Former Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward (12) on the sidelines during the Buckeyes’ Cotton Bowl victory against USC on Dec. 29, 2017. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Ohio State needs a Denzel Ward Rule. While the NCAA already has a Jan. 15 deadline for players to declare whether they are entering the NFL draft, Ohio State needs another deadline covering postseason play. A player should have only two choices: announce after bowl game participation or announce weeks before, foregoing travel and the game altogether. Any player violating the Ward Rule must reimburse the school for trip expenses and return bowl gifts. No more 11th-hour decisions — a la Denzel Ward — with all the benefits and none of the responsibilities. It’s the absolute least consideration players owe their coaches, their teammates, and their fans — let alone the school that gave them scholarships and showcased their professional potential.

Fred Strine

Ohio State alumnus, Class of 1971