As a student at The Ohio State University, football players are a part of the everyday experience. Anywhere you go on campus, you’re bound to see someone who has an involvement with the football team. Initially, it’s kind of neat, but you really get used to it. It comes to be as routine as going to class every day. I have been fortunate enough to have a relationship with a certain member of the football team who will not be named in this article. It’s given me a little more insight into the Ohio State football program off the field. Well, at least more than the average person would get. This player is an extremely nice and pleasant guy, to the point where he acknowledged my existence and has treated me just as he would treat anyone else. He doesn’t act as if he is better than anyone else and tries to shy away from his image and be the normal, fun-loving guy that he is. Anyways, this individual has made me aware of one thing that I definitely wasn’t aware of before: the grind.
Waking up at 4:30 in the morning every day, these guys are working their tails off before most of us wake up in the morning. Being a football player is truly a full time job. By the time their last class ends, most guys are just ready to go to bed and want to no business in the party scene. Realistically, players (in the offseason) are only able to party two nights out of the week, and a majority would rather spend that time doing other things that are much more relaxing than partying all night.
That being said, I have been to a few parties at which football players were in attendance. They’re human, and in college, so of course they’re going to party. Never, EVER, at a party have I seen a football player act inappropriately at a party. In fact, quite the opposite. Much like the “player who won’t be named”, they have all treated me and my friends with kindness and respect.
There was one instance that showed a football player in a negative light, and I feel as if I must share it to balance he tables a little bit. I was once in the Gateway Plaza on South Campus, a very nice area with a couple of hot spots for college students to party. As we were walking near the club, a football player was being lead from the club by his friends. He was obviously very distraught and trying to push his friends off of him. He was not screaming, but he was very loudly exclaiming “they don’t know who I am? How can they not let me in the club? Don’t they know who I am?” I really wasn’t surprised that this particular player was pulling the “do you know who I am?” card, thanks to his demeanor on the field, so I really didn’t view it in a negative light. Outside of that, I have yet to experience any negatives in terms of parties involving football players.
Today, rumors of a “rape” allegation against three Ohio State football players have come to the surface, and I guess I can tell you about what I know. I have been at a party with one of the involved players and again, I never witnessed him acting indecently towards women or anyone else. In the times I’ve partied with him, his biggest crime was wearing a Burberry scarf the wrong way and wearing a dumb hat. He was always respectful to the women that he was with and never seemed to force anything upon anyone. He was with his boys and was just having a good time, like anyone else at the party. I’m not saying that he didn’t act inappropriately when I wasn’t there, because I don’t know. I am just giving you the examples of things that I have seen. No, I wasn’t drunk because I made a personal decision not to drink underage. I don’t do drugs either, so my perception was very clear and I remember everything. I am not going to say that these guys are innocent, nor am I going to say that they are guilty. Again, simply my observation.
Essentially, what I am trying to say is, if the allegations are true, it would be very surprising to me. Coming to a school like Ohio State that I have loved and followed for my entire life, I thought that I would look at these players as if they were larger than life superstars. It has really been the opposite. I view them just I would view any other student, and they view me in the exact same way. It’s been a very pleasant and refreshing surprise. You would think that the majority of these guys would take themselves as seriously as we do. If you think about it, Ohio State players have a higher profile than many professional players. Ohio State fans are some of the most ravenous and loyal fans in the sports realm and treat their players as if they are better than even some professional sports superstars. I am here to tell you that in my experience, while the players may be aware of their stature, many of them do not show it. Sure, some let it get to their heads, and I believe that’s very natural. The majority, however, act as if they are any normal student (like me) which they are.
Buckeye Nation, let’s just hope this thing doesn’t end up out of control. We’ve had our fair share of scandal lately, and I feel as if we deserve a break. Let’s just hope that for the sake of the University and for all of the men and women involved that the allegations are false. You never want to see anything like this happen, no matter what. I think we would all agree that we’d rather the whole thing go away and become a false allegation. It would be really nice to know that the Buckeye football team is just as nice, classy, and respectful as they have showed me they are.