Getting asked about the Ohio State football mess is probably a no-win for anyone in college sports. Defend them, and you look absurd. Attack them, and you have to fear for your own record, while risking friendships.
Gary Williams and Kevin Anderson were put to this test in a recent appearance on Sports With Coleman, Jerry Coleman’s show on Fox-1370 in Baltimore. Williams passed, easily, by being bland.
“I feel bad — my daughter still lives in Columbus, I coached in Columbus at Ohio State for three years, and know a lot of people out there still,” he said. “And Ohio State football’s so big and so important to so many people, that I hope whatever way they can get this thing settled quickly, that that will happen.”
Perfect. Words, but no real thoughts. Just say you feel bad, but nothing about who you feel bad for or why.
Kevin Anderson, Maryland’s new AD, took a bolder route.
“First of all, Jim Tressel is a friend of mine and he’s a good man, and you hate to see anybody go through that,” Anderson said. “Gene Smith is an outstanding athletic director, who’s the athletic director at Ohio State. So, you know, I guess what that tells you, that it could happen anywhere. Because those are two great people and they run tremendous programs, and something like this comes up, and it’s a sad day for college athletics. Particularly it’s a sad day to have to see my friends have to go through the pain and agony that they’re going through.”
Not a defense, exactly, but that wasn’t bland.