Friday, May 24, 2013
Ex-Buckeye Small apologizes for mistakes
By Adam Rittenberg
Former Ohio State wide receiver Ray Small is coming clean again.
Don't worry, Buckeyes fans, Small isn't sharing more stories of selling memorabilia and getting sweetheart deals from local car dealerships, as he did in an interview with The Lantern in May 2011, days before Jim Tressel resigned as Ohio State's head coach. Instead, the troubled former Buckeye, who had off-field issues throughout his career from 2006-09, decided to apologize to his former coaches and fans through a YouTube video.
Small begins by saying the video is "for the people that I didn't do too well with" and other young athletes from tough backgrounds who struggle with the status that comes with their success. He says he "elevated as a man from this bottom level to the top level, and I'm kind of back at that bottom level."
In the video, Small apologies to his high school coach in Cleveland, Ted Ginn Sr., as well as Tressel and Darrell Hazell, the Buckeyes wide receivers coach during his career.
"I truly am sorry for my actions," Small said. "... Coach Hazell was like my favorite guy because he always kept it strictly real with me. I want to apologize to Coach Tressel because he told me, he tried, he gave me many, many chances. I'm just here today to speak up on my behalf, saying that I'm a man and I understand the things that I did wrong."
Small wasn't among the so-called Tat-5 but told The Lantern he sold his Big Ten championship rings and received special deals on cars and tattoos. Small later backtracked, telling Outside the Lines' Tom Farrey that the newspaper had twisted his words.
Small was arrested in February 2012 for allegedly possessing more than 200 suspected Oxycontin tablets, suspected heroin and a loaded gun. He mentions in the video that he'll stand trial July 22 "for some things that I did," which could explain the timing of the mea culpa.
In the video, Small admits to making poor decisions and "not having the willpower to transition from football to real life." He apologies to his former teammates ("I treated them like it was nothing") and to Ohio State fans.
"I'm a Buckeye for life," Small said, "regardless of how people like it. And I kind of got exed out from being a Buckeye. That hurt my heart."
Small rambles quite a bit, but his intent seems pretty clear.
Here's hoping Small is sincere about wanting to turn his life around. I'm interested to learn how Ohio State fans feel after seeing the video. Terrelle Pryor is the ultimate Buckeye non grata in Columbus, but Small is in the picture.
Wonder if Pryor ever shoots a video like this one.