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Underclassmen Off-Limits to Media


Fired up! Ready to go!
I don't know if this is old news, but I just read it in the Boston paper today...

Buckeyes silence underclassmen


Associated Press

Off to its worst start in years, Ohio State has decided to cut off media access to its younger players.

The Buckeyes' seniors went to coach Jim Tressel last week and asked that he no longer permit underclassmen to talk to reporters. Usually, reporters can request almost any player for a brief interview after Tuesday's practice.

Ohio State is 0-3 in the Big Ten for only the second time since 1943.

Freshman offensive lineman Kirk Barton said last week he felt Troy Smith deserved some playing time at quarterback instead of the struggling Justin Zwick. Two weeks before that, Smith had hinted that Tressel was showing favoritism to Zwick in their battle for the starting spot.

So with Tressel happily signing off on it, six seniors met with reporters.

"I think a guy should answer the question truthfully," cornerback Dustin Fox said. "But I also think that the guys on this team should be a team guy and should not have any opinions on how the team should be run. They should allow the coaches to make decisions. And the players should be behind the team and the coaches 100 percent."

Zwick had an awful game in Ohio State's 33-7 loss at Iowa on Saturday, with Smith coming on to lead the way to the only score by the Buckeyes. With Zwick nursing an injured shoulder and coming off a series of bad games, Smith will likely start against Indiana on Saturday but the sophomore was not allowed to talk about his first collegiate start.

Backup running back Branden Joe said it was a relief to not have underclassmen talking to reporters.

"You guys pick on the young ones," Joe said.

Other than kicker Mike Nugent, the team's few senior starters have not been very good this season.

Tailback Lydell Ross is averaging 57 rushing yards, defensive end Simon Fraser has a solo tackle per game, Fox missed 3 1/2 games with a broken arm and Joe has 14 rushing yards in four games.
My only question is where have these "great" upperclassmen leaders been all year. There are only a couple that are leading by example and everyone knows which ones i'm talking about. Game six is a little late to step up but I hope it works.
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I'll be happy if this team can get all these problems, both on the field and in the locker room, resolved before November 20. That's when next year starts. A W against the wolverweenies, and one solid TEAM come spring ball. Let's start stacking the deck for a NC run next year.
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I am surprised something like this wasn't done sooner. One player announcing to the press that the coach won't play him, won't tell him why, and is depriving him of an opportunity to play QB in the NFL is too many.
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