A Second Chance

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This is a bit off topic but is a personal thing I would like to share:

As a senior at Findlay High, I played on the football team. Rather I was on the team but had no talent to play in a game. I was on the team only because I was a senior and the school had a ‘no cuts’ policy. As long as they had equipment for you, you were on the team.

One of my teammates that year was Jon Wauford. I believe he was a sophomore or Junior that year. He played running back and was on defense.

Jon turned out to be very good and in our 6 and 4 season he was the reason we even had a running game.

When he graduated he got a scholarship to Miami of Ohio and was a good player there as well.

After a few years I didn’t hear anything about him until last November when all the sports news shows led with a story about the end of the Miami and Marshall game. It seems a coach had decked a Marshall fan at the end of the game after Marshall had upset the Redhawks. That coach was Jon Wauford.

In high school he was a tall lanky kid who knew how to run. The story and resulting pictures plastered on newspapers showed a large angry man being arrested and led away in cuffs.

During the winter he was forced to resign from Miami and I didn’t hear anything more about him until tonight when I came across the following article in the DeMoines Iowa Register.

I’m glad he is still coaching and the incident last year didn’t ruin his life:

Keeler: No, this ain’t Ohio, but it’s a new life

By SEAN KEELER
Register Sports Columnist

11/21/2003

You ain’t in Ohio anymore. They must have told him that 10 times as he lay facedown on the cold turf at Marshall University Stadium, hands cuffed behind his back, a cop leaning hard on each shoulder.

You ain’t in Ohio anymore. At first he tried to explain what had happened, that he didn’t see the man, that he was trying to protect his players, but the West Virginia troopers would have none of it.

You ain’t in Ohio anymore. That’s all they would say. And they trussed him up as if he were trying to sneak a street sign back across the state line.

He was helped back to his feet and – click! – that’s where America came in. There was the photo of Jon Wauford, a hulking man in the cherry red Miami of Ohio polo shirt being led off the field in handcuffs, a policeman on each arm. It led “SportsCenter” the night of Nov. 12, 2002. The picture was beamed across the Internet, pasted onto sports pages, faxed to talk radio hosts. He was infamous.

So it was inevitable. Two months ago, one of Wauford’s students at Clinton High School raised his hand and asked his teacher if the barrel-chested man in that photograph was the same man at the front of the room. And Mr. Wauford nodded.

For rest of article click here

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”


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