COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State football team is still more than a week away from the start of fall camp, but the 2013 Buckeyes took a significant blow on Monday when it was announced that running back Carlos Hyde has been suspended indefinitely pending the outcome of a student code of conduct and criminal investigation. Hyde has been named by Columbus police as a person of interest in an investigation into an assault that occurred in Columbus on Saturday morning.
"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," Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said. "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."
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio who spent his high school career at Naples high school in Florida, Hyde was expected to be a major part of the OSU offense in his senior season following a 2012 campaign that saw him rush for 970 yards and 16 touchdowns. A second-team All-Big Ten selection, Hyde combined with quarterback Braxton Miller to give the Buckeyes the nation's 10th ranked rushing offense as OSU compiled a perfect 12-0 record in Meyer's first season in Columbus.
After seeing inconsistent playing time in the first half of his college career, the former four-star prospect's emergence was viewed by many as a turnaround for a player who once threatened to transfer in 2011, via his Twitter account. Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton credited a change in Hyde's behavior for his productive junior season.
"Carlos matured and became more than just about Carlos. That was the difference in his approach to the football field last year," Drayton said. "He cared more about his team, he became more of a teammate, that's definitely the direct reason why he had the success that he had last year."
Hyde admitted this offseason to having thoughts of entering last April's NFL Draft, but ultimately opted to return to Columbus for a senior season that now appears in jeopardy. In the past two weeks, he had been named to preseason watch lists for both the Maxwell and Doak Walker Awards.
With Hyde's suspension, Meyer and his staff are left with four active running backs remaining on scholarship in Rod Smith, Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball, and Ezekiel Elliott. Senior Jordan Hall has also spent time playing running back during his college career, but spent this past offseason with the Buckeyes receivers.
In addition to Hyde, the Ohio State coaching staff announced discipline for three other players on Monday.
Cornerback Bradley Roby will not attend Big Ten media days this week and could face further discipline after he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery in Bloomington, Ind. over the weekend. Freshman tight end Marcus Baugh had his scholarship revoked, has been removed from team activities, and has been suspended for the Buckeyes' opener against Buffalo after he was charged with underage possession of alcohol and possession of a false identification last weekend. Freshman offensive lineman Timothy Gardner was sent home and will not be a part of the 2013 Ohio State roster after being charged with obstruction of official business on Saturday night.
"Swift, effective and fair discipline is the standard for our entire athletics program," Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith said. "I applaud Coach Meyer for his immediate actions."