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Ohio State’s ‘No Hoodies’ PowerPoint Is Mostly Football Coachspeak Hogwash

4:05 PM EST on February 24, 2022

A screenshot from Ohio State's "no hoodies" presentation. It says PLAYER EXPECTATIONS in all red capital letters. It then does over an extremely ridiculous list of player expectations.
Screencap via Ohio State's "No Hoodies" PowerPoint

Earlier this year, former Ohio State cornerback Marcus Williams spoke publicly about what it was like to be coached by Urban Meyer. His recollections included Meyer telling him as a 17-year-old early enrollee that he would ruin his "fucking life" if he ever caught him smoking. He talked about the impossible demands on college athletes, like being in an 8:00 a.m. class with bleeding hands from drills that started three hours earlier at 5:00 a.m. or, if you weren't a freshman, 6:00 a.m. And Williamson recalled seeing a presentation at his first team meeting saying that players could not wear hoodies in the building—and to demonstrate this point, the presentation included a photo of Trayvon Martin.

This was and is deeply upsetting. Meyer denied this happening. Then, a few days later, when forced to admit that it was true, Meyer insisted that he just didn't know about it at the time. This is far from the first time that Meyer has had to walk back a denial.

I requested a copy of the presentation from Ohio State, and the university responded late Wednesday with a PDF. The email from Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson said that the staff member who gave the presentation had "immediately apologized and removed the picture from the presentation" and the original presentation was not saved. But I was given a copy of the edited version.

Here's the thing: Even without the photo of Trayvon, the presentation is still very strange. It's as if someone tried to take the tone and cadence of a stereotypical football coach yelling into a player's face and translated that into, of all things, a PowerPoint.

Take, for example, the list of coaching expectations:

Why are random words capitalized? What does "coach you as hard as you allow us too" even mean? Why does it use the wrong version of "too"? Isn't "we will give you what is needed" just a coach doing their job? "We will Treat you as you deserve to be treated" sounds like something said in a really, really bad relationship. And why is "Treat" capitalized?

But, wait, there's more! Because there also are player expectations.

A screenshot from Ohio State's "no hoodies" presentation. It says PLAYER EXPECTATIONS in all red capital letters. It then does over an extremely ridiculous list of player expectations.

Beyond the obvious ripping off of Friday Night Lights, "what do you WANT" is a pretty useless question. Everyone on the team came here to play football. I think the goal is pretty obvious. Why should they rip open their chests and give coaches their hearts? They're only here for a few years, a small pittance in the grand scheme of their long lives. And, again, why the random capitalization of words. I really don't understand!

The random capitalization of words does eventually subside but there are more rules, which includes something about having to always text back in 30 minutes?!?

How does this 30-minute text-back rule even work? What if a player is in class or taking a test or even a well-earned a nap? Why does it outrank the golden rule? I have some questions about our priorities here. Also, I'm pretty sure those leaves near the top are meant to be perceived as buckeye leaves, but it's hard to ignore that they also look like something else. And what do earrings have to do with working out?

The presentation overall is 13 pages long. It also contains a collage of scary looking parking tickets, more phrases that don't make sense, like "Rate of Individual Development is directly correlated with the Rate of Personal Accountability," and includes a photo of some deeply unappetizing scrambled eggs on a page about nutrition. I have no way of being certain, but I would guess this is probably the page that included the photo of Trayvon.

The document closes with the phrase "THE ROAD TO NINE STRONG STARTS NOW." I have no clue what that means. But given how the rest of the presentation went, perhaps that's not much of a surprise.

The full presentation is below:

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