Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman tried to set the record straight regarding his recent comments about Ohio State’s academics during a Wednesday morning radio appearance.
Freeman, an OSU alum, angered many fellow Buckeyes with his comments to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd comparing the academic rigor at Notre Dame with that at his alma mater.
“I’m not saying from top to bottom, but the majority of our kids, they — I want to say this the right way — are pushed to learn and their study habits are formulated every day,” Freeman said in Dodd’s article. “You can’t cheat academics at Notre Dame.”
Continuing, Freeman appeared to take a shot at Ohio State, where he graduated college, and Cincinnati, his former employer.
“If you don’t go to class [at places like that], OK, take some online classes, show up for your appointments,” Freeman said. “At Notre Dame, you’re forced every day to go to class.”
As you might imagine, those quotes sparked a firestorm. But Freeman appeared on Columbus-area radio station The Fan 97.1 this morning to clarify his comments, which he says were taken out of context.
Here’s the full transcript of what Freeman had to say, via On3’s Stephen Samra.
“I wanted to set the record straight. I was misquoted by Dennis Dodd in this article, and key words were missing from the quote that upset a lot of people that I care about. I’m very proud of my two degrees from Ohio State. I would never discredit the quality of education those degrees represent. I was just specifically really talking about the academic rigors of Notre Dame.”
“Notre Dame has 8,500 students. Online classes were not a part of the standard curriculum here. In fact, before COVID, they weren’t even offered. So, when I was first made aware of this quote making it’s rounds yesterday in a negative way, I was surprised,” explained Freeman. “I walked away from that interview with Dennis Dodd and had no sense of anything that I said would offend anybody. So, I asked him to share with me the audio so I could share exactly what was said.
“I wrote it down — here’s exactly what I said: ‘There study habits are formulated every day. You can’t cheat academics at Notre Dame. If I didn’t go to class at Ohio State, 60,000 students. Cincinnati, another big public school, there’s 40,000 students. If you don’t go to class, okay, take some online classes, show up at your final. At Notre Dame, you’re forced every day to go to class. But it formulates this work capacity, this learning capacity.’ So, the only reason Ohio State and Cincinnati were referenced was because they were large schools with large student bodies compared to Notre Dame, which is a small school at 8,500 students.”
“.. It wasn’t meant to say that you don’t go to class. When you see a quote that says you don’t go to class at places, that Marcus Freeman says you don’t go to class at a place like that, that changes the entire narrative. .. I would never say that and disrespect my alma mater.”
It is understandable why Freeman would want to squash any beef with OSU. He went to school there, and his team opens the season on the road against the Buckeyes.
Whether or not Freeman’s explanation this morning changes anything with Ohio State fans remains to be seen. At the very least, the juice for this matchup between projected preseason top-10 teams is overflowing, and it’s only June 15.
Leave a Reply