Urban Meyer has suspended top rusher Carlos Hyde and barred Bradley Roby from Big Ten Media Days
By ZAC JACKSONFS Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Carlos Hyde has been suspended from Ohio State's football team, and Bradley Roby is facing discipline following weekend incidents, the school announced on Monday.
This is not the start to a season of great anticipation and high expectations that head coach Urban Meyer or anyone associated with the Ohio State program was hoping for.
Hyde has been named a person of interest in an assault on a woman in a downtown Columbus bar in a late-night/early-morning incident. Roby was arrested in Bloomington, Ind., early Sunday morning and is facing charges of battery resulting in bodily injury.
Hyde, a 6-foot, 242-pound senior from Naples, Fla., has not been charged, but his suspension speaks to the seriousness of the accusation. Hyde had a breakout season in 2012, establishing himself as Ohio State's top running back with 970 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.
“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,” Meyer said in a statement. “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.”
“Swift, effective and fair discipline is the standard for our entire athletics program,” Director of Athletics Gene Smith said in a statement. “I applaud Coach Meyer for his immediate actions.”
Buckeyes open camp on the first weekend of August and open the season Aug. 31 vs. Buffalo.
Meyer also announced that Roby will not attend Big Ten Media Days this week and the school says Roby could face additional discipline as more information becomes available.
Roby, a 5-11, 192-pound redshirt junior from Suwanee, Ga., is arguably the Buckeyes' second-best player and certainly one of the most important. He's a returning All-Big Ten pick, Ohio State's most season and talented cornerback and has NFL first-round pick talent. He decided to return to school for a fourth year last winter, putting the NFL on hold.
The police report from Bloomington indicates Roby was removed from a bar, re-entered and struck a security officer at around 2:40 a.m Sunday.
Meyer also took additional action against two incoming freshmen for separate incidents over the past week. Marcus Baugh (Riverside, Calif.) will sit out the first game of the season and has been removed from all team activities for underage possession of alcohol. Tim Gardner (Indianapolis) has been sent home for the entire 2013 season after being charged with obstruction of official police business following an incident that occurred Saturday night.
Ohio State is deep at running back, but short on experience. Quarterback Braxton Miller is the most dangerous running option, and junior Rod Smith got 32 carries last season, up from 29 in 2011. Sophomores Warren Ball and Brionte Dunn are currently on the depth chart behind Smith, and senior Jordan Hall returns from an injury-related redshirt last season. There are -- and have been previous to Hyde's dismissal -- high expectations surrounding incoming freshmen Dontre Wilson, Ezekiel Elliot and Jalin Marshall.
More pressing for Meyer now than how players might fit in a month or two months is how to address what happened with Hyde and Roby -- and, eventually, how best to discipline Roby. According to multiple reports Meyer held a full-squad meeting Monday at 7 a.m.
At his hometown football camp on July 1, Meyer talked of his excitement for getting the players to camp and being able to coach them for the first time since spring football in August.
"Coaches' biggest nightmares are when they're not around," he said.
Meyer dismissed then-senior linebacker Storm Klein last summer after Klein was accused of making physical contact with a former girlfriend but Klein was later reinstated after being cleared of charges.