Ohio State has suspended starting running back Carlos Hyde indefinitely after the senior was named as a person of interest in a weekend assault case against a female in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Though an earlier report in The Columbus Dispatchsaid Hyde was dismissed from the program, Ohio State announced that Hyde would be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
"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," coach Urban Meyer said in a statement. "There are also expectations with regards to behavior. I expect our players to conduct themselves responsibly and appropriately and they will be held accountable for their actions."
OSU and coach Urban Meyer are also looking into an incident involving junior cornerback Bradley Roby, who was arrested early Sunday morning in Bloomington, Ind., on charges of battery resulting in bodily injuries, according to the Dispatch. Roby will not be allowed to attend this week's Big Ten media days in Chicago, Ohio State announced. He was slated to be one of three players to attend the events along with Meyer.
"Swift, effective and fair discipline is the standard for our entire athletic program," OSU athletic director Gene Smith said. "I applaud Coach Meyer for his immediate actions."
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Hyde rushed for 970 yards in 2012, the Buckeyes' first season under Meyer and his staff, and Meyer had discussed the possibility of Hyde rushing for 1,000 yards as a senior. Despite his success at Utah, Florida and Ohio State, Meyer has never had a 1,000-yard running back.
Losing Hyde robs OSU of its top traditional back; he and junior quarterback Braxton Miller combined for 2,241 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns a season ago. With Hyde gone, the Buckeyes will turn to a younger committee of largely unproven backs, like senior Jordan Hall, junior Rod Smith and sophomore Bri'onte Dunn. February's recruiting class included a pair of four-star running backs.
Although OSU could cobble together a running game behind Miller and three or four backs, losing a player of Roby's caliber for any extended period of time would cripple the Buckeyes' hopes for an undefeated season. Roby, a likely All-American, opted to return to Columbus for his junior season rather than enter the NFL draft.
Ohio State also announced that tight end Marcus Baugh has been suspended for the season opener, against Buffalo, and will not receive any financial aid during the summer following an arrest for underage possession of alcohol and possession fake identification. The Buckeyes dismissed defensive lineman Tim Gardner from the program following an arrest this weekend on charges of obstructing official police business.
Meyer's past disciplinary issues have become a talking point after a former player, New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, was arrested on murder charges on June 26. According to a report in The New York Times, 41 of the 121 players on Florida's 2008 roster have been arrested, either in college or afterward.
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