Hyde suspended at least 3 games

Earlier on Tuesday, Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde found out he'd avoided any criminal charges stemming from a July 20 incident at a Columbus bar. But Hyde will have to sit out at least three games for the Buckeyes as part of Urban Meyer's punishment for his senior.

The school put out a statement late Tuesday night saying that Hyde would miss at least the first three games "for conduct not representative of this football program or this university. He will be required to fulfill additional obligations before he is allowed to play in a game."

It turns out to be an even stricter penalty than the one linebacker Storm Klein received last year after he was charged with domestic violence and eventually had his charges reduced. Video of the Hyde incident that was released earlier Tuesday appears to show that he attempted to strike a woman in a bar, although the footage is too grainy and unclear to determine whether he made contact.

The suspension means Hyde will definitely miss the Buffalo, California and San Diego State games this season. Ohio State still figures to be heavy favorites in all three of those games, although Cal and San Diego State could make things interesting. If Hyde is back for Week 4, that would give him a tune-up game against Florida A&M before the Buckeyes have their home showdown against Wisconsin in a pivotal Leaders Division game on Sept. 28.

Meyer has faced heavy criticism of late for his disciplinary tactics. To say that played any role in his decision with Hyde would be pure speculation, but suspending a star player who hasn't been charged with any crime for three games sends a pretty strong message. At the same time, the Buckeyes have enough depth at running back that they can easily survive the first three games without Hyde.

It also means that Hyde, who had 970 yards in 10 games last year, will have a much tougher time becoming the first running back under Meyer to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. But ultimately, he should feel lucky that he's getting a chance to play at all this season.