The "wait-and-see" approach to college football discipline is not new. We have seen it at all over the nation as players are held in limbo, waiting for details to develop and information to become more clear. The situation at Ohio State (Carlos Hyde specifically) is a case that warrants this approach more than any other.
Hyde was suspended Monday, after being named as a person of interest in an assault on a female bar patron, as ESPN reported. It seemed—as Hyde was lumped with corner Bradley Roby's removal from Big Ten media days, Marcus Baugh's one-game suspension and Tim Gardner's dismissal—that Urban Meyer's discipline issues were rearing their ugly head, again.
At least it fit the narrative that many wanted to push.
Four unrelated instances would of course prove that Meyer's teams were, somehow, out of control—especially when people could lump them in with stories of what happened at Florida and the coach not instantly dismissing Hyde.
Then, Yahoo!'s Charles Robinson broke the news that Hyde, despite being a person of interest, might have video evidence that exonerates the running back. Here is Robinson, one of college football's most respected investigative media members, from his Yahoo! report:
Charges are not expected to be filed against Hyde after video from Sugar Bar 2 shows he didn't appear to make contact with an alleged victim who claimed to have been assaulted early Saturday morning, a source who spoke to Yahoo! Sports on the condition of anonymity said. The source said video shows Hyde speaking in the direction of the alleged victim just prior to her punching him in the head. The video then shows Hyde leaving the area and reaching back in the woman's direction in a non-confrontational manner, the source said.
Big difference from the reports and rumors, which, according to Eleven Warriors writer Ramzy Nasrallah, were coming in fast and furious over the weekend.
"I was there - he knocked her out cold." <--- text from half a dozen messages we received Sunday about Carlos Hyde. We ran nothing.— Ramzy Nasrallah (@ramzy) July 24, 2013
Wait and see was the name of the game for Eleven Warriors, and more importantly for Urban Meyer, who did not make the same leap that so many others were quite willing to.
As the Hyde situation continues to evolve, being right will prove to be a lot better than being first. Something that, whether folks agree with or not, is certainly the smart play by Urban Meyer.
Not just because Hyde can help his football team, but because dismissing a player and tarnishing his good standing based upon a rumor is never the right thing to do.
Update 7/25/2013 6:37am:
Mindy Drayer of NBC 4 in Columbus, Ohio reportedly watched the video, thanks to a source, and gave her thoughts on what she viewed (h/t Tony Gerdeman). Her report, which can be viewed here at the NBC 4 site, details Hyde striking the woman with an open hand after a verbal altercation and the woman swinging at him as he walked away. Drayer is unclear as to whether the woman connects with Hyde, but the running back turns around and apparently slaps her.
As with both the original news, and the Robinson report, there is still information coming down. Thus, Meyer and the Buckeyes are certainly in "wait and see" mode.