if you can't pull that off, do it with people you know well behind closed doors.  Stay away from bars and clubs, and if you can't, have a plan to beat cheeks when trouble starts.  Have your ass in your house by midnight.  If those guidelines seem too onerous, then have a really good lawyer on retainer.

+1 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Don't break the law, especially when there are security cameras watching you, and security watching said cameras sees you rolling through the parking garage smoking the ganga out of a nice glass pipe.  It's not fun when security vehicles come up to get you, and nearly T-bone your car because they zoomed up on you so fast.  (I kinda wish they did T-bone us...those guards were dicks and I would've feigned a neck injury #LAWSUIT)

Class of 2010.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Tonight, on a very special DJ article . . .

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+1 HS