It’s championship week here at tBBC, and we’ll have all your B1G Tournament coverage coming up until the Buckeyes cut down the nets. So, it only makes sense, then, to have our soundtrack for today be the latest from OSU alum and friend of the site Mekka Don, who’s scored an exclusive deal to provide music for their coverage. From the press release:
The intersection of music and sports is prominently on display during high profile sporting events. Almost every sports arena has a DJ; players submit playlists to be played during warmups; and networks license music to help create excitement for their broadcasting. Mekka Don, an independent hip-hop artist and former NCAA athlete (Ohio State football), has inked a multi-song licensing deal with the Big Ten Network to provide music for the upcoming Big Ten Tournament games and coverage. The Big Ten Tournament begins on March 14th on the Big Ten Network.
And here, in an exclusive for tBBC readers, is the the title track for tournament time:
You can support Mekka Don and download this at his site on iTunes… just in time for March’s Madness.
Welcome Back? Rumors have been swirling all week that former Buckeye Defensive Coordinator Jim Heacock would be returning to the WHAC in a “quality control” capacity; huge tip, it seems, to Nevadabuck from the Scout site for dropping the knowledge first. The position would be similar to what a number of schools (most specifically Alabama) are doing in expanding their staff, and you’ve got to think that it will not only strengthen the Silver Bullets but also maintain the relationships that Heacock had with area high school coaches. In addition, it provides a fallback of sorts should the defensive staff lose a member to another opportunity.
Commentary- Due Process
Ok, let’s dive right in. Tuesday afternoon, ABC6 ran a story online and as a part of their evening broadcast indicating that three members of the Ohio State football team were being investigated for their participation in a rape/sexual assault. The members were identified as freshmen who met the complainant at a party- her story is that a consensual interaction with one student became a non-consensual interaction with another student; the respondent’s account is significantly different, according to the report.
ABC6′s account indicated that the event in question happened toward the end of October, and that the complainant reported the event in November. The report indicated as well that one of the students under investigation is no longer with the program, having left recently. That makes it pretty easy to identify at least one of the people involved.
The others involved were not initially named, although the original ABC6 video account accidentally gave footage that included the identity of one other OSU student athlete and possibly the complainant. That video, and the original story, have since been removed from ABC6′s site, probably due to this error. As of the 11 PM broadcast, however, ABC6 repeated the story- albeit with no names or footage this time. The third party being investigated is not known, although several have speculated that it might have been a recruit who did not sign with Ohio State. It should also be noted that one person has been named as the respondent while the others are included in the warrant as a part of the information gather stage.
At any rate, it’s important to remember that this is an investigation, and no arrests have been made as of yet. The timing is interesting to be aware of as well- the report cited by ABC6 indicated that the complaint was filed in early March, although the narrative said that the complainant came forward in November. Again, purely speculative, but that could indicate that the November report was made to the University and has since been investigated; sexual assault requires a 60 day timeline for investigation as per Federal Title IX guidelines. It could also mean that the University was outside of this timeline; however, given the emphasis that the entire University has places on compliance recently this seems unlikely.
This discrepancy in the timing of the reports could also (again, emphasis on could) indicate that the complainant was just now seeking legal action, as it is within her rights to do. The article from the Dispatch linked above indicated that there was a possibility of off-field issues leading to the player’s decision to leave the University- it may be that the complainant was choosing to pursue criminal charges since the respondent was beyond the ability for the University to act.
Again- it’s all speculation at this point, which is what the Internet does best. The University is not legally able to respond, and the persons in question will be advised to not talk further. It’s why I really appreciated Lori Schmidt’s tweet earlier- highlighted that it was an “investigation” that “may” involve OSU student athletes… nothing certain, only the facts as they were known.
For another take on the matter, Hayden Grove over at Buckeye Empire approached this story from the perspective of a bystander of sorts- a fellow student at Ohio State. It’s a good read, and pretty well balanced, and also indicates something that I’ve been struck by as this developed on Tuesday. After the “Oh… sh*t” that ran through the twitter and intertrons, most Ohio State fans that I am aware of chose to not deny the situation’s ugliness, blame the complainant, vilify the persons involved, or make other statements that would not be indicative of both the seriousness of these potential allegations and the possible tragedy that this situation represent.
There were some outliers, sure, and this might change over the coming days as OSU fans start responding to the comments from “outsiders”, but for the most part it sounded as if the main concern was “justice” for everyone involved, whatever that may look like.
I wonder, though, if we’re as conscientious about waiting to find out the truth when 18-22 year olds who attend other Universities are involved. I can admit that schadenfreude is a pretty powerful emotion- heck, I’m at the point now where I don’t even have to look up how to spell it anymore. We’d all like to be given the benefit of the doubt and have that extended to the things we care about, while too often failing to do the same in similar circumstances.
In the “real world”, I’m both honored and heartbroken to be a person who is involved in investigating these types of issues on college campuses; both to support the survivors and to hold persons found responsible accountable for their actions. Interestingly enough, I spent two days last week with a national expert on just this type of issue- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen lives impacted by moments of not clear thinking, or thinking that was impaired somewhat.
So, as this moves forward, my thoughts are not on football. They are with the young people involved and their families and friends, even those that are not a part of the Ohio State community for whatever reason. And I hope OSU fans will join me there- both for the persons impacted by this situation and for the others as they occur across the nation, no matter the color of the jersey or helmet.
Because there’s a lot more to life than just college athletics.
Madness, I Tell You
Around The NCAA
Like a boss? Like a boss.