In the world where I grew up, any physical aggression toward a woman was forbidden. It did not matter if your sister annoyed you, your girlfriend slapped you or the girl down the street called you a name. You did not retaliate - period. It simply was not an option, ingrained so deeply that the reflexive response was to back down.
In the world where I grew up, any physical aggression toward a woman was forbidden.
It did not matter if your sister annoyed you, your girlfriend slapped you or the girl down the street called you a name. You did not retaliate - period. It simply was not an option, ingrained so deeply that the reflexive response was to back down.
The world changes, of course, but a man's anti-strike attitude toward women need not change with it. We still need to "take it."
John Brockington, a former Ohio State running back, apparently attended a similar "old school" of thought.
"My dad was a creep. He hit my mother," Brockington said, adding that such behavior potentially could have planted a seed condoning violence against women.
Instead, strict societal standards overruled any dysfunctional message that Brockington's father might have sent.
"There are certain things in society you just can't do," Brockington said this week, adding that his mother made sure her son understood the consequences of any act of hostility toward females.
"She told me if I ever hit a woman, she'd never talk to me again," said Brockington, who considered his mother's threat a fair punishment.
Carlos Hyde received his own "silent treatment" on Tuesday when Ohio State coach Urban Meyer suspended the starting senior tailback for the first three games of the upcoming season. Not to be overlooked, Meyer left open the possibility that the punishment could extend beyond three games, but also said yesterday on ESPN, "You lose a quarter of your season, that's a tough penalty."
Are three games too many? Not enough? Just about right? Opinions continue to be debated across lunch tables and social media sites. I lean toward three games being too lenient but also credit Meyer for punishing Hyde with loss of playing time, even after the investigation into Hyde allegedly attempting to strike a woman at a Columbus nightclub ended with no charges being filed.
A videotape from inside the club shows the woman trying to strike Hyde before he appears to retaliate. It is unclear from the video whether either made contact. But the fact that Hyde was aggressive toward the woman elevates his offense in my mind and warrants a stiffer suspension - six games - than Meyer handed down. Especially because Hyde disobeyed a core team rule that strictly prohibits violence against women.
"Our players are taught to walk away," Meyer said.
It is encouraging to see the Ohio State coach move in the direction of tough love vs. flabby forgiveness. At Florida (2005-2010), Meyer saw himself as someone who could save troubled players.
"I'm much more guarded now than I've ever been with second chances," he said, adding that a zero-tolerance policy is not always fair, but high-profile athletes must be held to a higher standard because they represent the university.
And it's not as if anyone forced high-school athletes down the path of becoming Ohio State players.
"They chose to become football players," Meyer said.
At the same time, Meyer wisely is following where the law leads. He held off on the severest of penalties - dismissal - because Hyde was not charged.
"If you're charged with a domestic issue, you're released from the program," Meyer said. "That's the way I was raised."
So Hyde remains on the team, which will disgust some fans and delight others. But can we agree that there are no real winners here?
Brockington can't find any, either.
"What is going on?" he said, angered by the Buckeyes' recent legal woes. "I'll tell you, kids are a reflection of the society they're raised in, and they're acting like jackasses."
If so, what does that make us?
Rob Oller is a sports reporter for The Dispatch.