Tiger Woods got a bad break, took a bad drop, but will live to play the weekend at the Masters — with two strokes added to his score — due to a revision to the Rules of Golf made two years ago.Woods was deemed to have taken an improper drop on the 15th hole during the second round of the Masters at Augusta National on Friday, when his approach shot hit the pin and bounced back into the water.He made a bogey-6 on the hole, which on Saturday morning was revised to a triple-bogey 8.Instead of a 1-under-par 71 he was given a 73 and will start the third round five strokes back of 36-hole leader Jason Day in pursuit of his fifth green jacket.Woods explained the situation on Twitter on Saturday morning.“At hole #15, I took a drop that I thought was correct and in accordance with the rules,” Woods wrote. “I was unaware at that time I had violated any rules. I didn’t know I had taken an incorrect drop prior to signing my scorecard. Subsequently, I met with the Masters Committee Saturday morning… and was advised they had reviewed the incident prior to the completion of my round. Their initial determination… was that there was no violation, but they had additional concerns based on my post-round interview. After discussing the situation… with them this morning, I was assessed a two-shot penalty. I understand and accept the penalty and respect the Committees’ decision.”Before 2012, Woods would have been disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Under new rules enacted by the United States Golf Association and R&A in 2011, a player can have penalty strokes added afterward when facts were not reasonably presented at the time of scorecard signing.“This is a logical and important step in our re-evalution of the impact of high-definition video on the game,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis at the time the new rule was announced in August 2011. “We collectively believe that this revised decision addressed many video-related issues never contemplated by the Rules of Golf.”Fred Ridley, former president of the USGA and the chairman of the Masters competition committees, detailed the timeline of events surrounding the penalty in a statement released Saturday morning.“After being prompted by a television viewer, the Rules Committee reviewed a video of the shot while he was playing the 18th hole,” Ridley said in the statement. “At that moment, based on the evidence, the committee determined he had complied with the rules.“After he signed his scorecard, and in a television interview subsequent to the round, the player stated that he played further from the point than where he had played his third shot. Such action would constitute playing from the wrong place.“The subsequent information provided by the player’s interview after he had completed play warranted further review and discussion with him this morning. After meeting with the player, it was determined that he had violated Rule 26, and he was assessed a two-stroke penalty. The penalty of disqualification was waived by the committee under Rule 33 as the committee had previously reviewed the information and made it’s intitial determination prior to the finish of the player’s round.”According to the USGA website, the “revision to Decision 33-7/4.5 addresses the situation where a player is not aware he has breached a rule because of facts that he did not know and could not reasonably have discovered prior to returning his score card. Under this revised decision and at the discretion of the Committee, the player still receives the penalty associated with the breach of the underlying Rule, but is not disqualified.”Reaction was swift and all over the golf map as the story unfolded over night and into Saturday morning.Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo said on the Golf Channel: “Tiger should really sit down and think about this and what it will leave on his legacy. Personally, I think this is dreadful. … That was no intention to drop close to the divot.”But current players were positive in their reaction.Fred Couples called it “a blessing for every golf pro in the world.”“We all know that we’ll get the same ruling if it happens to one of us,” said Couples, 1 shot back entering Saturday’s round.Graeme McDowell, who at 5 over missed the cut by 1 shot, tweeted Saturday morning that he agreed with the penalty.“Take the fact that it was Tiger out of the equation and it is a fair ruling,” McDowell posted to Twitter.Hunter Mahan, who shot a second-round 82 and missed the cut at 14 over, also weighed in via Twitter.“I like this ruling because he took an illegal drop but no official brought it to his attn,” Mahan wrote.
With the help of CARMELO, here’s what’s in store for the Jazz in 2015-16: We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. Rudy Gobert’s late-season ascendance into the starting lineup helped transform Utah’s defense last season. By ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus, he was the fourth-best defensive center in the league, and Nylon Calculus ranked him as the top rim protector in the league on a per-minute basis. Last season, he proved he could be an elite rebounder and shot-blocker and an efficient finisher around the rim. The question now is whether he can replicate all of that production in big minutes, across an entire season. Read more:All our NBA player projectionsAll our 2015-16 NBA Previews Twenty-five-year-old Gordon Hayward has already established himself as one of the most versatile players in the league. As the lack of red dots in his skill ratings attests, Hayward is at least decent (if not much better) in virtually every area of the game, and his two most comparable historical players — Brandon Roy and Andre Iguodala — emphasize his all-around talent. But heavy is the burden of being Utah’s most important player. If the Jazz are to make the playoffs, their offense must come closer to matching the elite level of their defense, and much of that responsibility will fall to Hayward. The Utah Jazz enter the 2015-16 campaign with high hopes. The team closed out last season on a 19-10 tear, all of which came (not coincidentally) after it shipped away Enes Kanter at the trade deadline and inserted Rudy Gobert into the starting lineup. Over that stretch, Utah had the best defensive efficiency in the league — a full 4.1 points per 100 possessions clear of the San Antonio Spurs, the second-best defense. With a young roster mostly intact from that strong finish, the Jazz and their fans are sanguine about their playoff chances, despite the frightening depth of the Western Conference and the loss of second-year point guard Dante Exum to a torn ACL this summer.1Exum is expected to miss the entire season, though this may be more of a long-term loss than an immediate one, as CARMELO projects him to still be a few years away from reliable production. But for Utah to reward that optimism and reach the postseason, it will need to continue its late-season defensive dominance from last year and hope that improving young talent can bolster the offense from within. For what it’s worth, FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projection system is bullish on their chances; it has the Jazz going 45-37. In Exum’s absence, Trey Burke will be logging the majority of Utah’s minutes at the point this season. CARMELO sees Burke as the second coming of Raymond Felton, which isn’t flattering but feels entirely appropriate. Burke is a defensive disaster, and on offense he’s a shoot-first point guard without much history of shooting well. The Jazz are hoping this is the year he breaks through, but surrounding him with a complementary ball-handler such as Hayward or Alec Burks may be the only way to keep him on the floor without the offense disintegrating. Alec Burks played just 27 games for the Jazz last season after suffering a shoulder injury. Neither his projections nor his comparables are particularly inspiring, but he’s a good off-the-dribble creator on the wing — something the Jazz will need, given their thin point guard rotation. Entering his second season, Rodney Hood is looking to build on a strong finish to his rookie campaign. Primarily a spot-up shooting threat at this stage of his career, Hood made 42 percent of his 3-pointers from February onward last season. If he can repeat that effort, it would give the Jazz offense some much-needed floor spacing. Last year, Derrick Favors quietly blossomed into one of the best big men in the league. His offensive game is still developing — a more consistent mid-range jump shot would really help smooth the edges of his pairing with Gobert — but Favors is already one of the better defensive bigs in the game. His comparables are an interesting mix of offensive (LaMarcus Aldridge) and defensive (Andrew Bogut) stars. If Favors could ever put those two pieces together, it would really raise the ceiling on Utah’s future.
In an interview with Bill Simmons for GQ Magazine, President Obama said he feels like he’s “maybe [Aaron] Rodgers in the pocket, in the sense of you can’t be distracted by what’s around you, you’ve got to be looking downfield. And I think that’s a quality that I have—not getting flustered in what’s around me.” That felt to us like a description of any decent quarterback. So some FiveThirtyEight writers gathered on Slack to answer a pressing question: If Barack Obama were a quarterback, which quarterback would he be?This transcript has been lightly edited. andrew (Andrew Flowers, quantitative editor): I say President Obama is most like Tom Brady. Both are insanely polarizing figures, popular in the Northeast; both came into their respective jobs in a time of crisis; they each had a string of impressive early successes, only to be followed by some catastrophic failures; and their conspiratorial detractors accuse them of illegal maneuvers.simone (Simone Landon, senior editor): Obama’s not dumb enough to give his Super Bowl rings to Christine Ouzounian, though (as far as we know).benc (Ben Casselman, economics writer, Patriots fan): No, Andrew. Brady is FDR. This is easy. Both have four wins. Both overcame long odds to achieve greatness. Both are American heroes.simone: I still think the Rodgers comparison stands, though not for the reasons Obama gave. More like he’s struggling to complete some passes because he’s not getting the support he needs from the rest of his team. Though you could also argue that he’s just leading from behind.benc: If I’m being uncharitable (but to whom?), Obama is Peyton. Great to watch, but really only one victory to point to.andrew: So if Obama is Rodgers, does that make Bill Clinton … Brett Favre?simone: Philandering and all!nate (Nate Silver, editor in chief): I thought Obama’s likening himself to Rodgers was interesting re: his self-conception. Because as Ben M. has written about, Rodgers is a pretty risk-averse QB, and I think that’s how Obama thinks of himself too.chadwick (Chadwick Matlin, senior editor): Obama feels to me like a touted rookie who had great initial success, only to wear out his welcome as time went on. Think Vince Young and Mark Sanchez — they won some games in the early going, but the fundamentals were never that strong. Eventually, those fundamentals caught up with him.walt (Walt Hickey, culture writer): This is silly. Eli Manning is the obvious answer. Loathed in Dallas and in Washington, big wins in 2008 and 2012, the former a surprise coup against an opponent widely considered superior at the beginning of the contest, substantial performance variation, and keeps a lovable but definitely senile old fella around as a sidekick.nate: Yeah, Eli Manning is clearly correct. Eli has a thing where he’s simultaneously underrated and overrated by different groups of people, which feels true to Obama.walt: walt: Just look at that, people. Obama’s Gallup approval ratings and the Giants’ Elo ratings, together in one chart. Just look at it.andrew: But, wait: as Nate knows better than anyone, weren’t Obama’s wins in 2008 and 2012 to be expected? That’s far from the miracle upsets of Eli Manning.nate: His win over the “inevitable” Hillary Clinton in 2008 was not expected. Obama’s two signature electoral accomplishments were the 2008 Democratic nomination and the 2012 general election. The 2008 general election was a layup.simone: Is Hillary Peyton Manning?nate: No, she’s Tom Brady. Or Bill Belichick. Or something.andrew: Hillary is Tony Romo — under the biggest spotlight, with a huge legacy attached to her team’s name, yet hasn’t really won anything yet.simone: Also a huge Jessica Simpson fan.benc: Nah, I say Romo is John Edwards. Incredible talent. Blew it when it mattered.benm (Benjamin Morris, sports writer): Obama was much heralded getting into the White House, but I’d focus on what happened to his team. The Democrats looked like a dynasty when Obama took over, and are now a minority in the Senate, an entrenched minority in the House, and they’re practically being wiped out of state governments.nate: So, we need a QB who had some success, but left his team in bad shape afterward? Drew Brees, maybe?benm: I’d compare him to the ultimate flashy-but-team-killing QB: Jeff George.andrew: The defining feature of Obama’s presidency is polarization. The country has only become more polarized under his tenure. So the question is: Which QB is the most polarizing between their fans and to their haters? I stick by my Tom Brady pick.nate: Tom Brady’s one of the 3-4 best QBs ever, though. I don’t think many people will say that about Obama.simone: Can we bring some data to bear on this, Neil?neil (Neil Paine, sports writer): Well, if we’re just looking for teams whose performance mirrored that of Obama’s approval rating since he became president, that team is … Washington! (I converted Obama’s weekly net approval to an Elo scale and looked at the differences for each team since 2008.) I don’t know if that makes Obama Robert Griffin III, but his approval doesn’t track with good teams.nate: But there’s this contradiction in Obama’s presidency, which is that it seems like it’s had extraordinary highs and lows — and yet, if you look at his approval ratings, they’ve been remarkably consistent. That still takes me back to Eli Manning, who posts pretty much the same stats every year but has wide variation in his outcomes based on his teammates and external circumstances.simone: Are we perhaps failing to consider that Obama is not a QB at all, but some other position? His electoral successes are maybe more like surprise 40-yard runs than Hail Mary passes. And his day-to-day work is more like a defensive lineman.benc: Interesting, Simone, in that Obama is often accused of being reactive rather than proactive. A receiver, you might say.nate: He’s also pretty introverted for a president, which is an unusual characteristic for a quarterback. Although, there’s Andrew Luck. But again, Eli Manning is clearly the right answer so I’m not sure why we’re debating this.benc: Andrew Luck is Teddy Roosevelt. Total gunslinger, as Ben M. regularly reminds us.cwick: I’ll reach out to Manning’s people and see how he feels about the comparison. Thanks, everyone! Start preparing your notes on which QB most resembles Donald Trump for our next chat.nate: Tebow!
Mark Titus and Danny Peters are players on the Ohio State men’s basketball team not known for filling statistic columns. Still, even in their final seasons with the Buckeyes they have not forgotten how far they have come.Both Titus and Peters started out as basketball managers.At the start of their freshman year, they were not shooting any jump shots or even practicing with the team. They were busy filling up water bottles and handing out towels.During the ‘06-‘07 season, Peters and Titus were both asked to be a part of the team.Peters said it has been an amazing four years.“It is crazy to think how far Mark and I have come,” Peters said. “Playing on this team is a dream come true.”Titus is best known for his online blog, which has attracted nearly 2 million visitors.There is not much difference between the managers and the players, Titus said.“I’m just a little taller and a little more athletic,” Titus said.Freshman manager Weston Strayer, who has rebounded for both Titus and Peters during shooting drills, said he has a lot of respect for them.“They know their stuff and they have put their time in,” Strayer said. “They have earned the spot that they are in right now.”Junior manager Gage Will said the transition that Peters and Titus have made from managers to players is remarkable.“It’s pretty impressive that they started out as managers and became players,” Will said.“They are just overall good guys to have on the team. They are not going to play a whole lot but they have good morale.”Titus said he has a spot in his heart for the basketball managers. Being around Titus, who attempted to enter the NBA Draft as a joke early last spring, can be tough to deal with sometimes.“I jokingly blame stuff on them and pull pranks on them involving water bottles and towels,” Titus said. “They are not immune to my pranks.”Titus said that during the games the managers are always taking stats and doing things people wouldn’t think about.Will said the managers have become like a team themselves.“We work so closely together and a lot of our duties require teamwork,” he said. “Between the managers, there is a great sense of camaraderie and respect.”Will said great friendships have resulted and the experience is something he cherishes.“Being able to witness the NCAA Tournament atmosphere last year, even though we lost, was worth it,” he said. “It was an atmosphere unlike any other I’ve ever seen.”Strayer said watching the players practice has been his biggest shock.In Strayer’s playing days at Milan Edison High School, only one player could dunk. When he came to OSU, he realized how athletic the players were and that everybody could dunk.Strayer pursued a manager position, knowing he was not a Division I caliber athlete, to stay close to the game he always loved.“I hope it will help provide a coaching opportunity as a high school or collegiate coach down the road,” Strayer said.It is his dream to pursue a career involving basketball.“There [are] always the little things that not everyone knows about and I want to get those things down,” he said. “I want to start learning now, so there is less to learn later on.”Learning comes with a price.The price is rebounding and passing out water bottles and towels. It’s filming the game from the press box or setting down chairs during time outs.Strayer said it is worth doing all of the chores that come with the job, to listen, watch and learn from coach Thad Matta.
After appearing as a guest to talk OSU football on Columbus’ WBNS radio’s nightly sports talk show a few times in the fall of 1979, Park was offered a small position as a freelance radio talent in 1980.This proved to be just the beginning of Park’s career as a famed OSU football historian.In 1985, Park began recording his daily “Buckeye Flashback” for the station, which still airs today. Written and recorded by Park, these daily short OSU football features began airing across the state during football season in 1998.Park’s work can also be found in the form of weekly columns during football season on the Columbus Dispatch’s buckeyextra.com and suburban newspapers around central Ohio.Being urged by friends and peers to share his profound knowledge of OSU football, Park came out with his first book in 1992 and has written three more since.Most notably Park spent six years compiling the complete history of OSU football from its beginnings in 1890 to the beginning of the Jim Tressel era in 2001 when The Official Ohio State Football Encyclopedia was published.“When I wonder something about Ohio State or have a question about Ohio State football I can always go to that book and look it up and probably get the answer,” said former OSU coach Earl Bruce. “It is very well done and it is a classic.”While Park is the OSU football historian and his name appears on the books, he maintains that it is really a team effort between himself and his wife, Sue.“We have done four Ohio State football books and she has played a huge part in those,” he said. “Those four books have had my name on them as the author but it has been almost a co-authorship.”Aside from his books, Park is an accomplished speaker as well. Park travels to more than 30 states each year to deliver a seminar called The Leadership Secrets of Football’s Master Coaches.Combining his love for football with his knowledge of business, Park has spoken to companies such as BMW and Microsoft to help managers within these companies become better leaders.Between his circuit of speeches and array of OSU football responsibilities, Park says his enthusiasm for OSU would remain even without all of that.“If I wasn’t doing what I do as far as the radio work and the writing and speaking and I was just a fan, I would still be just as passionate watching the games and cheering the buckeyes on,” he said.Now with more than 30 years as a Buckeye football historian under his belt, Park says he has no plans to stop anytime soon and even has an Ohio State-Michigan book in the making. Not only did the 1950 Rose Bowl game mark the first Buckeye victory at the Tournament of Roses in the program’s history, but for one young fan it meant so much more.On Jan. 2, 1950, a young Jack Park gathered with friends and family to listen to Ohio State take on the California Golden Bears in Pasadena. When OSU kicker Jimmy Hague split the uprights to secure a 17-14 Buckeye win, it was then that Park’s fandom turned into a passion almost unmatched for OSU football.“I remember listening to that Rose Bowl game on the radio with family and friends,” Park said. “That is a moment that has stuck with me to this day and that was 60 years ago.”Growing up in the small town of New Lexington, Ohio, about 55 miles southeast of Columbus, Park was raised a Buckeye through and through. The son of a former OSU marching band member, he was exposed to Buckeye football early and often.From the time he was in fifth grade, Park, his mother and father would make the trek to Ohio Stadium for every home game and his infatuation for the game and the program flourished.“I really got hooked on Ohio State football and I just really enjoyed it,” Park said. “I would memorize all of the player’s names and numbers and would devour The Columbus Dispatch sports page on Sunday morning.”When it came time for Park to select a college, some smaller colleges showed interest in Park as a football prospect, but his allegiance to OSU never wavered.“I knew I wanted to go to Ohio State and I really never considered going anywhere but Ohio State,” he said.Even as a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, Park would often return to Columbus on weekends to watch his beloved Bucks.Finishing his master’s degree in 1969, Park began his professional accounting career. Just 10 years later, however, his love and passion for OSU would turn into work as well.
He’s all about being at the right place at the right time, and Saturday’s 38-14 victory over the Nittany Lions was no exception for wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher. Sanzenbacher’s only catch of the game came with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s 58-yard pass, intended for wide receiver DeVier Posey, was deflected by the Nittany Lions’ double coverage and landed in the hands of Sanzenbacher as he crossed the goal line. “I expected (Posey) to go up and get it to be honest because I’ve seen him do it 1,000 times,” Sanzenbacher said. “I just wanted to put myself in position that if it didn’t happen maybe I could get a tip-off, and it came right to me.” Posey said he knew Sanzenbacher was on the route but didn’t know he was right next to him, he said. “I thought I came down with it, but the defensive player knocked it out,” Posey said. “I heard the roar and looked up and saw Dane with it in the end zone. I threw him an alley-oop today.” Sanzenbacher said, “I can’t take too much credit for it. It bounced right to me, so I mean, sometimes you get lucky I guess.” As the cliché goes, is it better to be lucky or good? Sanzenbacher said sometimes it’s better to be lucky.
As the No. 9-ranked Buckeyes prepare for their matchup with Iowa on Saturday, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel had a different message for his team after practice Wednesday evening. The NCAA granted safety Tyler Moeller a sixth year of eligibility, Tressel announced to the team. Tressel “was like, ‘I found some good news’ and he was like, ‘Tyler Moeller got a medical redshirt and he has another year,’” Moeller told media about an hour after hearing the news. Moeller’s season ended for the second straight year when he tore his left pectoral muscle in the first half of OSU’s 24-13 win at Illinois on Oct. 2. Moeller missed the entire 2009 season after suffering a head injury when he was assaulted while vacationing in Florida. “I am excited,” Moeller said with a grin. “It’s great to have another year here, and my mind has been in 5 million different places for the past couple weeks. So it’s great to know that I have another year here and I have another chance to play.” Moeller said he wrote a letter pleading his case and had to file paperwork “a couple inches thick” before the NCAA finally ruled in his favor. “I put my feelings out there and explained my situation and asked them for another year,” he said. Despite the uncertainty, Moeller said he never lost faith. “With my kind of situation, you don’t know what’s going to happen, and there is a lot of ups and downs,” he said. “I just tried to keep my head up and always think that I was going to get another year, and everything worked out.” As for his injury, Moeller said he has been lifting with his legs and should be able to train his upper body soon. “It’s going well. I just talked to the doctor. I have been in a sling for six weeks and tomorrow I am going to start stretching it out and get a little motion,” he said. “They said in six weeks that I’ll have full range of motion and then I’ll start lifting again. So everything is on schedule and going as planned.”
Senior running back Carlos Hyde breaks a tackle on his way to a touchdown during a game against Iowa Oct. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 34-24.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorA total of six former Ohio State Buckeyes have been invited to participate in the 2014 NFL Draft Scouting Combine, which opens Feb. 19 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.The six OSU players invited include senior running back Carlos Hyde, senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown, a pair of senior offensive linemen, including center Corey Linsley and left tackle Jack Mewhort, junior linebacker Ryan Shazier and redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby.Notable members of the 2013 team, which finished 12-2 after back-to-back losses to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game Dec. 7 and then Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl Jan. 3, who did not receive an invitation to the combine include redshirt-senior Kenny Guiton, senior safety Christian Bryant and senior offensive linemen Andrew Norwell and Marcus Hall.OSU coach Urban Meyer confirmed Wednesday on National Signing Day that Bryant’s time at OSU is finished, after a second appeal for a medical redshirt was denied. Bryant suffered from a broken ankle in OSU’s 31-24 win against Wisconsin Sept. 28.The combine runs through Feb. 24, and a record 85 underclassmen will be among the 335 players invited, according to CBSSports.com.OSU’s Pro Day is set for March 7 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus.The Buckeyes are slated to start their 2014 campaign Aug. 30 against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Junior defenseman Sam Jardine (21) fights past a Miami (Ohio) defender during a game on Oct. 17 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 5-1.Credit: Michael Griggs / For The LanternSam Jardine is scarred, not scared. Two seasons after a skate blade nearly cut his hand’s mobility, the Ohio State men’s hockey junior defenseman sees his surgical mark as an indication he’s in the right place.Jardine’s perspective was born after a game on Nov. 10, 2012, when the then-freshman defenseman dived to prevent a scoring chance.Whistled for holding, Jardine immediately broke procedure. Instead of skating to the penalty box, Jardine screamed and pointed to his arm, current-senior forward Tanner Fritz said.“I thought it was broken because the tendons were sliced,” Jardine said. “Then blood started coming and I knew I was in big trouble.”As he turned away from the net, Jardine hunched over and writhed in pain. In an attempt to hurdle Jardine, the opposing forward had landed on Jardine’s exposed left arm between his elbow guard and glove.The closest referee quickly grasped Jardine’s arm and within seconds, OSU’s then-trainer Chris Hite was over the boards with a towel wrapped around the cut, Jardine said.A routine penalty had become a medical emergency. Hite had to stop the bleeding to prevent Jardine from going into shock, he said.The 3-to-4-inch laceration had cut Jardine’s muscles, but stopped within a quarter of a millimeter of severing his radial nerve, Hite said.Had the radial nerve been disconnected, Jardine would have lost mobility in his left hand.“It never crossed my mind that it would be so bad that I wouldn’t be able to play hockey,” Jardine said. “That never became a reality until after the surgery.”From the time of the injury to the conclusion of his emergency surgery, Jardine stayed calm, Hite said, who is now a trainer at Hilliard Darby High School.“He handled it so well,” Hite said. “Not what you’d expect for a kid that had lost as much blood as he had.”The rest of the Buckeyes were rattled. With 14 minutes remaining in the game, the OSU bench was uneasy and struggled to maintain focus, Fritz said.Meanwhile, at the OSU Wexner Medical Center, Jardine was undergoing surgery to repair his muscle tendons. The surgery marked the beginning of his rehabilitation process.Jardine, who had never missed a game with a hockey-related injury, was jettisoned to the sideline for nine weeks, he said.In order to desensitize his regenerating nerve, Jardine molded Play-Doh and moved his hand through bowls of rice for resistance, Hite said. “We had to pull the reigns on him,” Hite said. “Every day he wanted to do something more, he wanted to do something he wasn’t allowed to do.”For a player used to playing through injuries, the mini exercises weren’t making the cut. “They really wanted to baby the process. I didn’t really allow that to happen,” Jardine said. “I wanted to play (that) next weekend.”At one point, Jardine approached then-associate coach Steve Rohlik about rejoining the Buckeyes and playing with a cast. Rohlik, alongside assistant coach Joe Exter, nixed the idea. When Jardine returned to on-ice workouts, he started to realize benefits of his injury. He took the recovery time to improve his foot speed, pivoting and edges, he said.“That was pretty important toward my development,” Jardine said. “I felt like I was a stronger skater coming back than when I had first got injured.”The Lacombe, Alberta, Canada, native then began to realize a new appreciation for the game, he said. His experience helped him realize that one of the worst imaginable injuries was bearable.“The appreciation of being able to put the skates on every day and go out and compete I think is the one thing he garnered from this whole situation,” Rohlik said. Two seasons after his surgery, Jardine said he still experiences slight difficulty in the afflicted area. His injury has robbed him of full-range of motion and complete feeling in his left hand.“I’m very thankful and very blessed that I just have a scar now and a little bit of sensitivity issues,” Jardine said. “As far as the rest of it goes, I’m 100 percent.”On the OSU bench, trainer Jeff Deits is responsible for keeping Jardine and the rest of the Buckeyes healthy.The training staff undergoes annual emergency action training to ensure it’s prepared for medical emergencies such as cardiac arrests and lacerations, Deits said. Members of the OSU men’s hockey team are also given cut-proof clothing to ensure their safety. While the NCAA does not mandate its athletes wear cut-proof socks and shirts, many Buckeyes, including Jardine, wear the gear.Jardine, who didn’t like the cut-proof shirts, wears protective socks on his forearms instead. It’s an innovation born of necessity.As he enters his third season with the Buckeyes, Jardine said he doesn’t notice the injury anymore. The sleeve hides the scar, and his performance — like his fearlessness — never waned.