Courtesy of Kentucky State Police
Ohio State has learned that a convicted sex offender from Kentucky has made contact with Buckeyes student-athletes both in-person and through social media websites.
The Lantern obtained a Thursday email that was sent from OSU athletic director for compliance Doug Archie informing Buckeye student-athletes that the university is aware of photographs OSU players have taken with Charles Eric Waugh, 31, a man listed on Kentucky’s sex offender registry, Archie said in the email.
“The University has become aware that an individual who is listed on Kentucky’s sex offender registry has recently been seen in pictures with our student-athletes,” Archie said in the email, which was preceded by a warning text to student athletes.
Archie’s email to OSU student-athletes also contained an Internet link to a March 19, 2008, Daily Independent in Ashland, Ky., report about Waugh entering “guilty pleas to five counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by minors.”
Waugh also made contacts with OSU student-athletes and coaches on Twitter using the Twitter handle, @BdubsTriviaGuru.
OSU student-athletes in contact with Waugh on Twitter include Buckeyes football wide receiver Verlon Reed and former OSU offensive lineman and Cleveland Browns signee, J.B. Shugarts on May 3 and April 28, respectively.
From his Twitter account, @TP23_, freshman defensive back Tyvis Powell retweeted a message from Waugh and included a “thumbs-up” symbol on April 27: “A man on a mission to strive for excellence. And a man on a journey for a National Championship. Is what I see!”
Waugh was not made available after The Lantern requested comment Thursday evening. Charlene Waugh, Charles’ Waugh’s mother, told The Lantern she was not aware that the email had been sent to OSU student-athletes, but said that plans were in the works “to clear her son’s name on Tuesday.”
“We’re good Christian people. (Charles) is also a Christian boy,” Charlene Waugh said. “He’s been saved. He’s been baptized. He’s been on probation for four years and he hasn’t had no problems or anything. This situation right here’s the only thing we’ve had in our family.”
Archie’s email also included a mugshot of Charles Waugh, as well as links to informational sites about how to block Twitter and Facebook users.
“We strongly recommend that you take the steps (see links below) to block his access to your Twitter and Facebook accounts,” Archie said in the email. “In addition, we’ve enclosed a photograph and a link to a news article regarding this individual. As a reminder, the individuals who you associate with on social networking sites (i.e., Twitter, Facebook) can have negative implications on your reputation and the university. Please remember to choose your ‘social media friends’ carefully!”
Archie, along with OSU athletic director Gene Smith, did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request to comment.