Adams, Buckeyes No Longer Thinking About Suspensions
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s not going to be easy.
Dealing with the shame has been tough enough, but having to watch the first five games of their senior season from the couch at home is going to be nothing short of agonizing.
Photo by Jim Davidson
It’s the kind of dark cloud that could hover over every day from now until the sixth week of the season, but the Buckeyes are determined not to let that happen.
“I don't even think about it,” senior left tackle Mike Adams said.
“When I'm out there with my teammates all I'm thinking about is being out there with my teammates. All I'm thinking about is the play we're doing.”
It has been a rough couple of months for Adams and his four teammates since the story broke back in December that they had sold items to a local tattoo parlor ranging from Big Ten championship rings to Gold Pants.
Amidst the controversy, the players were allowed to participate in Ohio State’s Sugar Bowl matchup with Arkansas, which the Buckeyes won, thanks in large part to the fact they had Adams, Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Boom Herron and Solomon Thomas on the field.
Thomas, the only non-starter in the group, made the biggest play of the game when he intercepted Ryan Mallett to secure the win.
Many felt it was a tainted victory and that Ohio State would be better off parting ways with the players involved, but the team stuck together. Even after it was revealed that Head Coach Jim Tressel was equally responsible for not reporting what he know about Pryor and Posey.
“I really don't think about that stuff anymore. I'm past it; the whole team is past it. We're just trying to get ready to go undefeated and win it all,” Adams said.
“My thinking is, every day try to get better, try to be the best so when I come back people notice it.”
Adams was the first one to admit that the length of the suspension might affect his decision to return for his senior season, despite the fact he had a pre-existing agreement with Tressel to come back.
In the end, all five players stuck to their word, but Adams still considers five games to be a harsh price to pay for what happened.
“When you sit down and you think about the whole thing in perspective, the first five games, of course, we want to be there. We've all played some pretty significant roles on this team since we've been here,” said Adams, who became the full-time starter at left tackle last season.
“To not be able to play is crazy. We just want to be able to when we come back have people know, like 'Wow, those guys are really back, they're here, they're here to stay. They're making a change. We're rolling.’”
That mentality has helped to shape one of the most unique springs in Ohio State history. Instead of sulking about the suspensions or giving a half-hearted effort, the suspended players have taken on an even greater leadership role as they try to prepare their fellow Buckeyes to play five games in their absence.
“We really didn't get together or anything but I think it's a known thing that we're going to go out there and compete and we're going to make people better,” said Adams, who was a first-team all-Big Ten performer a year ago.
“We're going to try to coach up the young guys, whoever is going to fill in for us. They're going to be ready to play. You're not going to see someone out there who is a weak link. We have no weak links. We're getting guys ready to play so that we can do this thing.”
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