Ohio State Football: Buckeyes Should Cut Ties with Troubled RB Jaamal Berry
Ohio State football already looks bad for NCAA violations, and the program doesn't need running back Jaamal Berry to add to them.
Berry, a red-shirt sophomore, has been named a suspect in two alleged assault cases within the past month.
As Ohio State's student newspaper The Lantern reports, Berry was "wrestling" with a student on Sept. 28 that resulted in him being disoriented and confused at the scene. This resulted in Berry being hospitalized.
Initially, police labeled it as an assault, but that was later modified.
On Oct. 21, an unnamed 21-year old student said in a police report that Berry punched him and his friend in the face after Berry, along with a companion, was jeering at the victim and his friend.
The Lantern further reports that several witnesses identified Berry at the scene, and the victim's mother talked to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith. He told the paper he is "aware" of the incident.
This morning, the victim filed a civil lawsuit of assault, battery and ethnic intimidation in county court against Berry.
If Berry is charged with assault, he would be immediately suspended from the team pending the outcome of the cage.
While Berry is innocent until proven guilty, head coach Luke Fickell and Smith should kick Berry off the football team. These cases, if true or not, indicate that Berry has a nose for trouble and is not fit to properly represent Ohio State as a student athlete.
Should Jaamal Berry be kicked off the team?
These alleged assaults are not the first time Berry got in legal trouble. Back in June 2009, he was charged with possessing over 20 grams of weed before his freshman year.
The Buckeyes have already been embarrassed when five players (Mike Adams, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor and Solomon Thomas) violated NCAA rules for selling school memorabilia to tattoo parlor owner Edward Rife.
The shady Rife was convicted of drug trafficking and money laundering charges and sentenced to three years of federal prison.
Ohio State had to endure negative press, probable NCAA sanctions and forfeit all its 2010 wins, including its Sugar Bowl victory.
The incident was so sticky that Pryor and former head coach Jim Tressel bolted for the NFL to avoid punishment.
Illegally selling memorabilia under to table is bad enough, but possibly assaulting students is even worse.
Berry could be a danger to the Ohio State student body. Fickell and Smith should remove him from the team while the school ponders whether Berry is even fit to stay on campus.
Being a Buckeye is be about striving for academic and athletic excellence. It is not making reckless decisions that negatively effect others.
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