Ohio State coach Urban Meyer gave a positive update on the injury status of quarterback J.T. Barrett on Monday.
Barrett injured his knee before Saturday’s game at Michigan when he was bumped into by, as Meyer termed it, a “guy with a camera.” Barrett was able to gut it out until the third quarter, when the knee gave out on him and he was replaced by redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins.
On Monday, Meyer deemed Barrett “probable” to start against Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. Per BuckeyeGrove.com, Meyer did not say definitively that Barrett would play. The quarterback did not practice on Sunday.
After the game Saturday, a peeved Meyer said Barrett’s knee “locked up” when he was bumped into on the sideline. OSU’s medical staff got the knee to “unlock” before the game, but it “locked up again” on a third-quarter run. OSU was down 20-14 when Barrett exited the game, but Haskins rallied the Buckeyes to a 31-20 win.
Meyer called for an “all-out investigation” into the ordeal.
“Too many damn people on the sideline and a guy with a camera hit him in the knee,” Meyer said. “I’m going to find out who. I’m so angry right now.”
After the game, Barrett demonstrated for reporters what happened, saying his knee “shifted” when somebody tried to “squeeze through.” Barrett did not think it was intentional or done maliciously. An OSU spokesman told Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel it occurred “near the bench area” while the team was warming up.
— Erik Elken (@ErikFOX45Now) November 25, 2017
There's no formal investigation, but Ohio State is looking into how it happened. Spokesman stressed they take sideline management very seriously. Are limited with access there.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 25, 2017
Additionally on Monday, Meyer discussed the ordeal involving Greg Schiano, OSU’s defensive coordinator, and his deal that fell through to be Tennessee’s next head coach. Meyer did not hesitate to defend Schiano:
"He's an elite person, elite father, elite husband, elite friend and elite football coach. I stand by my coach."
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 27, 2017
Ohio State AD Gene Smith also backed Schiano in an interview with Cleveland.com.
“Don’t judge him on an unsubstantiated accusation,” Smith told cleveland.com on Monday. “There was no level of substantiation around that accusation. None. And if you really get to know the man, you’ll find he has high integrity and great character.”
On Sunday afternoon, news emerged that Tennessee was finalizing a deal to hire Schiano. However, after a hugely negative reaction from the Tennessee community, the school backed out of the deal, even after a Memorandum of Understanding between Schiano and Tennessee AD John Currie was signed earlier Sunday in Columbus.
Much of the contention stemmed from Schiano’s time as an assistant at Penn State from 1990-95, when Jerry Sandusky, convicted in 2012 on 45 counts of child molestation, was defensive coordinator. In a deposition, former PSU assistant McQueary said another former assistant, Tom Bradley, said Schiano mentioned “seeing Jerry Sandusky doing something with a boy” in the early ’90s.
Schiano vehemently denied the accusation and, as Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel detailed, Schiano was never brought up on charges. From Wetzel:
McQueary is merely repeating a story he says he heard from Bradley about what Bradley said Schiano said to him. This is multilayer hearsay and not immediately admissible in any court of law. McQueary never asked Schiano about it and the two never worked at Penn State at the same time.
Bradley testified under oath that he had no knowledge of Sandusky’s actions, meaning it’s his sworn testimony against McQueary’s. This is a non-specific allegation based on a second-hand account recalled at least a decade after the fact. It’s also possible McQueary never mentioned it to anyone else despite years of being a cooperating witness for prosecutors desperately seeking just this kind of information. Yet it’s taken fire.
No charges were ever brought against Schiano. No victim sued him for not reporting it at the time, despite dozens of Sandusky victims having active legal representation and Schiano being a very rich and famous football coach. No victim ever came forward alleging Schiano witnessed he and Sandusky in a shower.
At Ohio State, Smith said Schiano was vetted thoroughly:
“There wasn’t a lot of paperwork you can delve into,” Smith said. “It was an accusation. We watched with interest how the (Pennsylvania) attorney general responded, because no one investigated. Not a person. He was never deposed. We were prepared to have our attorney with him if he was deposed, that way we could learn something we didn’t already know.”
With Tennessee moving on, Schiano and the Buckeyes will now devote their full attention to Wisconsin, which completed its regular season at a perfect 12-0 with a win over Minnesota on Saturday.
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