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Cardale Jones says news conference wasn't his idea

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That Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones felt the need to defend his decision to hold a news conference announcing his return to the school is enough of a shame -- criticism takes almost any form when someone acquires fame at microwave speed -- but college football's sudden superstar corrected the record, anyway.

Holding a news conference at his former high school, Ginn Academy, wasn't his idea.

"One, me personally, it wasn't my idea," Jones told the Mike and Mike radio show. "You know, holding a press conference and all eyes on me and me being the center of attention -- I'm not that type of guy, period. You know, that wasn't something I put together, but I thought it wasn't a big deal."

The simplest question -- why did Jones hold a news conference? -- has the simplest answer if Jones is to be taken at his word: that he wanted to set a stronger example to young athletes about the value of education. And while it could be fairly argued that tweeting the news or simply letting the Buckeyes media relations crew release a statement sets the same example for most kids, the same doesn't apply for young athletes at Ginn Academy. They were undoubtedly impacted more by Jones making his decision there, with as many cameras as would fit in the room. Especially given the fact that the clear public expectation, driven by media reports and speculation from some who certainly hear a thing or two about Ohio State, was that Jones was as good as gone.

And spare us the idea that one should only hold a news conference to leave, not to stay. It happens all the time, every year. There have been so many of those, they can't all fit in one tweet. Down in Baton Rouge, La., on Friday, a few LSU players who decided to stay in school will stand in front of a microphone and explain why.

Nobody will throw any barbs at them. But then again, they aren't the easy target that a three-game supernova like Jones is.

The very fact that Jones' news conference was held at his high school, rather than OSU, made it more plausible that the decision would be to head for the pros. It's certainly a more embracing environment to announce that three starts is enough of being a Buckeye. So would the criticism have been similar if Jones had instead chosen to file for early draft eligibility? It would have come from different precincts -- no doubt, from those with an interest in Jones staying with the Buckeyes -- but it would have been just as loud.

Lesson learned, apparently:

"Coach (Urban) Meyer, he let me know immediately -- everything you do will be a big deal now because of the spotlight that's on you," Jones said.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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