CHICAGO -- Urban Meyer was hailed as a savior when he agreed to take over Ohio State in the wake of the tattoo scandal that sullied the program. That support became even more frenzied when he coached the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record in his first season.
Like Meyer said Wednesday at the Big Ten media days, it's been a great year -- right up until last weekend.
Running back Carlos Hyde, star cornerback Bradley Roby and two freshmen were disciplined by the school after a run of legal problems that brought to mind the end of Jim Tressel's time in Columbus, and once again raised questions about Meyer and how he disciplines his players.
"When a mistake happens or something happened, you have to react and get it done," Meyer said. "So I'm disappointed. I think furious might be the word that would best describe when I first got the phone call, because, like I said, for 12 months it's been really, really good."
Hyde, who had a team-high 17 touchdowns last season, was suspended indefinitely after he was named a person of interest in an investigation into an alleged assault of a woman at a downtown Columbus bar early Saturday morning. Roby was one of the players selected to represent Ohio State at the kickoff event in Chicago, but he was pulled after he was arrested in Bloomington, Ind., and accused of misdemeanor battery.
Tight end Marcus Baugh also was suspended from all team activities, and Meyer decided to send defensive lineman Tim Gardner back home to Indianapolis. Baugh was arrested last weekend for underage possession of alcohol and possessing a fake identification, and Gardner was charged Saturday night by Columbus police with obstruction of official business.
The off-the-field problems come with Meyer facing questions about his relationship with Aaron Hernandez while the tight end played for him at Florida. Hernandez has been arrested and charged with murder in Massachusetts.