On Monday, head coach Urban Meyer finally responded.
“Ohio State was absolutely forthright in everything they did,” Meyer said. “We were crushed when we found out he was DQ’d, but we’re not allowed to really come out publicly and say, ‘I don’t do that.’ We’re trying to help the young guy out. We were giving him a quarter-million dollar scholarship to stay on at Ohio State for four years and graduate. I was shocked, to honest with you. I’m not sure where that came from because we’ve done right by Jamel.”
Because Ohio State appears to be slightly over the 85-scholarship limit as spring practice winds down, accusations that it was a numbers move weren’t in short supply. Meyer defended against that claim by saying the decision was made in early January, nearly a month before the Buckeyes signed 27 players in the class of 2015.
“If someone says something about numbers… that was Jan. 12 or something when he was told by our doctors,” he said.
He also referenced the loss of current players due to medical problems to claim that it’s not just a tool to get his team under the scholarship threshold. The Buckeyes lost cornerback Armani Reeves because of concussion problems and Devan Bogard because of multiple ACL injuries.
“I love Armani Reeves,” Meyer said. “Our job now is to make sure he is set for life after football, which is something we take very serious around here. Same with Devan Bogard, he’s working on rehab now, we’re going to make sure we take care of him until he graduates. Who else? Ron Tanner. Those are all guys – that’s one thing about Gene Smith and the administration, there is zero question. It’s a tough sport and when something happens we get the 100 percent support of our athletic department.”