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Ohio State Issues Statement On Controversial Pregame Message For Penn State

Ohio State football's controversial "silence the white noise" graphic ahead of Penn State.

Ahead of Saturday's game against Penn State, a "whiteout" game at Beaver Stadium, Ohio State football put out an ill-conceived graphic on Twitter.

The graphic shows a Buckeye player, dressed in all-white, with his finger to his mouth, signaling for the team to "silence the white noise" from the Penn State crowd.

Ohio State and Penn State has developed into a heated Big Ten East match-up over the last two years, with huge conference title and College Football Playoff ramifications.

The Ohio State football graphic was a reference to the Penn State game, but many have criticized the language used, in light of the Zach Smith scandal.

It isn't a huge stretch for "silence the white noise" to be taken as a reference to "distractions" surrounding the program, with the recent Urban Meyer suspension.

Others have pointed to the fact that Meyer did not move sooner while knowing about allegations against Smith, his former wide receivers coach, and the general culture throughout the country that keeps victims from bringing many accusations of domestic and sexual violence to light. The graphic has drawn heavy criticism over the last two days. This afternoon, ESPN's Dan Murphy reached out to Ohio State for a statement. The school basically punted on it, just saying that it is the same message that Ohio State used ahead of the 2016 game at Beaver Stadium.

That is probably true, and in all likelihood, whichever staffer came up with the graphic without thinking about how it could be interpreted.

Things changed a lot for Ohio State football this summer, and you would really hope that the program would be significantly more self-aware in these moments though.