Will Stray Ray Ever Get Out of His Own Way?

By Chris Lauderback on August 4, 2009 at 7:00 am

With conflicting reports as to whether or not Ray Small will be on the field when the Buckeyes start camp next week, his time at Ohio State has been one headache after another with a splash of production in between making it worthwhile to ask whether or not Tressel should simply cut bait with the all hype, little substance WR/PR from Glenville?

Small's latest veteran move comes in the form of letting his eligibility hang in the balance thanks to some shoddy summer school work. Bucknuts reported yesterday that Small isn't even working out with the team and his scholarship aid was cut while Ken Gordon's sources say Small is not ineligible though they have verified he is a complete dumbass. Well, maybe they didn't say that but I'd say it's indisputable when you consider a few of his brilliant exploits in no particular order.

To start with, how 'bout his popping off about USC "not even being serious" about games as he referenced what he witnessed on his recruiting trip followed up by implying a lack of class at USC in comparison to Ohio State. Pot meet kettle.

Showing he understands what class is all about, Small was then suspended for two games for "repeated violations" of team rules. All of this after he had already had his #4 jersey revoked due to various shenanigans the previous off-season.

Of course, we learned not all of this behavior was Ray's fault as his Dad was quick to suggest Tressel was on a mission to ruin his son's career providing us a glimpse of his expert parenting skills:

"We see it as a family that they are intentionally blowing his whole career," Ken Small said. "Whatever it is, it's personal.

Way to set a strong example for your son, pop.

Papa Small also recently expressed his glee over the fact Ray was actually looking forward to showing up to camp for the first time in his OSU career:

"He was just here last night and he was saying how he wants to go to camp, and that's a first," Ken Small said. "Usually it's like, 'Man, we've got to go to camp.' Now, he was like, 'I can't wait until camp.'"

Are you serious? I mean, I get that players may not be in love with the idea of getting punished physically and mentally by fall camp but we're talking about a senior who has more to prove than anyone on the roster. Should it not be a fair expectation that he be ready to show a smidge of leadership and work his ass off to set an example for the underclassman while hopefully setting himself up for a big season?

Then again, I can see where that would be too much to expect considering the only things Small had to do this off season were to stay out of trouble and stay eligible and he's walking that tight rope just like every other season since he's been in Columbus. Amazing, the kid has a shot at an NFL payday and he wants to tempt fate over a history class. Too bad he doesn't take history as serious as he does advertising parties via Facebook. If he did, we'd have a valedictorian on our hands.

All right, I'll get off my soapbox now but if you were Tressel what would you do? Assuming he's eligible do you start him or let him serve as an example to all the young guys so it's clear what happens if you are a pain the program's ass year after year?

I truly hate to pile on because I've been a Ray apologist in the past and I got moist over what he showed us in the spring game but it's hard not to get the feeling he'll never grow up because he just doesn't get it. Because I have no problem admitting I care about winning more than I care about what the rest of the country thinks about the program, I hope he gets one more chance and takes advantage of it but something tells me this won't be the last time Small's name is brought up for all the wrong reasons.