COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s drama-filled week has featured as many twists and turns as a soap opera.
In this episode of As The ‘Shoe Turns, former players, future players, recruits and fans have been trading barbs on social media in the days since the loss to Oklahoma. Most of it was ignited when 5-star defensive end Micah Parsons called for the Buckeyes to play Dwayne Haskins at quarterback. A few more recruits agreed, which led to former quarterback Kirk Herbstreit telling them to mind their own business. Naturally, that didn’t go over well with the recruits involved.
However, the fights have branched out to other topics. Former linebacker Zach Boren, for example, criticized the wide receivers, leading to some testy responses from former receivers Noah Brown and Dontre Wilson. Former defensive end Matt Finkes took on fans who blamed J.T. Barrett. As Brian Fantana might say, the mood is tense.
What’s noticeable, though, is the relative lack of player opinions — at least on Twitter. Senior captain Billy Price did say Tuesday that it’s better for recruits “to not be heard,” but there’s been almost no back-and-forth exchanges online involving current members of the team.
That’s exactly the way the Ohio State coaching staff wants it. Players and coaches aren’t discouraged from speaking their minds, but Urban Meyer makes no secret of the fact that he’s not a fan of Twitter. In response to a question Monday about whether his players showed enough urgency in postgame comments, Meyer said he always prefers thinking before speaking, even if that leads to more measured and less exciting quotes.
“We don’t need anything out there,” he said. “This is all internal. I assure you there’s plenty of urgency. And once again it might not be — when you ask a guy a question 20 minutes after a game, and they have a tough loss — we try to coach them through that. We don’t need headlines.”
The same, of course, applies for Twitter. The last thing Meyer wants is for his players or assistants to stir the pot after a tough loss. Don’t mistake that sentiment for a muzzle order, though. Players are free to tweet, and some have been vocal about a perceived lack of support.
Don't jump on the bandwagon when everything start clicking… 🤔🤷🏾♂️
— Parris Campbell (@PCampbell21) September 14, 2017
Y'all given up on us fast af my god
— Johnnie L. Dixon III (@YoungKing_JD5) September 14, 2017
But when it comes to dicey matters such as Barrett vs. Haskins, or feuding with former players or fans, the Buckeyes have stayed away. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon.