CHICAGO — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said he was "disappointed" and "furious" after the program was rocked by turmoil last weekend.
But he and his players in Chicago for Big Ten media day today insisted the wave of incidents represented just one bad weekend — not a symbol of a fractured team.
"It's been a great year," Meyer said. "A tough couple of days. But I'm going to focus on the positives, positives created by tremendous momentum from last year's team to an excellent recruiting class, a positive spring practice."
Meyer faced a veritable interrogation at the annual media event, facing questions on everything from his record on player discipline at Florida to the amount of responsibility a coach bears for the actions of his players to the Buckeyes' troubled past week.
In the past 10 days, three players have been arrested — freshman tight end Marcus Baugh (underage drinking, false ID), cornerback Bradley Roby (battery) and freshman lineman Tim Gardner (obstruction of official business — while running back Carlos Hyde was named a person of interest in an assault of a woman.
Roby is awaiting punishment, Baugh was suspended from team activities through the Buckeyes' opener against Buffalo, and Gardner was dismissed from the team. Meyer said he has no new information on Hyde.
"It was very tough," Meyer said of the legal trouble. "We had two freshmen that have been with us just over three weeks make two stupid decisions that were dealt with very firmly. One's been sent home. One lost his scholarship. It drives you insane that you have to deal with that nonsense. ... My concern is just I don't want to disrupt this team. And I talk to them all the time about it. We have an incredible amount of resources and time spent educating players how to do the right thing at the right time. And when a mistake happens or something happened, you have to react and get it done. So I'm disappointed. I think furious might be the word that would best describe when I first got the phone call [last weekend], because, for 12 months it's been really, really good."
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