• Phil Cantor / @osgphil

Ohio St. and Maryland Supporters are Trying to Discredit the Messengers


((Maryland Football Coach D.J. Durkin))

How did we evolve from a society perpetually trying to seek the truth to one now trying to find anything possible to deny the truth is true?

It's an issue permeating the Sport of Politics these days as the administration in charge continually throws insults and goes to incredible lengths to discredit reporters trying to report the truth and it is becoming a bigger and bigger issue in sport.

The latest example is the mess at both Ohio State and Maryland involving the football programs.

Instead of focusing on reported problems it appears most everyone involved at both University's are trying incredibly hard to discredit the people who reported them.

Example #1: At Maryland, where Head Football Coach D.J. Durkin and several staff members are currently on "Administrative Leave" while the day to day operation of the program are reviewed after the death of 19-year old Offensive Tackle Jordan McNair---the issue from many is not that things happened but that it was reported....

The Maryland faithful and Durkin's coaching fraternity friends are particularly upset that ESPN used "Anonymous" sources to produce a report alleging an atmosphere of fear and intimidation which pushed athletes to the brink of exhaustion and in the case of McNair--death, in order to show their "Toughness"....

The report alleges among other things---making poorly conditioned linemen "Eat Candybars" while forcing them to watch others work harder and verbal attacks and constant insults....

Quite a few people have jumped to Durkin and his staff's defense stating "It's Football" and "You have to toughen players up somehow". Also remarking that making players run or work to the point of exhaustion is "What Football Coaches do"....

Then there is the administrative side where you have South Carolina Coach Will Muschamp jumping to his former Assistant's defense and saying the "Anonymous Sources" used in stories about Durkin's staff are "Gutless".

Muschamp would later clarify his comments---stating he was primarily trying to stand by his friend....and expressing condolences to the McNair family by stating this was two different things.

Example #2, several hundred miles away in Columbus, Ohio, the Urban Meyer/Zach Smith conundrum continues as Ohio State winds through an investigation of who knew what and when and the Buckeye faithful look for shiny objects to distract the local and national reporters following the investigation.

This weekend it was a guy named Jeff Snook, apparently a "Ohio State Insider" who reported the initial story about the Smith family and Meyer--reported initially by Brett McMurphy was because of a tip by former Ohio State Assistant and current Texas Head Coach Tom Herman.

All in the name of trying to discredit McMurphy and his reporting.

Sigh....

Even if Herman was the source---which he and everyone else vehemently denied, what does it change? The allegations against Smith and Meyer aren't changing because of it and it doesn't lessen what happened.

So why bring it up?

It happens now almost every day....

Like it or not---reporters are often forced to use "Anonymous Sources" to report and get to the truth. We now live in a world where those sources---if they were to go public--would be threatened, harassed and abused on Social Media or any number of other places. It's dangerous to put your name behind an explosive allegation, something that could easily put lives or careers at risk.

Putting your name out there in the name of getting to the truth is even riskier now than it was a decade ago. If you want an example---just follow the Twitter feed of a female reporter in either News or Sports. If they report on something someone doesn't like---just watch and see what the responses are....you might be shocked at the vitriol and language.

It's really disheartening to someone who's spent their entire professional life devoted to finding and reporting the truth that we now live in a world where the truth doesn't matter. From the Office of the President and all through politics these days to report the truth about those people---opens you up to getting slammed or shamed publicly and called an "Enemy of the State" or someone who is the cause of all wars not because you are wrong---but because you reported something said politicians don't like.

In sports it exposes you to the seemly underbelly of College Football fans. Note that I didn't say alumni---it's very often the hanger ons, not the graduates of a University who are the worst and the ones willing to attack the messenger instead of the message.

Both Ohio State and Maryland clearly have some behind the scenes issues and in this day and age, it is virtually impossible to get an "In Person" view of it. College Football in particular is about as secretive as it gets with ungodly paranoid coaches afraid to let reporters even watch drills, never mind practice thinking those secrets will be different than game tape and give their opponents advantages....

It also keeps reporters from finding out what actually happens with teams and when there IS an issue---often the only way it goes public is if someone bravely steps up and says something knowing full well if their name went public---they'd be totally and completely ostracized....

Which is the world we currently live in.....

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