Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde hasn’t been dismissed from the team, as media outlets were reporting early Monday. But the star running back, who piled up nearly 1,000 yards in 10 games last year, still faces an uncertain future with the Buckeyes.
The senior from Naples, Fla., was named as “a person of interest” in a police report involving an assault on a 19-year-old female in a Columbus bar early Saturday morning. Since no charges have been filed, OSU coach Urban Meyer suspended the player pending the outcome of the investigation.
It’s the same scenario starting linebacker Storm Klein put himself in last year over a domestic assault complaint. Meyer has a zero-tolerance policy on violence against women, and Klein was dismissed from the team, only to be reinstated two games into the season when the charges were reduced.
Since Hyde gives OSU’s offense a physical element to complement its speed features, losing him would be a blow. And his scrape with the law wasn’t the only one Meyer had to deal with over the weekend.
All-American cornerback Bradley Roby also was arrested for misdemeanor battery for an incident in a bar in Bloomington, Ind. According to a press release from Bloomington police, Roby started a fight, was escorted out and then punched a security guard after being stopped as he tried to re-enter the establishment.
Meyer scrapped plans to take Roby to the Big Ten media kickoff in Chicago on Wednesday and Thursday and said the player could face disciplinary action as more information comes to light.
Meyer also announced sanctions against a pair of freshmen. Tight end Marcus Baugh was charged with underage possession of alcohol and having a fake ID, and defensive lineman Tim Gardner was charged with obstructing official police business.
Gardner was sent home and will miss the 2013 season, while Baugh was taken off scholarship for the summer and will sit out the Aug. 31 opener against Buffalo.
“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.”
In another statement, Athletic Director Gene Smith said: “Swift, effective and fair discipline is the standard for our entire athletics program. I applaud Coach Meyer for his immediate actions.”
The 6-foot, 242-pound Hyde rushed for 970 yards last season (despite missing two games with an ankle injury) and racked up 146 yards on 26 carries against Michigan. The Buckeyes called his number repeatedly to run out the clock in a six-point win over the Wolverines and a one-point victory at Michigan State.
If the second-team All-Big Ten pick is lost for any length of time, junior Rod Smith (6-3, 238), who averaged 6.7 yards per carry in limited duty, and sophomore Bri’onte Dunn (6-0, 222), who had a 5.3 average, would likely take over. Redshirt freshman Warren Ball (6-1, 222) also could challenge for playing time, and the Buckeyes landed a pair of big-time recruits in the backfield, although neither is considered the type to grind out tough yardage.
Roby, a fourth-year junior from Suwanee, Ga., passed up a chance to turn pro and was considered one of the Buckeyes’ leaders, which is why he was picked to represent the team in Chicago. Safety Christian Bryant will join quarterback Braxton Miller and tackle Jack Mewhort at the event instead.