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Commentary: Duron Carter isn’t worthy to don scarlet and gray

Zach Tuggle / The Lantern

Put away the noose. Ohio State football hasn’t hanged all of its morals just yet.

Duron Carter, former Buckeye wide receiver and son of OSU legend Cris Carter, will transfer to Alabama, thus ending his relationship with OSU.

Why is this good news for OSU fans?

Sure, the Buckeyes are thinner than a college kid’s wallet at the wide receiver position. Sure, they could desperately use help from a 6-foot-3, physical freak with hands like fly paper. But Duron not coming back to OSU shows something.

It shows that, contrary to popular belief, OSU stands for something. It shows that the program isn’t a blind football machine that funnels in elite athletes without regard to academics. It shows that just because your daddy has the brass in the big corner office, you don’t get everything you want.

When Duron was a Buckeye, football was never the problem. He recorded 13 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman in 2009.

He was then ruled academically ineligible to play in the 2010 Rose Bowl, in which OSU defeated Oregon, 26-17. Carter’s academics also held him out of spring practices in 2010.

Duron couldn’t clean up his act, so OSU kicked him out.

Duron enrolled in Coffeyville Community College in Kansas to get his academics on track, but said he still wanted to return to OSU. He wanted a second chance.

Coach Jim Tressel has been known to give people second chances (just look at Troy Smith), but sometimes you have to earn it. Although Duron improved, it wasn’t enough.

OSU didn’t see enough change, and whether you love OSU football or hate it, he didn’t make the cut.

In the world of major college athletics, the term “student-athlete” is almost scoffed at. With star athletes leaving school early and coaches creating an atmosphere in which graduation is secondary to making the big leagues, sometimes it’s hard not to think like that.

But OSU proved that every student — no matter what they do on Saturday afternoons in the fall — still has to be a student. That might sound redundant, and it’s sad that a school has to be commended for enforcing education, but denying Duron is not something every school would do.

So be proud, Buckeye fans. Maybe the sky isn’t falling.

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