Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer did not waste much time responding to recently filed police reports involving members of the team. Four separate, unrelated incidents involving four players resulted in disciplinary action Monday, an act that sparked a reaction in some students.
After learning that starting senior running back Carlos Hyde was listed as a “person of interest” in the reported assault of a woman at a Columbus bar Saturday, Meyer suspended him from all team activities pending the outcome of both the student code of conduct and criminal investigations.
Starting redshirt junior cornerback Bradley Roby, who was scheduled to represent OSU at Big Ten Media Days later this week, will no longer be making the trip to Chicago. Roby was arrested Sunday in Bloomington, Ind. and charged with misdemeanor battery, according to a police report.
A pair of incoming freshmen, defensive lineman Tim Gardner and tight end Marcus Baugh, were also disciplined by Meyer. Gardner was sent home and removed from the team for the 2013 season and Baugh was suspended from all football team activities as well as the team’s season opener against Buffalo on Aug. 31.
Some OSU students said they think Meyer sprang to react too quickly.
“In my opinion, he spoke a little too soon because you never know especially since it happened on the weekend,” said Carly Weintraub, a third-year in early childhood education. “If I were in his shoes, I probably would have waited until I got the full story because you never know what happens on the weekends.”
Jakob Schumann, a fourth-year in civil engineering, disagreed. He said he agreed with Meyer’s fast action.
“I’m all for it,” Schumann said. “The media is already having a field day with it, so I think you have to be proactive and take action right away.”
Weintraub said she was disappointed after hearing about the allegations against Hyde and Roby.
“I think it’s kind of sad to be honest because in my opinion, Ohio State was doing so great,” she said. “On top of the world, 12-0, and now we have all this bad publicity.”
Meyer said he has “a clear set of core values in place” that those inside the program are meant to live by, according to the press release.
Schumann said because of these values, acting quickly in response to the police reports was the right thing to do, as things could change depending on if Hyde is charged.
“With Hyde, you would think you have to kick him off the team, but he’s innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “Once he’s charged, you would have to kick him off the team, but for right now, this is the right move and you just reassess once you know more.
Weintraub said she thinks OSU fans are frustrated after hearing of the suspensions because the team has been expected to perform well this season.
“There are two bad stories in one day when we should just be focusing on winning and getting to the Rose Bowl,” she said. “I know a lot of people who are already planning on going on that trip and we can’t have any bad publicity or let anything get in the way.”
Schumann said he thinks the potential to lose Roby for the season will hurt the Buckeyes more than if they lost Hyde.
“I think they have enough running backs that they’re going to be all right,” Schumann said. “Roby is a big loss. He is the best defensive player on the team, and he’s a leader.”