Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tressel says suspended players returning, but I don't believe him. Plus, what is up with Kirk Herbstreit?

Upon departure of the Ohio State Buckeyes to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, Jim Tressel commented that each of the five Buckeyes suspended for next year have pledged to him that they will return for 2011.  And if they hadn't pledged that, Tressel says he would have left them in Columbus instead of letting them skate on their punishments.

Now, while that could be the truth, it seems to just be more weird comments from high-profile persons related to the Ohio State program.  First, Kirk Herbstreit continues his juvinile whining about Terrelle Pryor by suggesting, of all things, that Ohio State would be "better" without the five players in 2011:
I don’t know Terrelle Pryor as an individual, just watching him grow as a player on and off the field, I think all of us have said he has grown on the field. My problem has always been on his actions off the field, on the sidelines, kicking water bottles, frustrated, disgusted, just not being a great leader.
True poor behavior
Now nobody likes a crybaby on the court, but before this incident, I hardly think Pryor's "off the field" actions have been offensive to anyone.  And if they have been, OSU hasn't said a word about it.  The only negative thing Pryor has done is worn jeans to have Prime Rib in LA last year.

Finally, Herbstreit issues a bizarre condemnation of players who want to make it to the next level.
Don’t forget, the reason he selected Ohio State over Michigan and Oregon, offenses more suited to his skill set coming out of high school. Don’t forget, his quote was, 'Ohio State will get me ready for the NFL.' So that was the thinking from the very beginning, that is, in my opinion, a disaster. If that is your goal, to get ready for the NFL, that’s a disaster.
You want to hear guys say, ‘I want to go to Ohio State, to play in the Big 10 and play for Coach Tressel and I want to win Big 10 Championships, I want to go the Rose Bowl and I want to win national championships.’ That’s what you want to hear and if you make it to the NFL, great. But you do not walk in, you may think that in your mind, but you don't go somewhere and say they are going to get me ready for the NFL.
Ok Kirk, chill out.  Yes, you want players to want Ohio State to win championships--has Pryor ever not shown an absolute desire to do so?  I also went to Ohio State, and guess what?  It was so I could earn a living after college, not just hang out on Chittenden Avenue yelling at North Campus punks.  All this is criticising someone for actually telling the truth.  Which brings me, ironically, to Coach Tressel.

Tressel's comments saying that the players have pledged to return in 2011 opens several confusing questions.  First, if they are returning, why did only DeVier Posey actually come out and confirm it when all the players had a chance, in front of the microphones on Tuesday?  Second, any player who has a chance of being a higher-end draft pick would never rule out the NFL now (despite the upcoming labor issues), in exchange for half a season back in Columbus.  In my opinion, Tressel may have asked the players for their "pledge" (wink, wink), so he could make these proclamations to the press.  This covers his rear to be able to play Pryor, Herron, and gang in the Sugar Bowl, without looking weak, or worse, slimy.  But my strong suspicion is, once we get closer to decision time, and some players leave, Tressel will just tell us, without blinking, in his "trust-me" tone of voice, that "Well, you know, these young men had a career opportunity, and they just can't pass it up at this time."  And that will be something Tressel knew all along.  Sometimes he really reminds me of a car salesman, or at least an SEC coach.