The Weekender: Ohio State Women's Hockey Seeks a Repeat National Title Tonight, Bengals Brass Wants to End Workers' Comp for Players, and a Big Ten Wrestling Mom Literally Snaps

By George Eisner on March 19, 2023 at 2:35 pm
Liz Schepers of The Ohio State Women's Hockey Team celebrates the 2022 National Championship
Liz Schepers with the 2022 NCAA Championship Trophy

Own the group chat with The Weekender, highlighting the biggest stories in college sports, standout writing from Eleven Warriors, and a glance at what's next.

OSU Women's Hockey Seeking Another National Title at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU

We are more spoiled as Ohio State fans than we can possibly realize.

The immediate conscious of the common Buckeye sports fan is usually reserved for football and basketball. The dropdown options in the header of this very website reflect that truth.

But the success this athletic program enjoys reaches so far beyond those two revenue-generating sports. The young men and women that can also call themselves OSU student-athletes alongside the likes of C.J Stroud and Brice Sensabaugh arguably deserve a similar level of grateful recognition — if not outright attention — for their contributions to the university.

Yesterday alone, the Ohio State women's swim & dive team took 6th place at the NCAA Championships. The wrestling team saw Sammy Sasso make a late charge for the 149 lbs. title last night on the squad's way to a 4th place finish.

As of this weekend, the Ohio State pistol team has won a third of all the national championships in the sport across the new millennium. They will head to the Intercollegiate Pistol Championships at Ft. Benning, Georgia later this coming week.

Men's swim & dive will also travel next week in search of a national championship. As will the synchronized swimming team. Men's fencing will attempt to capture another NCAA title starting Thursday, and then the women's side will try for a similar goal next weekend.

Between all those runs at glory for Ohio State Athletics, the women's basketball team finds itself facing off in the NCAA Tournament with North Carolina tomorrow. But one more team will make a run at a national title on behalf of the Buckeyes this weekend — a unit worthy of respect as any of the aforementioned ones above.

Led by the reigning WCHA Coach of the Year recipient Nadine Muzerall and the latest Patty Kazmaier Award winner Sophie Jaques, Ohio State women's hockey will take on the six-time National Champions in the Wisconsin Badgers at 4 p.m. ET today on ESPNU. These two teams have won each of the last two tournaments, with the Buckeyes' title last season serving as the first in school history.

Jaques — a returning member of last year's title-winning team — leads all defensemen at the Division I level with 24 goals and 48 points. She also has an incredible nine power play goals from that position, a total that ties for the lead among all players nationwide. She is only the second defenseman to ever win the Kazmaier Award as the top player in collegiate women's hockey, and the first since 2004.

So if your bracket has already busted, or if you simply find yourself with some free moments heading into the early evening, please give these ladies some of your time. Lend your attention and spirit to a group of phenomenally talented women that have gone above and beyond to illustrate the continued success of Ohio State across the national athletic landscape and beyond.

What a blessing it is to be an Ohio State sports fan. Go Bucks.

Cincinnati Bengals Seeking to Void Workers' Comp for On-Field Injuries

Last Wednesday, concerns the NFL Players Association voiced the previous week about the Cincinnati Bengals ownership's perspective on workers' comp appeared to pick up steam.

According to Haley BeMiller of the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, the core at the dispute rests with ownership categorizing workers' compensation for million-dollar athletes injured on the field as "welfare for the rich," a sentiment communicated through Ohio House Representative Bill Seitz.

A measure drafted by Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, would bar active professional athletes from filing for permanent partial disability over an injury or illness related to their job. Seitz said he's working with Bengals leaders on the amendment, but if passed, it would apply to players on the Cleveland Browns, Columbus Blue Jackets and other Ohio teams.

The NFL Players Association called attention to the proposal over the weekend and accused the Bengals of attempting to strip Ohio athletes of their workers' compensation benefits. But Seitz cast disability compensation for athletes still earning millions of dollars as "welfare for the rich."

“It does not prohibit worker’s compensation generally," Seitz said. "It is limited to permanent partial disability cases brought by pro athletes who are still actively playing."

A spokesperson for the Bengals did not respond to a request for comment. According to The Athletic, team leaders want to prevent players from "double dipping" by claiming disability while still active in the league. — Haley BeMiller via The Columbus Dispatch

Politics aside, it must be hard for Ohio State fans to watch the Bengals brass pursue such a measure after the traumatic experience of watching Ryan Shazier nearly leave Paul Brown Field with paralysis barely half a decade ago. Given the other infamous injuries Cincinnati has seen on its home turf in recent seasons — Antonio Brown and Vontaze Burfict come to mind — pursuit of such legislation seems in even worse taste than it appears.

Iowa Wrestling Mother Snaps in Wake of Son's Defeat

In a weekend that had no shortage of viral moments across college athletics, few results generated more of a pop than Purdue wrestler Matt Ramos upsetting three-time Iowa champion Spencer Lee with a pin in the waning moments of their match.

But the pop in question had arguably just as much to do with how Lee's mother, Cathy, reacted to her son falling just short of a chance to compete for his fourth title.

While many were quick to criticize the maternal Lee's reaction as over-the-top, one could hardly accuse Cathy of living vicariously through her son, given she has no problem locking Spencer into an armbar.


Stroud the Consensus No. 1 Pick

The results are in from the NFL Draft Combine, and in wake of the Carolina Panthers trading up to the top overall spot, C.J. Stroud has emerged as the clear favorite hear his name called first in April. Dan Hope and Matt Gutridge rounded up all the latest mock draft results for anyone in need of details or proof.

DB Transfers “Aren’t Messing Around”

Wondering how former Syracuse safety Ja'Had Carter and ex-Ole Miss corner Davison Igbinosun are coming along at Ohio State spring practice? Griffin Strom got the scoop from Jim Knowles on the progress he's already seen from the Buckeyes' talented portal additions.

The Art of Losing

There's been a lot of talk about success and winning in this article. Humble yourself a bit with a reflection on loss courtesy of the latest brilliant essay from Eleven Warriors fan-favorite Ramzy Nasrallah.

What's Next

  • Women's Hockey National Championship: vs. Wisconsin, Today at 4 p.m. ET, ESPNU
  • Women's Basketball, NCAA Tournament 2nd Round: vs. #6 North Carolina, Tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Men's Swim & Dive NCAA Championships: Tuesday-Thursday in Minneapolis, MN
  • Football Season Opener: @ Indiana, Sept. 2nd
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