It’s been a whirlwind of controversy surrounding the Ohio State Buckeyes, starting running back Carlos Hyde and head coach Urban Meyer for the better part of about the last two weeks.
First there were the reports that Hyde was involved in the physical assault of a female which, we would ultimately come to find out, were reportedly untrue according to video surveillance evidence. Although the incident was believed to have never happened, this still brought upon backlash toward Meyer and the way he disciplines his programs, dating all the way back to his days as the Florida Gators head man.
Earlier today, it was reported that the alleged victim in the case would indeed not file charges against the star running back, however that still doesn’t mean that Hyde is getting off completely scott-free.
According to ESPN’s Joe Schad, Hyde will miss the first three games of the 2013 season.
Ohio State: Carlos Hyde will be suspended for at least the first three games of the 2013 season
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 31, 2013
Now you can interpret this however you please. Because of the fact that Hyde was not charged with anything, this decision will indeed come under some scrutiny. Some people will deem this an unfair punishment because of that, while others will cite the newly-found iron fist that Meyer is ruling his program with as it pertains to no-tolerance for off-the-field actions.
Nonetheless, Hyde will be out for the first three games which may not be a crushing blow–well, except for that third contest out on the West Coast.
The Buckeyes open up with two out-of-conference games with Buffalo and San Diego State, which should be easily handled by Heisman-hopeful QB Braxton Miller and the rest of the Ohio State offense, including Hyde’s probable replacements, Rod Smith and Bri’onte Dunn.
But that third trip to Berkeley for the showdown with the Cal Golden Bears will be the test of how valuable Hyde is to this offense. This is the same Cal team that had Ohio State on the ropes last year in Columbus, and new head coach Sonny Dykes will be looking to make his mark on the program in this game.
Ohio State’s national title hopes are undoubtedly still intact. However, to get there, they’re going to have to come out of California victorious–without their number one running back leading the way.
Jack is a College Football Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS