COLUMBUS: Torrance Gibson, a four-star recruit once considered Ohio State’s quarterback of the future, was suspended from the university for the fall semester Monday for an unspecified violation of the school’s student code of conduct.
OSU coach Urban Meyer expressed his displeasure with the decision at his weekly news conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Meyer said Gibson, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound redshirt freshman who switched to wide receiver last season, was “in the mix” at his new position despite missing about two weeks of practice with a hamstring injury.
“It was not athletic department football and I disagree with it,” Meyer said.
Meyer said he didn’t know what recourse he had to challenge the suspension further, but said it was a situation he’s encountered before as he begins his fifth season in Columbus.
“It’s not unique. We have dealt with it,” Meyer said.
Offensive coordinator Ed Warinner didn’t want to comment, saying Meyer “gave our stance as far as a coaching staff and department.” But he expressed hope that Gibson would ride out his punishment and return to the team. A dual-threat high school quarterback from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Gibson had also been expected to get some snaps in the wildcat formation.
“I hope the best for Torrance. He is an awesome young man,” Warinner said. “We love him; he’s worked hard here. I hope everything works out where he can someday be a Buckeye again and play for us.”
Jordan Strack of WTOL-11 in Toledo said on Twitter that Gibson had been suspended by the university for a year and will lose a year of eligibility. Strack said via Twitter that the Buckeyes were “adamant he did nothing wrong” and fought the suspension hard. Citing a source, Strack said on Twitter that Gibson was suspended “because a former tutor claimed she was harassed.”
OSU right guard Billy Price, a co-captain, does not believe Gibson’s situation will be a distraction for the team heading into Saturday’s season opener against Bowling Green at Ohio Stadium.
“With Torrance, it’s unfortunate, the suspension,” Price said. “But that gives an opportunity for a younger guy to get in there and show what he’s done during camp. We’ll make sure the team’s ready.”
New kicker debuts
Meyer tabbed Tyler Durbin, a senior from Fairfax, Va., his starting kicker after incumbent Sean Nuernberger missed most of camp with a groin injury.
“Tremendous talent. … He’s the one who hit a 62-yarder in camp,” Meyer said of Durbin. “He’ll be our starting kicker. Tyler Durbin, that’s his name, right? I’d spell it for you but I’m not quite sure how to do that.”
Meyer admitted his bias toward Tim Tebow, who won a Heisman Trophy at Florida in 2007 while Meyer coached there.
Now Tebow is trying to launch a professional career in baseball, conducting a workout Tuesday in Los Angeles. According to Cleveland.com, the Indians are among about two dozen major league teams expected to attend.
“Incredible baseball player. That’s when I bought [in], when I watched because I kept hearing this ‘Tebow, Tebow, Tebow.’ You got a little tired of it,” Meyer said. “I went and watched him play in spring baseball. He’s playing outfield. I’ve never seen a guy change a game, motivate, lead and do everything. And I walked away and said that guy is one of the most unique players I’ve ever seen.”
Meyer said Tebow had been thinking about baseball for a while.
“This actually has been in the works,” Meyer said. “This didn’t just happen overnight. Don’t count him out.”
Warinner spoke highly of receivers Parris Campbell, a redshirt sophomore from St. Vincent-St. Mary, and Corey Smith, a senior from Buchtel High School.
“Parris Campbell had a great training camp, he really stepped up. He’s one of our top playmakers,” Warinner said. “Corey Smith is ready to do some really exciting things. He has a unique skill set.”
Marla Ridenour can be reached at email@example.com. Read her blog at www.ohio.com/marla. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.