Seriously. After all this school has been through from a P.R. standpoint this past year, the athletic department let a HBO series use their trademarks to help paint a portrait of a corrupt, out-of-control football factory run by boosters who literally order state troopers to abuse and threaten anyone who poses an obstacle to the team’s winning. I mean, really?!
For those who don’t watch the show, Dwayne Johnson’s character is attempting to help a high-profile QB prospect challenge the rules that prevent high school players from going straight to the NFL. The kid then throws a wrench into those plans by hastily signing a LOI with OSU after getting to meet LeBron during a game at the Horseshoe. The Rock then makes a trip to Columbus (which is depicted as a small college town completely run by the football program) to politely inform an obviously shady-looking OSU assistant coach that the kid won’t be playing for them. On the way to the airport, Johnson’s character is accosted by two redneck state troopers straight out of a hicksploitation film and thrown into jail on a trumped-up charge. When in jail, a sleazy booster warns him not to mess with Buckeye football...or else.
While the school didn’t let the crew film anything on campus nor let any of its actual coaches/administrators appear on camera (although references to both Urban Meyer and Gene Smith are made), OSU trademarks are all over the Columbus-set scenes, many of which take place in a fairly convincing facsimile of the WHAC offices. Again, how does our school let this happen? Yes, this was obviously filmed before ZachGate hit the news, but how is letting the football program to be portrayed like this helpful in ANY way? It’s not like we need the media exposure. This just reinforces my opinion that the people running this school’s media relations team are complete and total morons.