Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dragged through the mud: The Ray Small edition

I don't know Ray Small. Not in a personal sense or any other. If you had said "Ray Small" to me three days ago, I'd recognize the name, but I wouldn't think blinding hatred and rage. Because I don't know who Ray Small is. The internet tells me he's a former Ohio State wide receiver that made 61 career catches and was frequently in Jim Tressel's dog house.

But Ray Small is a terrible person. I know that because every Ohio State fan, blogger, and player (current or former) is going out of their way to drag his name through the mud and make him sound like a pedophile that just happened to have the ball skills to suit up for the most successful college football program of the last decade.

I'd feel bad for him if he wasn't such a crappy human.

What did Small do to draw such ire? He told a newspaper that he committed the same NCAA infractions that the Tatgate crew did, and that most other Ohio State football players did the same. Nevermind that the NCAA has already caught five players taking part in this scandal, or that Small would have intimate knowledge of what he did while at Ohio State, or that the FBI and NCAA are currently investigating countless cases of misdeeds by a local car dealership which may or may not have sold Ohio State players cars at unreasonable prices, or the amount of circumstantial evidence that says Ray Small was just truthfully answering questions asked of him. He's full of shit, at least according to all of his former teammates:

There are a lot more where that comes from and Ramzy at Eleven Warriors took great satisfaction in compiling all of them. Which makes you wonder: What is this brotherhood that Ohio State fans and players keep clammoring about and why is it so pissy? You might remember Kirk Herbstreit who went through a similar onslaught just a few months ago after criticizing how Tressel runs the program. It appears that the undying bond of Ohio State football players is unbreakable, at least until you stop falling in line behind Jim Tressel. But isn't that what got the school in this predicament in the first place?

This reminds me of when Toney Clemons spoke to the Detroit Free Press about Practicegate. A similar situation: a "disgruntled" player speaks about the improprieties of his former program. Except Clemons left Michigan in search of greener pastures, and even he rescinded his comments, saying they were taken out of context. Small, despite his low stature on the Tressel Hierarchy stuck with the program throughout his college career. Small isn't Clemons, obviously, but sorry if I find trouble seeing the Disgruntled Pissy Former Player angle that the Ohio State internets are selling like Girl Scout Cookies.

But maybe he is a bad dude. Maybe he had a bone to pick and he's lying through his teeth. It's a quality you might expect from someone coming out of Tressel's program. Then again, I tend to think that people are mostly trustworthy, and if we've learned anything over the last few months, it's that Ohio State football players always tell the truth on the internet.


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