Jamaal Berry Fallout: What is Coach Tressel Going to Do?
I will skip right to the analysis because you have likely seen the details of Jamaal Berry's arrest for marijuana possession. Twenty grams worth.
The first question out of most fan's mouth is whether he will ever play for Ohio State. While these are not perfect parallels, the last two Ohio State arrests for marijuana are Jonathan Skeete's pot trafficking bust in 2005 and Eric Haw's arrest a week later for a more pedestrian grade offense, smoking a joint outside a dorm.
Skeete was never heard from again. Haw played one more year in the program until his transfer to Jackson State. Berry's arrest falls somewhere in between in my perspective, as Berry had less than an ounce.
Berry's age (he only recently turned 18), and the fact that he has not officially entered the program, may help him out. The coaches may feel that he is young and has not been adequately exposed to their ways and teachings. The above-mentioned arrests involved players that had been in the program for at least one year.
The truth is, I would respect Tressel's decision either way. If he dismissed Berry it would not totally offend my sensibilities. Likewise, if he kept Berry on the team I would not view it as a blatant advance of the depth chart.
If I had my druthers, I would welcome Jamaal onto the team with the understanding that his next slip-up will result in his dismissal. I have seen too many other players get a second chance for Berry to be summarily dumped right off the bat. I am sure your opinions vary on the topic.
More than anything, it is shame Berry's misstep did not happen in Massachusetts, where he would have paid a $100 fine and no one would have noticed.
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