I understand that if I’m not careful, this could be construed as rumormongering. Nothing, to my knowledge, is official about the story, other than the following.
- Tyler Moeller was in Florida for a family vacay, which happened after class let out.
- He was sucker-punched by someone at a restaurant/bar setting. That person has been identified and may face serious charges.
- Moeller collapsed at a team activity (a practice?) several weeks later.
Now, here’s Dave Biddle at Bucknuts said last night.
From what I hear, the guy was not a Florida fan or maybe not even a fan of any college team in particular. He just heard there was a starting linebacker from Ohio State there and started talking mess to Tyler. To his credit, Tyler tried to ignore it, but the guy kept it up. “You’re too small to be a linebacker at Ohio State; I could take you.” (Not exact quotes, paraphrasing.) Kept it up, kept it up, Tyler kept ignoring him, but finally the guy sucker punched him and Tyler fell back and hit his head. He was knocked out and had to spend three nights in ICU at the hospital. This was two weeks ago after summer classes ended for the players (well, for players not named Small and Rose).
Apparently Tyler was starting to recover well, but had a relapse of some sort Saturday and had to be admitted to OSU hospital. Now we’re hearing he needs surgery to stop the swelling near the brain and will be out for the year. I’m just sick for this young man because he’s a good person who was on the verge of a huge role for this team. He is football all the way and I know he was very excited about this opportunity to be a starter and play a lot. There was going to be a rotation at linebacker (and still will be) but Tyler was going to play a lot. Let’s just hope/pray that’s he’s able to fully recover at some point so he’s able to live a good life. If he’s able to play football again, that will be icing on the cake.
And yes, from what I’m hearing, the person that assaulted Tyler will be prosecuted both criminally and in a civil court. There is video of the incident and third-party witnesses. This was a drunk guy looking for a fight and he’s going to spend a long time in jail. Tyler did nothing wrong and anyone questioning him for being in a “bar” needs to remember he was on a family vacation. This wasn’t some biker bar or nightclub; sounds like more of a restaurant/pub type of place.
As far as I know, the details added by Biddle are new. They contradict what I had previously assumed about leaving his injuries untreated and they also contradict other reports talking about Moeller’s ability to shrug off the injury when it happened.
You know the name of the perpetrator will eventually be made public. You can only imagine the “reception” he’ll get from Buckeye fans across the country.
Again, the good news for Moeller is that this is not life-threatening, nor apparently a career-ending injury1. It’s still really unfortunate professionally in spite of an expected full recovery personally. However, the recovery right now from his hospital stay is most important right now.
- I still wonder if it is. [↩]