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Ohio St. 'Silence' Tweet Draws Criticism Amid Urban Meyer Scandal

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2018

FILE - In this Aug. 22, 2018, file photo, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer makes a statement during a news conference in Columbus, Ohio. Meyer’s current suspension and previous paid leave have restricted him from talking football with his staff and athletes during August with one exception _ a team meeting the day after the suspension was announced. Emails from the senior vice president for human resources show Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith were allowed to meet with the players and coaches last Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)
Paul Vernon/Associated Press

The Ohio State athletic department posted a tweet Wednesday that read "Silence the white noise," which has drawn criticism based on the recent scandal involving head coach Urban Meyer:

The team took down the tweet while issuing this statement Thursday:

Ohio State Buckeyes @OhioStAthletics

As we have done in the past and in preparation for Saturday’s game, we issued a message to our fans via the football social media outlets. The message has been interpreted in ways we absolutely did not intend, and we have removed it from our channels.

Meyer was suspended for three games for his mishandling allegations of domestic violence against former assistant coach Zach Smith.

However, the team left the tweet up for more than 24 hours and noted the statement was in reference to Saturday's road game at Penn State.

"That message is the same message we used before the 2016 whiteout game at Penn State," football spokesman Jerry Emig said Thursday, per Dan Murphy of ESPN. "And that message is directed to our team to play really well to silence an incredible whiteout crowd at Penn State."

Even if the tweet is referencing the key game between two top-10 teams, it was still seen as tone deaf considering the program's recent problems.

Brenda Tracy @brendatracy24

Even if this is about a game, in light of the domestic violence & sexual assault scandals at tOSU, this is inappropriate. Messaging matters. #SetTheExpectation https://t.co/2gnFz86OaU

Astead @AsteadWesley

Ohio State Football, fresh off a scandal where their beloved coach admitted he did not speak up about a domestic abuser on staff, debuts a new marketing campaign called "Silence." "Silence the white noise." https://t.co/hUwNFY5sno

Sarah Spain @SarahSpain

Who thought this was a good idea? https://t.co/QstM3Fcc3X

"This is promo art for a big game," Jason Kirk of SB Nation wrote. "But it was not a smart fit for Ohio State's situation as a program."

Meyer returned to the sidelines from his suspension last week against Tulane and will once again be the head coach for the game against the Nittany Lions.

 

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