Friday, April 20, 2018
Sports

Meyer suspends 2 Buckeye starters

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Hours after it was ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press preseason media poll, Ohio State suspended two more of its top players.

Cornerback Bradley Roby and running back Rod Smith will sit out the Aug. 31 opener against Buffalo, coach Urban Meyer said Saturday.

That makes three starters who have been disciplined this summer, including running back and leading scorer Carlos Hyde, and will miss at least the first game.

Roby was punished because of his arrest in July on misdemeanor charges of assaulting a bar bouncer in Indiana.

"I don't think it's done yet," Meyer said of the case against Roby, who has been offered entrance into a pretrial diversion program. "He'll be suspended one game just because there's an issue."

Smith, a senior, was suspended because of an undisclosed violation of team rules last winter.

"He'll be a valuable member of this team once he gets back," Meyer said. "It's his last call. It's the 11th hour for Rod Smith, so he needs to perform."

Meyer said Smith was in line to start after Hyde was suspended for the first three games after being accused of assaulting a woman. Hyde wasn't charged.

Meyer has been criticized for what some perceive as lax discipline during his time as the coach at Florida from 2005-10. One of his best players with the Gators, Aaron Hernandez, was arrested on murder charges this summer.

Meyer was asked if the latest suspensions were meant to send a message. "There's two ways (to punish them): take their (scholarship) money or take their playing time," he said.

Manziel scrimmages: Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel scrimmaged in preparation for the Aug. 31 opener, taking the majority of the snaps and throwing two touchdowns. The sophomore is under NCAA and A&M scrutiny about whether he accepted pay from brokers for autographing memorabilia.

Meanwhile, Ricky Williams, the 1998 Heisman winner at Texas who had his share of off-the-field problems in the NFL, weighed in on Manziel's troubles. "If the media did their research on who this kid was, no one would be surprised," said Williams, now an assistant at Division I-AA Incarnate Word in San Antonio. "It's unfortunate, it's not his fault. It's who he's always been. Just because you won a trophy doesn't mean you're going to change your behavior. But he should have known that, that once you're a big name, you're not going to be able to get away with all the stuff you got away with before."

Auburn: Dual-threat junior college transfer Nick Marshall emerged from a four-man battle to win the starting quarterback job for the opener, coach Gus Malzahn said. … Safety Demetruce McNeal, last year's second-leading tackler, was dismissed from the squad after his arrest on a marijuana possession charge.

Notre Dame: Linebacker Danny Spond announced his playing days are over because of an unspecified medical issue, coach Brian Kelly said. Spond had a scare last preseason when he had a headache so severe doctors were concerned he might have had a stroke.

South Carolina: Coach Steve Spurrier wasn't happy with his offense, after All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney had two sacks and was virtually unblockable in a workout. "Hopefully, he's that good, but I've seen other people block him," Spurrier said.

Vanderbilt: No. 2 returning receiver Chris Boyd turned himself in after being indicted on charges he was an accomplice after the rape of an unconscious student, Nashville police said. He is accused of giving another defendant advice on how to cover up the crime. Boyd was suspended from the team pending review.

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