Ohio State LB K'Vaughan Pope Dismissed From Team After Sideline Outburst vs. Akron

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 26, 2021

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker K'Vaughan Pope #36 being escorted out of the game by Ohio State Buckeyes Director Of Player Development C.J. Barnett during the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Akron Zips at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on September 25, 2021. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In a predictable move, the Ohio State Buckeyes dismissed linebacker K'Vaughan Pope following an in-game outburst during Saturday's win over Akron.

Joey Kaufman of the Columbus Dispatch reported head coach Ryan Day released a statement Sunday that said Pope can retain his scholarship and still use student-athlete support services but will no longer take the field for the football team.

As Kaufman reported Saturday, the linebacker engaged in "a heated exchange with coaches on the sideline" when he wasn't put into the game. He was then escorted to the locker room and said "f-- ohio state" in a since-deleted tweet.

Pope apologized for the incident and said, "I let my emotions get the best of me."

K’Vaughan Pope @VonP04

Last night I let my emotions get the best of me. For that I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Buckeye Nation. I made a mistake and know that I need to be better and do better. I’m going to take this time to reflect and work on my mental well-being.

While the Buckeyes didn't need the now-dismissed linebacker in the 59-7 win over Akron, this is a blow to the depth of a position group that was already in something of a precarious situation.

Linebacker Dallas Gant entered the transfer portal during the week leading up to the matchup with the Zips, per Kevin Harrish of Eleven Warriors, and the unit as a whole struggled mightily in a loss to Oregon.

It has reached a point where former backup running back Steele Chambers is now one of the key linebackers on the team, although he was impressive in Saturday's win while making five tackles and breaking up a pass.

Pope arrived at Ohio State as a 4-star prospect in the 2018 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings but never lived up to the expectations that come with such a designation.

He had one tackle as a freshman, 13 as a sophomore, two as a junior and three this season prior to his dismissal. While the Buckeyes as a team found plenty of success during that stretch with three Big Ten titles in three years and two College Football Playoff appearances, he wasn't much of a reason for it.