Ohio State Football and Head Coach Urban Meyer cannot catch a break these days. The last thing Meyer and the program want to be dealing with in late July is a player getting arrested. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, the program now faces a double-dose of issues.
Senior leader and starting RB Carlos Hyde has been suspended from all team activities pending the outcome of student code of conduct and also criminal investigations, according to ESPN.
Hyde is a “person of interest” in a police investigation of a Saturday morning incident at Sugar Bar 2 on S. Front Street in downtown Columbus. What is the incident, you might ask? Assault…of a female. In the press release, Meyer had the following to say:
“I have a clear set of core values in place that members of this football program are constantly reminded of and are expected to honor. There are also expectations with regard to behavior. I expect our players to conduct themselves responsibly and appropriately and they will be held accountable for their actions.”
In addition to Hyde, Meyer also has to deal with the arrest of junior DB Bradley Roby. Roby was arrested (of all places) in Bloomington, Indiana. Why on earth was the Georgia native in Bloomington? Who knows. What we do know is Roby is charged with “Battery resulting in bodily injury,” a Class A Misdemeanor.
Roby allegedly was kicked out of a bar for trying to start a fight with another patron. When he was denied re-entry to the bar, he struck a bouncer in the chest and was wrestled to the ground. That’s when the fun started. Roby was booked at 2:40 a.m., adding legitimacy to the old adage “nothing good happens after 2 a.m.”
Two freshman also faced disciplinary action from Meyer, in addition to Hyde and Roby. DL Tim Gardner was removed from the team after being charged with obstruction of official business by the Columbus Police on Saturday. TE Marcus Baugh is unable to participate in team activities and will sit out the team’s first game. Baugh was arrested last weekend for underage possession of alcohol and fake identification.
Now to answer the question: what does this mean for the 2013-2014 season?
We won’t know how the loss of the freshman will impact the season, but there’s no question that the possible loss of Hyde for the entire season is the biggest detriment to the team. It’s unclear how long Roby will be suspended. However, it’s clear as day that Meyer has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to player misconduct, especially towards women. Seeing as this wasn’t Meyer’s first time dealing with this issue, you have to wonder what Hyde was thinking. Regardless if he did assault that poor girl, he should have never put himself in that position. Now he, and the Buckeyes, have to face the consequences.
Hyde was the Buckeye’s leading back last season, rushing for 970 yards. The running combination of Hyde and Heisman-hopeful QB Braxton Miller was literally unstoppable last season. The pair combined for 2,241 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns in last year’s undefeated, unblemished 12-0 season. Now, the Buckeyes may have to do without their leading power back, and will (pun intended) hand the ball off to the inexperienced trio of senior Jordan Hall, junior Rod Smith and sophomore Bri’onte Dunn.
If the backup Buckeye backfield can’t shoulder the load, the pressure for another great season from Miller increases astronomically. On the other side of the ball, the Buckeye defense is facing enough pressure and scrutiny as is.
The Buckeyes have lost several key members of the 2012 defense, such as CB Travis Howard, S Orhian Johnson, LB Etienne Sabino, DE/LB John Simon, and of course the dominant DT Jonathan Hankins. Roby was set to play a major role in the crippled secondary, with most analysts and writers picking him as a preseason All-American. It’s said that Meyer is still thinking about how to handle the Roby situation, but any amount of time without the junior defensive back could be detrimental to the Buckeye defense.
As fans, you can only hope that Meyer’s toughness on these players will prevent future black eye’s for the Buckeye program.
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