Urban Meyer addresses J.T. Barrett's arrest for first time
Urban Meyer couldn’t believe it.
When he got a text message at 6 a.m., he told his wife, Shelley, about the news he received. The news that his quarterback J.T. Barrett was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while impaired was so shocking that he had to call the person that texted him to see if he read it right.
It was true. Hours later, the dominated the college football world on the only fall Saturday that the Buckeyes were supposed to be away from the action. By then, Barrett had been to Meyer’s house to tell him he let his team down.
Barrett’s clean public image — inside and outside of Columbus — took an immediate hit.
“J.T. is going to have to deal with something he’s never had to deal with before,” Meyer said at his weekly press conference on Monday. “Now you’re going to have to deal with people questioning who you are.
“Twenty years of doing right and 30 seconds of doing wrong.”
Barrett explained the situation to Meyer, saying that he did not think he was above the .08 blood-alcohol concentration legal limit to drive. The 20-year-old sophomore told Meyer that he was actually helping somebody else out from the party he was at.
Still, that didn’t change anything. Meyer made the decision to suspend Barrett for one game, much to the chagrin of certain national media members. Barrett’s standing as one of Ohio State’s six captains remains in question.
Meyer said that Barrett lost his scholarship for the semester, but that’s not exactly the case.
The precedent for this financial aid discipline is what Urban Meyer did with an alcohol-related incident with Jack Mewhort in 2012.
— Austin Ward (@AWardESPN) November 2, 2015
Meyer did say that he would have a chance to earn his scholarship back. He also addressed whether or not he’d have the chance to earn his starting job back when he’s eligible to return in two weeks.
“If he’s good enough and he’s earned that…I haven’t gone that far yet,” Meyer said.
With Barrett’s suspension, Meyer will go back to Cardale Jones, who started the first seven games of the season before he was replaced by Barrett against Rutgers.
Despite Jones’ red-zone struggles, Meyer offered his weekly reminder that Jones is a perfect 10-0 as a starter. The decision to start his national-title-winning backup again was an easy one.
“Not even a hesitation,” Meyer said.
Also an easy decision was to name Braxton Miller the No. 2 quarterback. Miller hasn’t started a game under center since the end of the 2013 season. Meyer said that if something were to happen to Jones on Saturday, Miller would be more than capable of filling in, despite the fact that he spent 2015 at receiver because of his surgically repaired shoulder.
Who knows if Miller would take over for Jones if his struggles resurfaced. We also don’t know if there’s any chance Jones can earn his starting job back with a dominant performance against Minnesota.
As always, stay tuned for more in Columbus.