Anzalone Clarification

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Last updated: 05/06/2012 1:20 PM

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Football Recruiting
Dr. Anzalone Clarifies Earlier Comments about Ohio State
By Brandon Castel

Sal Anzalone doesn’t hate Ohio State, and he wants the world to know it.

He also doesn’t blame the University for the incident involving his son, Alex, during an unofficial visit to Columbus last month.

“We can't implicate Ohio State for what happened,” Sal Anzalone the Reading Eagle, the hometown newspaper in eastern Pennsylvania where Alex is a star high school football player for Wyomissing.

“That's wrong. That had nothing to do with the University itself. I don't hold them accountable; they're not responsible for what fans do; it's not their fault.”

Fresh off the revelation his son—a 4-star linebacker prospect in the class of 2013—had spent time with a convicted sex offender during that visit to Ohio State in April, Dr. Anzalone publically criticized the University following his son’s de-commitment.

“There's a disconnect between what Alex thought was there (at Ohio State) and what is actually there,” the outraged father told the Reading Eagle on Friday.

“Something's just not right at Ohio State. It's not for him.”

On Sunday, Dr. Anzalone clarified those original comments as an outward expression of the internal frustration and fury that followed when a photograph surfaced picturing with his son and two fellow recruits with Charles Eric Waugh, a registered sex offender in the state of Kentucky.

“I want people to understand, I have no beef with Ohio State, at all,” Sal Anzalone said.

“My issue is not with Ohio State: It's a great institution, they have a phenomenal president, Urban Meyer is nothing but a class act to me.”

Dr. Anzalone said he received a phone call from Meyer Friday afternoon. His original comments in the Reading Eagle made it sound as though he was blaming Ohio State, and Coach Meyer, for allowing someone like Waugh to get near high school recruits during their college visits.

No one knew Waugh was a sex offender when he was contacting Alex Anzalone and other potential OSU recruits on Twitter. Waugh has also been in contact with current Ohio State players over social networking Websites like Twitter and Facebook.

One former Buckeye football player told the-Ozone.net that Waugh regularly attempted to contact him, and other Ohio State players, via Facebook chat. The players ignored Waugh’s attempts to communicate with them, but said he also approached them in public on more than one occasion.

Ohio State has since warned student athletes to avoid Waugh, both in public places and on the internet. The warning came a little too late, however, as he had already led to the de-commitment of Anzalone, one of the top linebacker prospects in the country.

Dr. Anzalone initially told people to cross Ohio State off the list of schools his son was going to consider moving forward, but that may have been another moment where the frustration got the best of him.

“There's nothing wrong with Ohio State; it's a great institution,” Dr. Anzalone told the Reading Eagle.

“When I said there was something wrong with Ohio State, I was talking about the visit - there was something wrong with the visit, not with Ohio State.”

Alex Anzalone plans to slow down his recruiting process after the craziness of the last few weeks. He reportedly visited Florida last week, and already holds scholarship offers from the majority of major college football programs in the country.

That includes Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford and USC, along with both home state schools—Penn State and Pittsburgh.

He may even consider the Buckeyes again at a future point in time. National Signing Day for the 2013 class is still nine months away.

“There's no reason we wouldn't consider the Buckeyes,” Dr. Anzalone said.

“We love Ohio State. The academic opportunities there are tremendous.”

 

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