If you weren’t a big-time college athlete, chances are that you probably wish you were. But one guy have may have gone a bit too far in attempting to make that dream a reality.
Someone named Giovanni Strassini has been posing as a former Ohio State football player in the Charlotte Buckeyes fan club, claiming he played tight end for the school from 1973-1977, was an All-American in 1976, caught an 8-yard touchdown pass in the 1976 Rose Bowl, was drafted in the 1977 NFL Draft, and even played baseball for the school.
A simple Google search of his name leads you to many web pages that you think would back up his claim, until you realize that many of them were doctored by someone with the same IP address from Charlotte, North Carolina. For example, the “1976 College Football All-American Team” pops up, but once on the page, his name is nowhere to be found. There’s also an IMDB page set up for him that just says he played “himself” in a movie about the 1976 Rose Bowl.
The guys over at Buckeye Planet took this and ran with it, eventually discovering that no such player ever played any sports at OSU. They also learned that the only touchdown the Bucks scored in the 1976 Rose Bowl was on a 3-yard run by Pete Johnson. They dissected his Facebook page, which is now mysteriously deleted, and found that a “1974 Rose Bowl ring” he claimed to have won with the team wasn’t even the right replica.
Furthermore, a man named Giovanni Strassini was involved in a lawsuit last year that claimed he has done time in federal prison in North Carolina.
This is creepy. I’d say the Charlotte Buckeyes fan club has some investigating to do.