By LARRY VAUGHT
Rather than go into next season slated to be junior Terry Wilson’s backup, junior quarterback Gunnar Hoak decided to transfer from Kentucky and Saturday announced he was going to be joining Ohio State.
For the Ohio native, it was an easy decision since his father played there, an uncle coached there and a cousin played there and won a national title. It’s also close to home.
Certainly most expect Georgia transfer Justin Fields to be the Ohio State starter next season, but it is still an easy decision to see why Hoak opted to make this move.
That prompted Rich Elam to post this on Twitter about my article on Hoak’s transfer: “I hope Gunnar has great success at Ohio State. You will always be part of the #BBNFAM. You will be missed.”
Seemed fair and logical to me and the sentiment I thought Kentucky fans would have. However, Ben Wimsatt (@Wildcard27) disagreed on Twitter.
“I disagree with your analysis. If we have a successful season then possible. If Terry is hurt early and our season tanks, Gunner will be much hated for his decision,” Wimsatt posted.
Got to admit that stunned me. First, I don’t think anyone should “hate” any athlete at any level. I just don’t get that. But even if the UK “season tanks,” I am still not sure how that would be Hoak’s fault. Apparently most UK fans agree with me based on the reaction to Wimsatt’s tweet.
Later after a number of Twitter responses, Wimsatt added this: “I am not hating on anyone, I just made the comment of what might happen. I don’t hate anyone for leaving. I think any athlete should be able to transfer anytime without penalty. Coaches do, so why not athletes? I made my comments based off 50 years of following the Cats. Bad times bring out bad reactions. Not always fair.”
That’s true, but I don’t think it will happen with Hoak and apparently most UK fans do not either based on responses like these I got on Twitter:
@corkeypeek17: “Any logical person in our fanbase won’t have Gunnar Hoak or any other player for leaving if it’s in their best interest. Like all fanbases, we do have lunatics, unfortunately, in the BBN, and they will hate just to hate. They should be ignored when possible. Hoak got his degree here and has ties to Ohio St. It makes sense.”
@StaceyG1727: “Who in their right mind would hate on a college kid that wants to go play at home? Some of you people need a heart ￼Check…His life His decision period! You make YOUR life choices & he will make his..”
@dmmcghee: “Also let’s not forget there’s something to ‘going home.’ I wish @GunnarHoak12 lots of luck.”
@bbn4_UK: “He gave it his best shot. Now he’s going ‘home.’ Can’t blame him! Stoops should be the one with a backup plan. It’s not on the kid.”
@keriscaggs: “How about we not hate anyone? Just a thought 🙂 Keeping a record of (supposed) slights/being a scorekeeper is exhausting. (Not to mention being that invested when someone makes a decision AND YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW THEM.)”
@djstapletpn34: “I don’t always understand why athletes make some decisions but it’s their decisions to make and I always hope it works out for them . This is one I don’t understand fully but certainly wish him well.”
@PScottJohnson: “Funny how we don’t think this way about kids who transfer to the team we support. I wish the best for them. If he and his family feel this is the best situation for them, good for them! I’d say it’s a pretty cool thing for a kid from Ohio even if he doesn’t play there.”
@ajcarr70: “How anyone can Hate on an Athlete for making decisions that they feel is in THEIR best interest.. just blows my mind! Remember that saying, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness! Pursue on young man.”