Reynolds Meets With Media To Apologize Publicly

Robert Reynolds

OSU linebacker Robert Reynolds addressed the media Tuesday to apologize publicly for choking Wisconsin QB Jim Sorgi. He discussed the incident and expressed remorse to Sorgi, his teammates and his family.

Before dissecting the loss to Wisconsin and looking ahead to this weekend's homecoming game with Iowa, OSU coach Jim Tressel allowed linebacker Robert Reynolds to address the media at his weekly luncheon.

Reynolds has been suspended from the Iowa game after choking UW quarterback Jim Sorgi after a play in the third quarter of Saturday's 17-10 loss at Wisconsin.

"Robert Reynolds asked if he could come with us today," Tressel said. "(Sports information director) Steve Snapp and myself felt it would be a positive thing."

Reynolds then took the floor and spoke for a couple minutes on the incident and his suspension before taking questions.

"I would like to apologize again to (Wisconsin coach Barry) Alvarez and Jim Sorgi for my actions during the game," Reynolds said. "That was uncharacteristic of me and I lost my poise for that one second.

"As a result, I will sit out the next game. I would also like to apologize to my teammates for my actions. I also want to apologize to my family for having to put up with what I've done.

"I hope we can move on from this. I can positively say this will never happen again. It is definitely not in my character to do this."

Tressel interjected and agreed with that assessment.

"I have had a chance to get to know Rob for three years during many practices, many weighlifting sessions and social situations. It is also in my opinion that this is not something or a part of who Rob is," the coach said.

"I respect the fact he wants t be here and stand in front of all of you with his wife Jennifer by his side.

"What has happened was unacceptable and also tough to handle."

Reynolds then answered various questions, including what led him to choke Sorgi.

"I have to say I lost my poise," he said. "That is something Coach Tressel ... I haven't been taught. It is something I did regret. It is one second I wish I could take back."

Reynolds led OSU with 12 tackles, including 2-1/2 for losses, in the game. He was asked whether frustration led him to attack Sorgi.

"I wouldn't say that," he said. "Besides that one incident, I played with confidence and under control. It was just one play."

Reynolds said he wanted a chance to meet with the media so people could see his not a monster.

"I just want people to see me," he said. "To hear some of the stuff that's been said, I'm a bad person. I'm not a bad person. I'm not a violent person. I just got carried away. I was playing with emotion, but I lost control.

"It's a violent game. It happens so fast. It was just instinct, but you should be able to control yourself out there.

"This is not going to slow me down. I'm going to play twice as aggressive when I get back in there, but I will play within the rules."

Reynolds said no behavior from Sorgi or anybody from Wisconsin precipitated the choke.

"Nothing led up to it," he said.

He said he understood why Tressel had to suspend him for this week's game.

"I am willing to take my medicine for what I did," he said. "I'm just unhappy that my actions have affected my family. That was the last thing I wanted to do, to do anything to harm them."

Tressel said that Alvarez was consulted on Monday before OSU announced the suspension. Tressel and Reynolds spoke to Alvarez and Sorgi on Sunday to offer an apology.

"When we made the decision for what what appropriate, the next step that was most important was what would be agreeable from Wisconsin's standpoint," Tressel said.

"Coach Alvarez was echoing Jim Sorgi when he said he considered Robert's apology to be genuine. The suspension was very appropriate as far as they're concerned. They need to move forward and get ready to play Purdue and we need to get ready to play Iowa without Robert Reynolds. That's where it is."

Tressel indicated that Reynolds will practice with the scout team this week and will not be in uniform for Saturday's game.

Sophomore Bobby Carpenter will start in place of Reynolds, who is second on the team in tackles with 42, Tressel said.

"Bobby Carpenter is a good football player," Tressel said. "He played very, very well Saturday. He is going to continue to get better. He has done an excellent job for us on special teams. He's strong, he's physical and he has excellent speed.

"I think Bobby Carpenter is going to continue to grow into being an outstanding linebacker."

In one other controversy related item, Tressel said the Big Ten is aware of an incident involving OSU's Simon Fraser and line judge John Kouris after the game. The two were caught on camera exchanging words. Sources said Fraser may have been knocked into Kouris near the end of the game.

"I know at the end of the game, they were killing the clock," Tressel said. "There was some pushing and shoving going on."

It was unclear whether anything would come of the incident, however.

"I have not seen the tape or heard anything," Tressel said. "I don't know."

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