Thursday, October 20, 2011

BUCKEYE GRIDDERS ARE ON R&R, SO NATURALLY IT'S TIME FOR SOME Q&A

Braxton Miller
The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
Ohio State is currently in the midst of a much-needed bye week, so I thought it would be a perfect time to answer some questions from my readers about Buckeye football, the NCAA, and even one about journalistic style.

Again, I can't possibly answer all of the questions I've received due to newspaper space limitations, so I'll answer a handful from the reader e-mails and some of those posted on my Twitter account. (I will use full names/handles from Twitter, initials/first names from e-mails.)

BUB via e-mail: Why do you insist on always calling Braxton Miller a true freshman? We all know it by now and aren't impressed.

LEE HUDNELL: You're looking at it all wrong, Bub. Each one of my stories about Ohio State football isn't a sequel, but it's own entity. I can't assume that everyone reading my stories or columns have read all the others prior, so it's customary that I preface Miller as a "true freshman" on my first mention in each article.

It is actually a big deal that a "true freshman" is starting at quarterback for Ohio State. It's only happened two other times in history. Sorry if that doesn't impress you, Bub.

TOM M. (@Buckeyefan57) via Twitter: (In response to my column on Dan "Boom" Herron) I think it would have been better for the locker room if Boom would not have started. The other kids did nothing wrong. They worked their tails off and had done a good job.

HUDNELL: So you're insinuating that Herron hasn't been working his tail off? Herron is the biggest leader in the locker room BY FAR! If you were able to watch practices, work outs, etc ... you would see that Herron goes all out, all the time. Most guys who know they aren't going to play for five, six weeks wouldn't have put in the work that Herron has these past few months.

By watching him in practice during fall camp, you would've never believed he wasn't going to play for two months. The guy brings it. And he mentored those guys who were still eligible to play better than any coach on the Buckeyes' staff. Hey, he served his punishment ... no need in adding on to it.

He deserved to start, and if you think it was bad for the locker room, I suggest you go talk to those in the locker room. I believe you would have a total reversal of opinion on this issue.

DAN THOMPSON (@Dthompson1978) via Twitter: Isn't it fair to acknowledge how young this team Buckeye team is? Especially on defense? Seems like no one ever mentions this.

HUDNELL: You're exactly right, Dan! The Buckeyes currently have 11 players on its starting roster who are either freshmen or sophomores, and 25 if you look at the two-deep depth chart. There are only four starters who are seniors on this team, five if you count the star position. Make no mistake about it, this team is young and inexperienced, and has a young, inexperienced head coach who is leading them.

Expectations this season may have been a little exaggerated by folks, me included.

But as Coach Luke Fickell has said numerous times this season, there will be no excuses ... the Buckeyes will be men of action.

BAILEY via e-mail: How can the NCAA suspend Ohio State players five games for selling their own things, but only suspend LSU players one game for doing drugs? What kind of example is that setting?

HUDNELL: Bailey, the NCAA isn't into setting examples, they're into making money. When Ohio State players sold memorabilia for cash and discounted tattoos, the NCAA didn't get their cut. Players doing drugs doesn't cost the NCAA a dime because they don't deal narcotics, just memorabilia and such.

You would feel a whole lot better if you looked at the NCAA as if they were the IRS. If you make money and hold out on them, you're gonna get the smack laid down on you. The only way the IRS would care about drugs or assaulting someone at a bar is if you made money doing it.

You want to know what's funny, Bailey? The NCAA didn't even suspend the LSU players for doing drugs ... the university did.

WALTER via e-mail: Why do you always have to make Urban Meyer out as being unstable? He's won a bunch of games with no stability.

HUDNELL: Walter, Meyer coached at three different schools in nine seasons, the most of which was at Florida for five years, where he resigned twice due to stress-related health problems and coaching burnout.

As Sgt. Joe Friday always used to implore, "Just the facts, ma'am."

Well, trees are made of wood, the ocean has water and Urban Meyer is unstable.

If you would like to ask a question or leave a comment about Ohio State football, please follow me on Twitter (@TheBuckeyeTimes). Or e-mail me at leehudnell@thebuckeyetimes.com or lee@bryantimes.com.