The 42nd annual Big Ten Media Days kicked off today in Chicago. Today was filled with press conferences that provided glimpses on the outlook for each team. By far, the most anticipated press conference of the day came from Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. I'm sure Meyer was hoping to get questions mostly about the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes - but that turned into questions about matters off the football field very quickly. From Aaron Hernandez to the incidents from the past weekend with Carlos Hyde and Bradley Roby, Urban was left to answer for the actions of his current and former players.
In his opening statement, he did acknowledge it had been "a tough couple of days" and that he was "going to focus on the positives". Remember now, this was a team that finished 12-0 last year and finished with one of the top recruiting classes in college football.
Here are some of the more notable quotes from both this press conference and the one-on-one podium interviews.
On Carlos Hyde's status with the team: "We just have to evaluate the facts. Once I evaluate the facts, then we'll make decisions."
On his reaction to first hearing about the recent off the field issues: "I think furious might be the word to best describe when I first got the phone call."
On whether he can do anything more to prevent off-the-field issues: "I think you always can do more. I mean, that's something you wake up every day with."
Most of the answers were along these lines. When he was asked later about Aaron Hernandez, he said he "was sick" upon hearing the news. Hernandez had played for Urban Meyer at Florida, and some had called the coach's discipline, or lack thereof (however you see it), into question.
One observation I took from today was how Meyer composed himself throughout the questions. Urban was his typical serious self, but when asked about Hernandez, he was a bit visibly frustrated, more than likely from how much this topic has been talked about.
Overall, I feel he handled himself very well considering the situation. Expect more fireworks tomorrow.