Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10
Ezekiel Elliott keeps "walking up to that line," Buckeyes legend Chris Spielman said.

Chris Spielman’s lament, Josh Perry gives back, Ohio State buried at Clemson, and new digs for grapplers

Jeremy Birmingham

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Today is Wednesday, March 15, and it’s time to Wake Up Sloopy.


Chris Spielman has had enough of Ezekiel Elliott’s shenanigans

In Ohio State’s illustrious football history, few players or people are more respected than former linebacker Chris Spielman. The man in the middle for the Buckeyes in the mid-1980s, Spielman has made a living doing the “right” thing and has become one of football’s most levelheaded, instinctive analysts. He’s helped fund cancer research over the years in honor of his late first wife, Stefanie Spielman, who passed away in 2009 after five bouts with breast cancer.

Bottom line? Spielman is a guy who “gets it” and never has been shy about speaking his mind when or if others don’t. So when TMZ, one of the country’s most established news-gathering outlets, put a microphone and a camera in his face and asked about former Buckeyes tailback Ezekiel Elliott and the, shall we say, spotlight, that keeps following him, Spielman didn’t hold back.

“There comes a point in time when we all know right from wrong,” Spielman said. “At what point is it OK to pull a woman’s shirt down in public?”

That incident, which came to light on Tuesday, was the latest in a string of incidents that have painted the former Buckeyes tailback in a less-than-positive light nationally. Spielman said Elliott is playing a dangerous game.

“It seems, to me, that he keeps walking up to that line,” Spielman said. “But he doesn’t quite cross it. Ultimately, you’ve got to have personal responsibility. … He is bringing this upon himself. He’s at the age where he knows right from wrong.

“That’s insane to even justify that behavior. It’s crazy.”

Elliott, after a brilliant rookie season and a remarkable 2 1/2-year run in Columbus, quickly has put himself in a position in which he’s being watched for all the wrong reasons.

From D.J. Byrnes of elevenwarriors.com:

It added to the tumultuous offseason for Elliott. Columbus Police arrested his best friend, Alvarez Jackson, on weapons charges after Jackson brought a loaded Glock 9mm handgun into Park Street Patio. TMZ Sports published a video of Elliott speaking to police shortly thereafter. All charges against Jackson were dropped.

Spielman’s opinion on Elliott’s tomfoolery apparently was not shared by a few radio hosts at 97.1 The Fan in Columbus. The Twitter account of 105.7 The Zone in Columbus – where Spielman hosts a radio show – found that stance unacceptable and fired shots at the capital city’s biggest sports station, including levying an accusation that Elliott wasn’t exactly friendly on the recent Buckeyes Cruise for Cancer.

Check out the full link at 11W, including a response from Stacy Elliott, Zeke’s dad.

Who said the offseason with former players isn’t fun?

Buckeyes dead, now buried, at Clemson

In the event that you’d forgotten, let me be the one to remind you: On Dec. 31, 2016, Ohio State – playing for a berth in the national championship game against Alabama — was drubbed 31-0 by the Clemson Tigers and their coach, who goes by the name of “Dabo.”

Well, I am sure most of you knew/remembered that, but perhaps what you didn’t know is that Clemson has a funny little tradition of putting “gravestones” in a field leading to its practice fields on campus. The markers commemorate the Tigers’ biggest wins away from “Death Valley.”

From ClemsonTigers.com:

Clemson has garnered 73 wins over AP or USA Today ranked teams over the years, but some wins stand out. Winning over a ranked team in Death Valley is one thing, but gaining victory over a ranked team on an opponent’s home field is an extraordinary accomplishment. To document these victories, Clemson has constructed a “Graveyard” at the entrance to the Clemson practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center. Under Dabo Swinney’s watch, the Tigers have added nine tombstones to the “Graveyard” — including 2015 victims North Carolina (ACC championship game) and Oklahoma (Orange Bowl).

Well, that little plot of dirt now includes two different Buckeyes-inspired memorials. The first references the 2014 Orange Bowl, the second the ugly shutout on New Year’s Eve.

The Buckeyes plant trees for All-Americans, Clemson digs graves for wins over ranked opponents away from their home stadium. To each their own, I guess.

Josh Perry gives back

It’s rare that the “good things” athletes do get any recognition, so it’s important to highlight the positives when they happen.

If you’re on Twitter, you’ve no doubt become aware of the recent (awful) trend in which students post some form of deal/arrangement with teachers or celebrities to skip a midterm or go to prom, yes? Well, an Ohio teenager decided to take a shot at landing some swag from former Buckeyes linebacker Joshua Perry by playing that most wicked of games.

Perry, always agreeable, let the student at Shelby High School shoot his shot. The deal? Some autographed NFL paraphernalia for 1,000 retweets in a week.

The young man delivered and so did Perry. He even delivered a rare item: a pair of Ohio State worn – and signed – gloves.

You can check out the video from WMFD.com, which accompanied Perry on the visit. Josh has been a consistent force for good since he signed with the Buckeyes in 2012 out of nearby Olentangy High School. He told Land of 10 that it’s just the right thing to do.

Perry gave Adkins a week to complete the challenge, which he accomplished in just over two days. As a man of his word, Joshua told Michael he would send him a pair of signed gloves from the Chargers. When Perry, who has been training in Columbus during the offseason, noticed how close he was to Shelby, however, he decided to surprise Adkins in class with the gift.

Perry invited WMFD’s Brian Skowronski to join him for the experience, which included a trip to Shelby High School to deliver a pair of gloves Joshua believes he wore during his final bowl game with Ohio State along with a signed photo from his senior season showdown against Michigan. Joshua saw what a huge Buckeye fan Michael was, so he decided to give up a pair of his few Ohio State gloves as a special bonus.

Kudos, Josh.

Tom Ryan gets a fancy new playhouse

If success breeds success, then Tom Ryan and the Ohio State wrestling program are fixing to breed a whole bunch of success. The 2016 national champions – who sit in second place after Day 1 of the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships – are set to break ground on major facilities.

To no one’s surprise, winning national titles gets you shiny new stuff.

B1G Happenings

• Wisconsin survives on a huge night from Bronson Koenig

• Maryland and Minnesota go down on Day 1 of the NCAA basketball tournament, but Northwestern comes up clutch

• The Big Ten Hockey Tournament is underway

Boilermakers top Catamounts in opening round of the NCAA

• Indiana fired Tom Crean and now Steve Alford is dodging employment questions