Apparently, Urban Meyer wants his team to know that he means business and that any of the tomfoolery that may have gone on before he arrived will not be tolerated.
And there's no better way to drive that point home than to take away scholarships from tight end Jake Stoneburner and offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, two suspended players who were considered leaders of the team.
Ohio State announced Friday that Stoneburner and Mewhort have lost their scholarships for the summer after pleading guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct stemming from an incident on June 2. The two players were originally charged with obstructing official business after they were caught urinating on the side of a building and initially ran when the police tried to approach them.
The loss of scholarship means both players will have top pay their way through summer school. They are still suspended from the team, but will have a chance to earn their scholarships and return to football in the fall.
"We are disappointed with the decisions made recently by two of our football players," Meyer said in the statement Friday. "Jake Stoneburner and Jack Mewhort will each be removed from athletic scholarship beginning with the summer term, and they will continue to be suspended from team activities until stipulations are successfully met. They will have an opportunity to return to the team in good standing following the summer session."
The two players will be allowed to work out at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, but they will not be allowed to work out with any of their teammates, which might be why they were listed on the "Maize" depth chart in the team room. Of course, the players could work out with other players on their own time away from the facility. Stoneburner is one of the team's main offensive weapons and keeping a report with quarterback Braxton Miller is key. Similarly, Mewhort is the anchor of the offensive line at left tackle.
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Is it just me or is this punishment a little harsh for urinating on a building? I understand Meyer is trying to make a point and warn other players of what might happen if they find themselves on the wrong side of the law, but taking away a scholarship for a semester seems excessive even for a team that has had some issues with the law and the NCAA.
Meyer's punishment does set a bit of a precedent for future legal run-ins. If this is what happens when a player urinates on a building, imagine what will happen when he gets a DUI?
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