Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer normally gives his players what they deserve when it comes to something they’ve done wrong whether it’s on the field or off, during the season or not.
Running back Carlos Hyde was suspended for three games at the beginning of the season for an altercation he was involved in during the offseason. Cornerback Bradley Roby faced a one-game suspension in the Buckeyes’ season opener when he was arrested at a bar over the summer. Roby could’ve faced a longer suspension if a video proving his innocence hadn’t surfaced. Meyer stuck to the one-game suspension for Roby just because he was there and shouldn’t have been.
That’s why his decision not to suspend guard Marcus Hall or running back Dontre Wilson after an on-field fight with the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday is so surprising. Both Hall and Wilson were ejected from the game for their actions in the fight, but Hall took it a bit further when he flashed an obscene gesture to Michigan fans as he walked into the tunnel and off the field.
When defending this decision, Meyer referenced a rule that called for players involved in fights to serve a one-game suspension. He said that he would not add a suspension of his own because they had already served their punishment by missing the rest of the Michigan game due to ejection. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith supports Meyer’s decision not to suspend Hall and Wilson and said he would support any decision handed down by the Big Ten as well.
Surprisingly, the Big Ten did not hand down any suspensions either. The conference only issued a public reprimand for the players involved in the fight.
There is no excuse for fighting, but it seems as if both Meyer and the Big Ten took into consideration how big of a rivalry it is between Ohio State and Michigan. This is not the first time a fight has broken out between players from these two teams over the years, and it will surely not be the last. Emotions are high and so is the hatred for one another.
Hall has already apologized for his involvement in the fight and his actions after he was ejected, saying he let his emotions get the best of him.
Both Hall and Wilson will be available to play for the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship game against the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday.