Congratulations to Beanie Wells, who took home 4 awards from the Buckeye awards banquet, including team MVP. There are plenty of Buckeyes up for national awards, including James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins. But there is one Buckeye that you could help get recognized.
There is an award called the FedEx Orange Bowl Courage Award, and Tyson Gentry should win it. Our own commenter IRB sent us a tip to this facebook group dedicated to getting Tyson the recognition he deserves. We asked IRB, a friend of Tyson, if he would tell us about it.
Here are his words:
Many Buckeye fans are familiar with Tyson Gentry and his accident. In mid-April 2006 during a spring practice Tyson broke his neck on a routine play and was paralyzed from the neck down. He has remained with the team, going to meetings, practices and dinners. He’s been working on rehabbing and hopes to walk again someday. His sister Ashley dropped her future plans and has served as his caregiver since he was released from the Dodd Rehabilitation Center on OSU’s medical campus.
What a lot of people don’t know about Tyson and his family is the constant positive outlook that they have had throughout the entire arduous process. His parents spend most of their weekends in Columbus, traveling the two hour trip from Sandusky where they live. I’ve visited the Gentrys many times in Columbus and his parents are always there, always wanting to know what’s happening in my life. Their strength and resolve is astounding.
I’ve known Ty well since I ran track with Tyson in high school and spent two or three hours every day with him, training together and goofing around. Upon graduation I began attending OSU in 2002 and was very excited when I heard that he would be attending OSU and trying to walk on the football team when he finished high school in 2004. When his accident happened in 2006 I was very upset and not sure how to take the news. I found myself constantly searching for updates on his health. I eventually visited Ty at the Dodd building sometime in May, about a month after his accident. It was on a weekend, and his sister Ashley was graduating from Capital later that day. When I went into his room I was amazed at how strong he and his family were. He never seemed upset about what had happened to him and was more interested in my upcoming wedding and move to DC than about anything else while I was there. I’ve visited him a number of times since 2004, and he and his family have always been extremely hospitable and happy to have us. After the Woody Hayes Center was finished with its renovations, Ty offered to show us around the facility, locker room and all without any asking or prompt to do so. He hasn’t let his situation affect his personality at all, and I think that fact is the most courageous thing one can do – continue to be an outstanding, positive, and caring person throughout such a heartbreaking turn of events.
This Orange Bowl award is given to a football player that has dealt with adversity during their college career. I must be honest, I am not familiar with the situations of the other players that are up for the award. I am sure all the athletes that have been nominated are more that deserving. However, I have no doubt in my mind that if Tyson wins this award he will not only make his family, friends, and Buckeye fans proud, but will also do his best to make the most out of the award and give hope to others in similar situations. Please take the time to not only join this Facebook group but also to be proactive about showing your support for Tyson. Letters of support can be sent to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.