Carlos Hyde has cleared one hurdle in his hope of continuing his career with the Ohio State football team. The senior running back still has a price to pay for his actions.
The police investigation into Hyde’s altercation with a woman at a downtown Columbus bar on July 20 was dropped because the alleged victim decided not to pursue charges, according to Sgt. Rich Weiner, the public information officer for the Columbus Police.
That means Hyde, who was originally suspended indefinitely, will remain a Buckeye. However, late Tuesday evening, Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer announced Hyde will be suspended at least the first three games of the season.
“Carlos Hyde will be suspended for at least the first three games of the 2013 season for conduct not representative of this football program or this university,” said Meyer in a short statement released by the OSU athletic department. “He will be required to fulfill additional obligations before he is allowed to play in a game.”
Columbus police released the bar’s surveillance video of the incident, which is posted online at DaytonDailyNews.com. Although it’s not completely clear what happens because of the poor quality of the five-minute tape, Hyde appears to be talking at close range to a female and is struck in the face. He then responds by either pushing or slightly hitting her with an open hand and walking away.
Hyde didn’t appear to be the aggressor, and Weiner took issue with how the incident has been portrayed in the media and elsewhere — including one report that said the player punched the woman and knocked her unconscious.
“Not even close,” Weiner said. “She hit him, and he hit her. No, it was not (a punch). The video will speak for itself.
“Once you watch the tape, I want everyone to go back and look at all the previous reports and tell me how far off they really were. I’ve never seen information in a case more recklessly reported on than this, and I’ve been PIO for police for over six years now.
“This was by far the worst reporting I’ve seen, both in social media and national and local. That’s my two cents.”
The 6-foot-2, 242-pound Hyde, who was named “a person of interest” in the case, rushed for 970 yards and scored 17 touchdowns in 10 games last season to help the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record. He was selected to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation’s top running back.
He was one of two high-profile Buckeyes to end up with legal troubles that weekend. All-American cornerback Bradley Roby was arrested for misdemeanor assault in Bloomington, Ind.
Police said Roby was visiting friends at a bar and was escorted out after starting a fight. When he wasn’t allowed to return inside to find his friends, he took a punch at a security guard. The case is still under investigation.
At the Big Ten media event in Chicago last week, Meyer was asked about the team sanctions Roby could be facing.
“I imagine there will be some discipline involved. I imagine there will be a suspension involved. And he’ll be on a very short leash,” Meyer said.