Four Suspensions That Shaped Ohio State Football

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rkylet83's picture

Good article.  Really sucks that these incidents have always hurts us at inopportune times.  

A lot went down in 2003.

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analyticalguy's picture

When is there ever an opportune time, if not losing Chase for 2 games that happen to be UMd and Rutgers?

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lamplighter's picture

Who the hell DV'd this article?

Thanks, Matt, for another great read.

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Lamplighter LLC unless otherwise noted.

peidiwch â ffycin gyda'r Cymry
 

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Buckeyeincleveburg's picture

Every comment and post now has ridiculous DVs.  We have trolls.  I think they should audit the accounts and suspend those with a disproportionate number of DVs.  Kind of the inverse of the parties Remy used to throw for the kind commenters.

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lamplighter's picture

Must have been the fat finger kind. Gone now, whew

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Lamplighter LLC unless otherwise noted.

peidiwch â ffycin gyda'r Cymry
 

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Meek's picture

We are able to upvote or downvote staff articles? Is this an oversight as Matt used to have a non-staff account?

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Buckeyeincleveburg's picture

This article should be handed out to every player as a reminder how even small decisions can have tremendously bad consequences.

A number of thoughts went through my head as I read, particularly —

- current research indicates the male brain, particularly cognitive thinking, isn’t fully formed until around age 25, so yeah,18-20 year olds are going to make some stupid decisions; combine that with some of these guys coming from underprivileged circumstances and you have a recipe for ‘improper benefits’ — the rules can’t change fast enough.

- We all discussed last year’s media fiasco ad nauseum, but that’s a good example of Ohio State totally bungling PR making things worse.  I still think the suspensions of Gene and Urban were undeserved, given that the appropriate department had been notified.  (Ironically the Ohio State attorney in her notes at the time jotted down ‘due process’ — something entirely missing from the public mob response.)

- Like the Phoenix, we rise again.

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

To a certain extent, I think Coach Meyer was his own worst enemy when it came to press conferences.  Going off script was never a good idea for him.  

Thankfully, from what we've seen of Coach Day so far, he seems to handle unexpected questions better than Coach Meyer did. Let's hope he doesn't have to deal with a PR sitatuion as bad or controversial as Meyer did in 2018.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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BeatMeechigun's picture

The program has long been in position to contend nationally and certainly in the Big Ten, but two of these events cost us a title shot.

The 2003 Buckeyes with a running game get past Wisky and TTUN and very, very likely defeat  OU in New Orleans.  The magical 2002 season becomes the magical 2002 AND 2003 seasons.

The 2010 team cost the 2011 team any shot (debatable where that team would have finished otherwise) but they absolutely cost the 2012 team a shot to take on a mediocre ND team in the BCS title game.

2 titles OSU couldn't get and two that went to Team SEC instead.

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droessl's picture

Could've sworn Cris Carter's suspension was also in 2003

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1MechEng's picture

Please correct the year on Urban's suspension from 2003 to 2018.

Trust me! I'm an Engineer.

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sharks's picture

These suspension articles are bringing me down man

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster...

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bhsiba99's picture

Another significant suspension - Dec. 20, 2004 – Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel suspended quarterback Troy Smith for the Alamo Bowl for violating team and NCAA rules and standards.   

This suspension was over for the next year, but prompted Tressel to start Zwick over Smith in the game against Texas and shared time with Zwick as the QB.   If Troy had played the entire game, I firmly believe OSU would've won the game and changed the history of season, especially the narrative of Texas with Vince Young as an unstoppable force and the classic Texas vs USC championship game.

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rkylet83's picture

Yep...although I’m not sure Troy would have scored or won the game, I’d bet my house he wouldn’t fumble on the first damn play.  

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Dstacify's picture

In regards to Texas OSU would've won that game if Ryan Hamby hadn't dropped that sure TD pass from Zwick. That was one of the biggest factors in changing the outcome of that game.

11 Strong.

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jpfbucks01's picture

Smith was suspended for taking a $500 "gift" from a booster Robert Q. Baker

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actionstanleyjackson's picture

Man losing Clarett was massive. 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

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All Ok Jumpmaster's picture

What is crazy is, if Tressel is not fired/resigned, we never get Meyer.

Tressel was still a good coach then and was probably not close to retiring. Im sure Meyer still returns to coach, but probably ends up at Penn State or maybe ND.  He may not have returned as early as he did...I remember if him saying something right after being hired along the lines of "If the Job weren't Ohio State, we (him and his wife) wouldn't be coaching right now"

Who knows what might have happened, but we could have ended up in an MSU like a situation where we could have had an aging Tressel, perhaps watching the game pass him by, and not getting the recruits to keep the program as relevant, but hard to fire (with all due respect to the man).

One of my favorite memories was halftime at the 2012 Michigan game, they honored the '02 team (10yr anni), Tressel was there, and the stadium went wild for him, and then the players from '02 carried him off the field. It was like final closure and thanks for all he had done. Fans sending the message that we love and always will, but we are also super fucking glad to have Meyer now lol.

Stay Frosty

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Dstacify's picture

Eventually Tressel would've left and then the Meyer rumors would've quickly started heating up.

11 Strong.

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All Ok Jumpmaster's picture

But dont you think odds are Tressel would have still been there through Meyer taking another job elsewhere?

I think he rushed back from the 1st retirement because it was OSU and maybe he would have stayed an analyst for another year or two waiting for the right job to open. However, I think he would have found another large program to coach before Tressel would end up leaving on his own volition...he would probably keep OSU good enough to not get fired though.

What if scenarios are crazy...think about this one...If a physician in Miami sings a piece of paper clearing Drew Brees. college football as we know may look totally different. Brees goes to Miami, Saban wins there with Brees, probably doesn't come back to coach Bama or probably doesn't leave the NFL as early as he did at least and Bama fills their job with someone else.  The landscape of the entire SEC would look different because they have largely hired and fired coaches that their success was measured against Saban.

Saban might come back but to a different program and bring with him his recruiting and formula success and maybe that team is the Bama of that time period, or perhaps he stays in the NFL, wins more games, and the Pats dont have the success they have because Miami becomes a legit AFC contender.

Fuckin crazy

Stay Frosty

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Dstacify's picture

I think Tressel would've remained at OSU at least through 2015 (maybe not longer than that). His domination against scUM would've continued during that time period because let's face it, scUM was coached by Brady Hoke at the time. Also in regards to people thinking Tressel was inflexible he molded his offense to fit both Troy Smith's and Terrelle Pryor's skillsets. The OSU offense we saw in 2006 was a spread offense for the most part that just happened to run out of a lot of pro style looks. Yes, his loyalty to coaches like Nick Siciliano and Jim Bollman would've been an issue but Tressel's Buckeyes were not Dantonio's Spartans. OSU has resources in place for sustained success at their program that Sparty doesn't have which is Why we've seen such a decline in East Lansing under Dantonio since 2015.

11 Strong.

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kiddbuckeye's picture

I have been thinking about a topic along these lines. Which Buckeye off the field event event either good/bad caused lead to the most threads/comments from 11warriors fans. Maybe the mods can look this up. Just off the top of my head. [in no particular order]

1. Tate Martel

2. Zach Smith

3. Justin Fields transfering in 

4. Meyers suspension

5. Purdue/Iowa losses

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Meek's picture

Get on it, Mods.

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

So many interlinked "butterflies."  No Cris Carter suspension, does Bruce stay and thus no John Cooper.  No John Coper, no 2-10-1 or no Tressel. Etc, etc.

Thanks for putting this together, Matt. Painful, but a great read.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

HS
Bucks2K18's picture

I do have a question though, if Meyer was hired May 2011 then why did he not start coaching until 2012?

That's a Buckeye touchdown!

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Dstacify's picture

The Clarett suspension was brutal because we stopped having a running game for two whole years after it happened until 2005 when Antonio Pittman finally broke onto the scene. And looking back and hearing Clarett say the NCAA wouldn't have suspended him for the entire 2003 season and that the decision came entirely from Geiger just pisses me off even more. I understand Clarett was a troubled individual at the time (I honestly think most of his legal problems started after his college football career was taken away from him) but he should've seen the field in 2003 IMO.

11 Strong.

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Eph97's picture

No doubt that an SEC team would have covered up any problems with a mega star like Clarrett involving pesky things like pay for play which is rather routine down there and doesn't raise eyebrows. OSU should have had a sit down with Clarrett and told him not to rock the boat, STFU, and play for 3 years and go get paid in the league like countless other guys ahead of him. Putting a spotlight on Clarett bought a ton of bad publicity for OSU.

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Hovenaut's picture

Reading this puts the 90's in an almost different frame for me.

Almost.

Hindsight is, and in, 2020

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Eph97's picture

Seems the program replaced Tressel and Meyer at just the right time when things were starting to get stale and the successor took the program to new heights.

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Calibuckeyefan1's picture

At least 2 potential NCs gone from these suspensions.

2003 -   we were BCS No. 2 going into The Game,  win that and we play Oklahoma in the title game.  OU was pretty overrated that season. 

Tatgate  2010  -   After beating Arkansas in sugar bowl,   OSU was one of the early favorites to be NC contenders in 2011. 

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analyticalguy's picture

I'm not sure 2012 would have happened the way it did without Meyer taking the reins.

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iowabuckeyes's picture

We'll never know but it’s crazy that there are people saying that about this year.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

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iowabuckeyes's picture

As I watched Auburn win the NC and Cam Newton the Heisman in 2010, all I could think of was that those would be Ohio State’s and Terrelle Pryor’s trophies in 2011. Instead...

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

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Eph97's picture

Pryor made Tressel promise him that he would use him as a pro-style qb and not as a running qb. That's one of the reasons he spurned Richrod. However, if Pryor had allowed Tressel to use him like Cam, and also with how the NFL evolved to accommodate running qb's, Pryor may well have been playing qb in the league now.

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andretolstoy's picture

After reading this again, it's not difficult to understand why some other fan bases  have issues with us. Also, it IS difficult to defend that it's only because someone is out for Ohio State. We do this stuff to ourselves.

I would argue, however, that the problems for Tressel happened while recruiting Pryor. That entire process along with his playing time all gave me a bad feeling. Starting with his 'uncle' and putting so much emphasis on getting him, while the narrative that existed while Pryor played that he wasn't a team player, sitting alone on the bench, and then Herbstreit lambasting him on national tv.

I think all that stuff put the spotlight on Tressel's program and people were just itching to get him gone. I honestly think Meyer was in plans prior to TateGate.

If you die before you die, then you won't die when you die. 

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Calibuckeyefan1's picture

Pryor was one of the most sought after recruits from that era. If OSU didn’t get him, he would have gone to penn state or Oregon.  Tressel knew he had to up recruiting after back to back losses in title games.   Let’s not forget Meyer had his own share of problem players as well at Florida. 

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iowabuckeyes's picture

I love Jim Tressel but I believe he sold his soul to get Terrelle Pryor.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

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andretolstoy's picture

He would have sure. But he would have been their headache. And I would have been ok with that in retrospect. 

I remember the frenzy about getting him. I was caught up in it as well, if I'm being honest. I wanted him to be a Buckeye. But, I also remember the program being different after that. Pryor was a huge talent but a misguided individual from start. There was NO WAY he was going to lead a team to a natty. Who followed him? Literally no one. Maybe a handful of guys. Pryor's presence created a new ethos on that football team. And it wasn't a positive one. 

Like every other prospect, Coach Tress thought he was going to mold him. It didn't work out for Pryor because as talented as he was, it was only about him. It seems that it still is. Heck, even Tressel was a different man. I'm not sure what sort of pressure he was facing, but like I said earlier. I think the Meyer-to-Columbus song was being played even before the scandal. Who knows, had Pryor stuck around maybe the Ranger School carnage that is Mickey Marotti's conditioning program would have changed him? Maybe Pryor would have been a bitter fit for a Meyer offense and that was what they were hoping for?

Or, maybe he would have bolted anyways because he was too much of a chicken shit to look inside of himself and play for someone else other than himself. 

If you die before you die, then you won't die when you die. 

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iowabuckeyes's picture

Great article.

The loss to IU in 1987 brought back a bad memory. I had just moved to Chicago in September 1987. I was invited by a girl I’d met who was an IU grad to a massive annual party for IU grads, which also happened to be on the same day we lost to the Hoosiers, a fact that wasn’t known until the party was well under way. The crowd was abuzz—a lot of people excitedly saying “did you hear the news? We beat Ohio State!” as if it was some momentous, unheard of event like landing on the moon. Because after 26 years of getting their asses kicked, it pretty much was. I still remember the feeling of having my balloon burst, from enjoying myself to feeling incredulous that we’d lost. To Indiana. I was surrounded by hundreds of Hoosiers who had just been given an extra reason to have a good time and I felt about two feet tall.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

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iowabuckeyes's picture

My math was off. It was 36 years since IU had last beaten us, not 26.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

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Matt Gutridge's picture

It was 36 years since IU had last beaten us, not 26.

Iowabuckeyes, that is very easy to do. Hard to believe the '80s were 30 years ago.