Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Carlos Hyde: A Victim of OSU's Preemptive Strike?

In the latest case of a college program jumping the gun, Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde was suspended from the program because he was named a person of interest in an alleged assault. Despite the fact Hyde was not named in the police report or formally arrested, his time at Ohio State hung in limbo.

Yet as this report by Yahoo's Charles Robinson claims, Hyde may not be there for long. A source claims that video proves Hyde did not assault the woman in question. Suddenly, my concerns about his suspension in advance of any proof of guilt were realized.

Forget for a minute that his coach is Urban Meyer, who's been known for two things: Winning and players being arrested often. Forget that Meyer is trying to prove himself a disciplinarian in the wake of his Florida resume and former Gator Aaron Hernandez being tried for murder.

Many schools are guilty of punishing players for merely being near trouble instead of actually committing trouble. It's a sign of coaching being tough on crime and being a dictator when his "wayward players" don't represent the university right. Being arrested is usually followed by discipline regardless of the circumstances of said arrest.

But what about here with Hyde? He may not be guilty of anything except a false accusation and being near the woman in question. He actually conducted himself in a manner befitting his status as a high-profile player if this report is confirmed.

Preemptive strikes are never a good thing. When it comes to athletes being arrested or merely investigated, why do we have to run them through the mud before we find all the info? Rarely do we put that same effort when they are exonerated or the arrest is something minor.

Fans and media only see arrest and run with that. But when somebody is being investigated, I wouldn't be so quick to judge them until the police do their homework. And even then, we know that police reports aren't always proof of guilt.

Being arrested may be a black eye but I'd rather wait before I take another swing to see if it's warranted or just a brush with the law that was really nothing. I'd really love for more coaches to exercise patience because even though it's their program, they have a right to be fair with their investment in these young men.

In Urban Meyer's case, as much as he wants to prove himself a disciplinarian, we should demand he and his fellow coaches show sound judgment instead of just swift judgment.

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