Former Ohio State All-American Used ‘Improper Access’ To Steal Practice Footage

It’s not too often you hear of a star player stealing from his former team. But that’s exactly what happened in the case of former Ohio State All-American offensive tackle Kirk Barton.

Barton was an All-American at Ohio State. He joined the Buckeyes after first turning down an offer from then-Bowling Green head coach Urban Meyer. He went on to be drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round of the 2008 draft. But Barton played in just one game that season before falling out of the NFL.

According to Meet at Midfield, Barton and his associate Ken Stickney, despite playing in Columbus himself, used “‘improper and unauthorized access to Ohio State’s internal football video system’ to ‘[expose] team formations, schemes and personnel changes.'”

The duo then posted the stolen information on their website “Buckeye Scoop.”

Offensive tackle Kirk Barton of Ohio State prepares prior to action between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois on November 4, 2006. Ohio State won 17-10. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/WireImage)

Barton Was An Ohio State All-American In 2007

The university’s athletic department quickly caught on and acted immediately. Barton and his colleague were banned and ensured that they “will not receive Athletics media credentials for the foreseeable future.” This according to Meet at Midfield.

A spokesperson at Ohio State, Jerry Emig, said that they were in “direct violation of Ohio State’s closed football practice policy.” They also added that the incident was “uniquely problematic because of the improper and dishonest manner in which they gained access to these closed practices.”

Barton’s had previous run-ins with the law, although this obviously doesn’t rise to the level of police involvement.

It’s still an incredibly bizarre story. One in which a former player attempted to undermine the success of the program to aggrandize his website.

While it’s doubtful this will have much of an impact on the current iteration of the Buckeyes, it’s still extremely undesirable for coaches. Especially considering they are notoriously secretive and protective of game planning. And Ohio State is likely to be even more tight-lipped now that they’re considered betting favorites to win the National Championship,

Losing access to the program is entirely unsurprising and undoubtedly justified. And by trying to promote the “Buckeye Scoop” site, Barton’s now put it at a disadvantage. It’s now obviously unlikely that anyone from within the program would be willing to talk to Barton going forward.

Definitely not what you’d expect to see from a former Ohio State All-American.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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