||Sunday, December 30
Walter filed lawsuit against Bentley over punch
TAMPA, Fla. -- Ohio State linemen Tyson Walter and LeCharles Bentley are keeping their animosity for each other off the field.
The two seniors, preparing for the Outback Bowl on Tuesday against South Carolina, have put aside a lawsuit to become leaders on the offensive line.
In a lawsuit filed a year ago, Walter accused Bentley of injuring him with a punch after winter conditioning drills. Walter is seeking $50,000 or more in damages for injuries that included a broken nose, cheekbone and teeth.
The lawsuit came before Ohio State lost to South Carolina 24-7 in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day, costing coach John Cooper his job the next day.
Walter did not play in the game. He sat out the season because of a hip infection.
This season, players and coach Jim Tressel say the two never clashed in the meeting room or on the field.
"It speaks that LeCharles and Tyson both feel that the team is important," Tressel told The Columbus Dispatch.
Bentley was an All-American this season and won the Rimington Award, given to the nation's outstanding center. Walter and Bentley were both on the All-Big Ten first team.
"I think both of us realize what's important," Walter said. "We put the team in front of everything else right now, and that's what we need to do."
"Clearly I had to put it in another compartment," he said. "I'm not going to let him or anybody else stop me from getting to where I want to go."
The rest of the linemen didn't choose sides because they were all working toward the same goal.
"Basically, I just treat it as it's none of my business," left guard Alex Stepanovich said. "What happens off the field is off the field."