Urban Meyer knew when he was at Bowling Green that hazing could be a huge problem. The culture of hazing and initiation rituals in sports is certainly not unknown to anyone who has ever been a member of a team. Some of it is harmless but embarrassing, some of it can be downright dangerous. Urban wanted to find a way to initiate the new guys without putting them in harm’s way
Enter the black stripe. This one inch piece of tape is placed on the helmets of incoming freshmen. The only way to have it removed is to prove yourself on the field. The stripe is then ripped off by a player designated as big brother in an impromptu ceremony. At that point, they have earned the spot on the team. It’s a good way to motivate a player and it isn’t some ridiculously embarrassing moment that could have the opposite affect.
Urban has brought the black stripe to OSU. Thus far, only a few Freshman have shed their stripe. CB Devon Bogard was the first, DE Noah Spence was next. OT Taylor Decker was the first offensive frosh to lose the mark, having it removed today.
This is another in a line of motivational tools used by Meyer. It’s hard to argue with his success. Personally, I find the renewed sense of competition to be a bit refreshing. While we’ve heard a lot of talk from a lot of Ohio State teams around goals and motivation and will to win, it seems as if it isn’t just talk from this edition of the Buckeyes. I like that it sounds like Meyer is taking it a bit hard on these kids. After all, not doing so didn’t exactly work out well in recent memory.
OSU should have a few newbies in the two-deeps, so hopefully the stripes come flying off in the coming weeks.