So, here is the thing about college recruiting - we are fans for one of a very few reasons. Either we were 'born' into it, we went to school there, or we happened to be in the right vicinity.
My children were born into being Duck fans because I had been a Duck fan most of my life then graduated from Oregon. I was an Oregon fan because that is the only team that was on the radio in Oakridge when I was young and impressionable. So, I guess I have the dual fanship reason having been a fan as a child due to proximity then attending the school.
But when it comes to rivalries, I cheer loudly, sure, but not out of anger. That's the thing about rivalries. I don't hate schools; they are inanimate objects; institutions of higher education. Each school has its pluses and minuses, so to hate a school, and consequently anyone who cheers for that school seems to me somewhat arbitrary. Individuals may be obnoxious, but a school is just a cluster of buildings. Let's be honest here, pick your 'ideal' partner and ask if he or she would suddenly become less attractive due to liking another school? I can tell you that if Jessica Alba actually spent the time to talk to me, the school of her choice would be a non-factor.
Having covered recruiting, having talked to young men who chose a school other than Oregon, it strikes me just how strange all of this can be at times. Why on earth would I find fault in a human being because of where he chose to go to school?
So, when Thomas Tyner came out of retirement, I had no ill-will toward his ultimate choice. Why should I?
The NCAA precludes those players who decide to end their medical retirement from playing at their former school. There is a good reason for that - schools would abuse the medical retirement to get a lot of extra players on scholarship. Trust this - if Alabama could have 125 players on scholarship, they would do so.
When Tyner decided to give football a last final shot, to go out on his own terms, he had to make a choice. Oregon State made the most sense all things considered. It is close to home, it allows him to play in a familiar setting, it allows him to compete for playing time immediately. There is simply little to lose with this choice for Tyner.
Thomas Tyner is an incredibly gifted athlete and I am happy to see him take his shot at something most of us could only dream about. There will be no pressure on his shoulders; no five-star expectations; no reason for him to place pressure upon himself. He will either succeed or he won't, but I will wish him no ill-will. He has always treated me well and with respect.
And in his decision and future, I will do the same.