I’ll try and make this quick, because I don’t think it’s that complicated.
Our intrepid editor has a cool-headed and fair take up over here. I had a different reaction, an almost instantaneous one, but one I can’t shake: I cannot believe these are the actions of a tone-deaf athletic department. They’re just not aiming for the tone you’re looking for.
The operators of the Buckeyes football program are not stupid. Their brand is worth too much to too many people for them to make ill-considered moves. This graphic has been up for over a day now, and if backlash were at all a fear, it would’ve been disappeared with a quickness. But that’s not on their worry list, and we just got through watching them relearn why not.
All we’re looking at here is a reminder of who is in charge, and what matters to them. It’s a reminder of the natural order of things. They’ve always known where their priorities lie. And it makes perfect sense they’d want to reinforce this lesson, after having been put through the indignity of having that natural order questioned, loudly, by outsiders.
They know they can skate away clean, or so close to clean as to make no difference. They are keenly aware that they will face no real consequences for societal transgressions of this sort that take place outside of a W-L column. They know that we’re weeks away, at best, from hearing this entire epoch referred to, euphemistically, as “adversity” on live national television.
...In case you needed that phone background too pic.twitter.com/pbA7ejhYWP— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) September 26, 2018
And should you forget, they’ll be only too happy to remind you.