The Buckeyes suffered two more blows to their roster today, as Urban Meyer handed out suspensions to corner Bradley Roby and running back Rod Smith for separate incidents. Both players will sit in the season opener against Buffalo on August 31.
Roby was suspended for being arrested on misdemeanor assault charges last month, and while he has the potential to have the case entirely dropped, Meyer says that Roby will sit out regardless and could still face a larger suspension. “I don’t think it’s done yet,” said Meyer.
If Roby does see his suspension run into the in-conference schedule, then the Buckeyes could find themselves in a tough spot on defense.
Smith will sit in the opener against Buffalo due to breaking an undisclosed team rule last winter. Unfortunately, that puts Ohio State in a position where they’ll be starting their third-string running back, redshirt senior Jordan Hall, which is a shame since Smith had been performing so well in camp this summer. “He’s doing very good. He’ll be a valuable member of this team once he gets back, but he’s practicing at a very, very high level,” Meyer said. “He needs to perform.”
The Buckeyes should still fare well in the game against Buffalo, and Smith will be back to fill in for the also-suspended Carlos Hyde in the following weeks, but it’s still troubling to see so many players (Roby, Smith, starting running back Carlos Hyde and (now former) corner Najee Murphy)
As I mentioned in a previous article, it’s good to see Urban Meyer setting a precedent by handing out these suspensions. After receiving criticism for his integrity and lack of disciplinary action in recent months in light of the Aaron Hernandez murder case, he’s certainly shown that he’s not afraid to tag a high-profile/high-talent player with discipline. While it’ll certainly hurt the Buckeyes on the field, hopefully it’ll help with improving the atmosphere surrounding Ohio State football.