Cleat Geeks

Should JT Barrett Remain An OSU Team Captain?

When JT Barrett was cited for OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired) two weeks ago, the seemingly settled Ohio State quarterback situation was thrown for another loop. As a result, the Buckeyes were without their no.1 quarterback for the game against Minnesota this past weekend and Barrett will be without his scholarship for the summer term.Barrett-620x330

The one game suspension is in line with what the punishment has been in similar situations across the country. Urban Meyer revoking Barrett’s summer aid is a new wrinkle that will hit Barrett where it hurts the most – his (or his family’s) wallet. However, is the punishment enough? Should Barrett relinquish his role as captain, too?

The shocking news regarding the Ohio State signal-caller reverberated throughout the college football world. The surprise was not that a highly decorated college football player made a poor decision; athletes at all levels make poor decisions on an all too frequent basis in the world of sports. The shock was because it was JT Barrett.

The steady-handed, soft-spoken signal caller for the Buckeyes has been a model leader and teammate for the Buckeyes. When setting records in 2014, Barrett was effusive in his praise of Braxton Miller – the man he was filling in for. When Barrett broke his leg in front of 110,000 people against Michigan, he showed calmness and poise.

Jones&BarrettOSUWhen Cardale Jones’ play led the Buckeyes to a National Championship and ushered in a quarterback controversy, Barrett said all the right things. When Jones eventually won the quarterback competition in the fall and tossed a touchdown pass on Ohio State’s first possession of the year, Barrett was the first player on the field to congratulate him.

That kind of leadership is why Barrett was voted as an Ohio State captain for the 2015 season. However, for as great a leader as Barrett has been on the field, he has had his share of transgressions off of it.

In the days following last year’s Big Ten Championship game, Barrett and his ex-girlfriend called police to allege a domestic dispute against one another. The incident this past weekend is yet another example of Barrett using questionable decision making off the field.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt as a result of Barrett’s actions. Drunk driving is no joke. In the time it takes to complete an average Ohio State football game, about five people will be killed in alcohol-related automobile accidents. Perhaps, Barrett can use his platform as a high profile student-athlete to compel change. There is no shortage of options to secure a ride home in a safe and responsible manner after a night of drinking.

As a captain, for which he should remain, JT Barrett needs to continue to be an example for his teammates on the field and for his peers off of it. If what happened to Barrett inspires one person to refrain from drinking and driving, the world will be a better and safer place.

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