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Commentary: One Buckeye fell through the cracks

There exists a “Buckeye brotherhood” amongst Ohio State football players.

It is a fraternity of sorts, and the members forged their bond on the football battlefields of the Big Ten Conference.

This brotherhood is a lifelong connection shared between players past and present, they say. For the fortunate members of this brotherhood, they surely must be ensured lifelong friendships with former teammates.

The late Michael Current, a former OSU lineman under coach Woody Hayes and a co-captain of the Buckeyes his senior year, does not appear to have been so fortunate.

Current was found dead in the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge near Salem, Ore., Monday. The former Buckeye was in a troubled state during what we now know were his final days of life as he faced five counts of sexual assault charges, as well as a count of luring a minor, according to multiple reports.

Current, who spent the majority of his professional career with the Denver Broncos and also had stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins, is believed to have taken his own life.

In the wake of the tragedy, the most notable reactions and statements issued on Current’s passing came from the Broncos organization and former Broncos teammates — not OSU.

Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth told The Lantern the organization is always saddened to learn of a tragedy involving a former Bronco.

“… Our hearts go out to Mike’s family and friends during this most difficult of times,” Smyth said.

Randy Gradishar, a former linebacker for the Buckeyes and Broncos, told The Denver Post he thought Current’s suicide was tragic, but added that he hadn’t been in contact with his former teammate for a long time.

However strong the “Buckeye brotherhood” might or might not be, perhaps that is the way of life — you get old and separate from old friends.

Sgt. Michael Holsapple of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment. Holsapple painted a chilling picture of the scene where Current took his own life for The Denver Post report.

It was night time and a light snowfall blew about the scenic overlook where Current apparently shot himself with a shotgun, according to the report.

One Buckeye fell through the cracks of the brotherhood.

 

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