At 9:52 a.m. Monday morning, The Lantern sports team and myself were filming our weekly installment of Buckeye Blueprint, a breakdown of Ohio State football from the previous Saturday’s game. Then, we all received the alert. There is an active threat on campus, and shots have been fired.
As we ran to the scene and began piecing together what was happening, the safety of 60,000+ was being put in jeopardy as law enforcement continued to search for a possible second perpetrator. Hours later, it was determined the only attacker was dead, and all 11 injured would survive the brutal attacks.
In the end, all innocent lives were spared in the assault. However, ESPN took a different route in terms of reporting who was safe. Some time after the attack had official ended, a story was run with the headline, “Ohio State football players safe, accounted for after on-campus attack.”
I stared in disbelief, and left the room in disgust.
I have spent the better half of four months interacting with the team as a reporter, and getting to know the shear magnitude of how big OSU football is in the state, and in the nation. But to make no mention of the entire student body throughout the entire article is an atrocity.
At no point are those injured mentioned other than being sent to the hospital. At no point are the acts of the entire University Police or Columbus Police Department mentioned. No peace of mind can be given to the families at home hoping and praying to hear thie child is safe and unharmed.
Countless stories will arise from this day. Whether they will be from eyewitnesses on scene, to doctors at the three area hospitals the wounded were transported or from the officers who responded. The football team’s safety is no higher on the list than any other students.
I watched as my follow Buckeyes ran for cover and looked on in horror as The Lantern sports team and I walked up to officers on scene near a body bag with blood slowly seeping from the sides. I saw the pain and the shock of those injured on scene. And somehow, some way, the issue was returned to football in the end.
I will not play the part of ignorant child. I understand ESPN is about sports first, and there is a lot of money that backs OSU football. But, do the non-student athletes lives not matter? Is it not important to note the faculty members injured in the attack will survive to continue developing the minds of our nation’s future leaders?
Football is beloved in Columbus, but so are the students at OSU. The story here is not that the football team is safe. The story is the heroic acts of University Police officer Alan Horujko, and the fact there were no casualties other than attacker on that dreary and chilly autumn morning on 19th Avenue in front of Watts Hall.