Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics
In an era of Ohio State athletics history defined by discounted tattoos, dishonesty and disgrace, it’s hard not to feel let down or jaded as football scandals are unearthed, one by one.
But it’s times like these when the character of the majority should outshine that of a few.
In my time with The Lantern, I’ve covered a variety of sporting events and talked to countless athletes and coaches.
But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the athletes worthy of recognition aren’t just the ones wearing helmets and shoulder pads.
Sure, Terrelle Pryor hitting DeVier Posey over the middle for a touchdown is impressive. But it pales in comparison to synchronized swimmer Meghan Kinney fighting for her life against bone cancer as she’s forced to watch her team win a national championship without her.
Watching Solomon Thomas’ Sugar Bowl-clinching interception was incredible, but it’s no more impressive than watching the men’s volleyball team defeat California-Santa Barbara for its first national championship in program history.
Watching women’s lacrosse player Kirsten Donahue check opponents to the turf can be just as brutal as watching Mike Adams pancake defensive linemen.
I could discuss men’s track and field All-American Michael Hartfield’s pursuit of competing at the Olympic trials in the name of his father who passed away shortly after Hartfield arrived at OSU.
Or senior women’s tennis captain Paloma Escobedo fighting back from a late-season injury to compete in the sport she loves.
I sat glued to my seat while softball’s Karisa Medrano pitched a complete game to clinch a 4-3 victory with runners on base against Pittsburgh.
The point is, all of these athletes play with grit and determination. They win with pride and courage, and they lose with emotion and dignity.
Just because they don’t enter Ohio Stadium every Saturday and play while millions watch live on television, doesn’t mean we should ignore, or worse, forget who these athletes are.
They compete at every opportunity for a fraction of the recognition, and they do it with integrity and love for their sport.
These are the people who represent what Buckeye athletics really are.