They got played by an 18-year-old.
Depending on your sports acumen, hearing the name Quinn Ewers either makes your ears perk up or leads you to ask, “Who?”
The former Ohio State quarterback’s name is back in the news – again – after announcing that he’s leaving the school to enter the transfer portal. Just a few months ago, Ewers made national news when he skipped his senior year of high school to enroll early at Ohio State so that he could capitalize on NIL money. It’s been reported that he’s made over $1 million.
“If I enroll at Ohio State, obviously I’d be able to make money off the deals, and I feel like it’d be a big advantage of learning the playbook and getting comfortable with the campus and all my teammates,” he told Yahoo Sports in July. “But if I stay and don’t get paid, I may be able to win a state title.”
Because Texas where Ewers is from, is a terrible place run by a litany of unintelligent Republicans, the state’s University Interscholastic League has a rule that won’t let high school athletes like him profit off NIL – even though he was the state’s biggest recruit, wanted to stay home and play, and was the No. 1-ranked player in his class.
So, since the system wanted Ewers to leave over $1 million on the table, Ewers finessed them by graduating early and enrolling at Ohio State in a glorified redshirt season that put a lot of money in his pocket, while also getting him acclimated with being a college athlete. And after only taking two snaps all season, Ewers is back on the market, and it’s expected he will wind up on a roster in Texas next season a whole lot richer than when he was when he left.
“It caught me for sure a little bit off guard,” said Ohio State coach Ryan Day after Ewers’ decision.
Did it really, coach?
A fourth-string freshman quarterback leaving after a season in which he was only on the field for two plays isn’t surprising. It’s just this is the first time that’s happened for a guy in that position who has seven figures in his bank account.
“I think he was in a very unique situation for sure,” Day explained, “and we wish him nothing but the best of luck moving forward. But boy, there’s just a lot that’s going on right now in college football, whether it’s early enrollees or the transfer portal and those types of things. We’re just going to do the best we can to try to adapt as time moves on.”
The way the game used to be played isn’t working anymore, and coaches like Day are getting lost in the shuffle while players like Ewers are changing the configurations. In August, Richard Justice of Texas Monthly wrote a piece breaking down what led to Ewers’ decision, and how it all fell at the feet of the adults in control down in Texas, and their inability to evolve. And it’s not like the Ewers are broke, as Quinn’s father – Curtis – works in the oil and gas business – in Texas.
“We don’t need the money. It’s just the principle of it,” Quinn said earlier this year.
Sometimes it’s not about “needing” something, as it’s more about somebody trying to deny you of “something” that’s rightfully yours. This was never about the money for Quinn Ewers, or was it? But, no matter if you think it was or wasn’t, for once, a college athlete was able to beat the system at a game that’s been set up for them to always lose.