In the past week four players for the Ohio State University football program have been disciplined by coach Urban Meyer, all four involved in separate legal problems. “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 issued by Ohio State late on Monday afternoon. “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,” he added.
Among the penalized players is unbeaten leading-scorer Carlos Hyde, suspended after an alleged assault against a woman at a down town Columbus bar this past weekend. Bradley Roby, star cornerback, was arrested in Bloomington, Ind., early Sunday morning for an altercation with a security guard at a bar. Roby will no longer be representing the Ohio State Buckeyes at the Big Ten media days where he was initially selected to speak. Further investigation of Roby’s actions may cause more repercussions from Meyer. Freshman recruit Marcus Baugh has also been suspended from all team activities and will be sitting out the Buckeyes first game of the season against Buffalo after his arrest for underage possession of alcohol and fake identification. Lastly, Tim Gardner, another freshman prospect, was sent back home to Indianapolis and will not be a part of the upcoming season after being arrested Saturday night by Columbus police with obstruction of official business. Coach Meyer has been praised for his actions by Ohio State’s athletic director Gene Smith and supporters.
Incidents like these Buckeye football players as well as others University’s athletics that have ended up as headlines spark critical questions. Is there more that respected universities, their athletic organizations and the conferences can do? Do athletes get priority treatment giving the sense of being above the law? Could implementing a stricter code of conduct and mentoring prevent these cases? Ohio State football alumni Rodney Bailey states, “There are step that can be taken and are needed.” The former Buckeye turned NFL Super Bowl champion and now Groveport Madison High School football coach witnessed firsthand the indiscretions of college and professional athletes. “Being an influence on players now shines a new light” he adds, “shaping and impacting a young individual can change the course of lives either moving onto the next level of a sport or career.”