The Michigan-aOSU rivalry is full of stories where one team came entered the game in apparent disarray at the end of a subpar year, and the other came in flying high with a lot at stake. More often than you would expect, the underdog rose up and smote the favorite (although, at least in the recent past, the roles are more likely to be reversed), which of course is what we saw Saturday.
And that's why I'm disappointed, but not too broken up, over Michigan's loss; it's also why I don't hate aOSU as much as I usually do after they beat Michigan.
Or at least I didn't hate them as much as usual in that situation, until I read this. In years past when Michigan went down to Calcutta on the Scioto, they'd just shut off the water in the hotel the team was staying at; now, it's like a scene from 24:
Calling it "disrespectful" and a "violation" of individual rights, Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr lashed Ohio State for its pregame security check of his players and coaches Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
The Wolverines, who lost 37-21 to the Buckeyes, were delayed about 10 minutes when they were surprised with a player-by-player search of bags by officers and police dogs.
That seems pretty harsh, but in this post-9/11 world, I can accept it, as long as they treat everybody - including aOSU teams and EVERY FAN WHO ENTERS THE STADIUM - the same.
Ohio State representative Steve Snapp said all visiting teams this season were inspected.
"We've had the same security for every team," Snapp said.
Conspicuous by its absence is any mention of whether aOSU players are inspected. That determination is left as an exercise for the reader. Furthermore, if you take other teams at their word, Mr. Snapp is at best misinformed and at worst lying to us:
Officials from Wisconsin, Indiana and Penn State, which visited Ohio Stadium this season, said players and bags were not searched. Police dogs were used to search the Penn State locker room, but there were no players or coaches present.
But certainly the security forces would use discretion and conduct the search in a dignified manner, yes? Well, no.
. . . the player search was conducted in the open with Ohio State fans watching. The Michigan transporter, which hauls the team uniforms, pads, helmets and equipment, also was searched by police dogs.
[Insert pun about the 'explosive Michigan offense' here]
I can't wait until next year's game in Ann Arbor. I'm thinking full body cavity searches on the State Street sidewalk...
Update: OSU continues to deny everything:
But the Buckeyes' associate athletic director for communications, Steve Snapp, told the Free Press that it simply wasn't true that other schools did not undergo the same search.
"The security check for Michigan was absolutely no different than any other school this year," Snapp said.
Snapp said the order for the check was not handed down by the athletic department, but rather by university police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He also said Ohio State players and coaches were subjected to the same inspection -- something the school has been doing for two years.
And others continue to contradict them:
Carr said a police officer escorting him to the field told him the search order didn't come from security supervisors, but rather from the Ohio State athletic department.