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Loose talk

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Somebody wants to talk about football coaches and "thugs," do they? Well, let's talk. What would you call a head football coach at a major state university who physically attacks a player on the other team during a nationally televised game? "Thug" would fit nicely, wouldn't it? That shameful assault did not occur at the University of Arkansas, whose coach was recently accused of thuggery by the president of Ohio State University. No, the coach/mugger was Woody Hays, and he was coaching at none other than Ohio State University. A more recent OSU coach had to resign after it was learned that his players were receiving improper benefits and that he knew about it and kept quiet. A cheater at least, if not a thug. In Fayetteville, coaches adhere to a higher standard of behavior. Despite the sordid history of football coaches at Ohio State, OSU President Gordon Gee was moved to malign the new U of A coach, Bret Bielema. Gee said he'd been told that Bielema left his previous coaching job at the University of Wisconsin "just ahead of the sheriff." Furthermore, Gee said, the athletic director at UW called Bielema a thug. The Wisconsin athletic director denied saying any such thing. No warrants have been served on Bielema by any Wisconsin sheriff. Gee subsequently apologized and resigned, under pressure, but the stain he left at Columbus will not be easily removed. The Ohio State Board of Trustees needs to engage a president who values education as well as football. Admittedly, this will be a departure from Big 10 tradition, but if Ohio State leads, Michigan and the rest might follow.

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