The strange story involving the decommitment of Pennsylvania linebacker Alex Anzalone from Ohio State got national attention Friday when The Lantern, OSU’s student newspaper, reported that the school had warned its student-athletes about Charles Waugh, a registered sex offender in the state of Kentucky.
Anzalone committed to Ohio State on April 21, the day of the Buckeyes’ spring game. That night, Anzalone, along with other recruits visiting campus, posed for photos with Waugh, a Ohio State fan. At some point in the following weeks, Anzalone became aware of Waugh’s past and decommmited from the Buckeyes at the suggestion of his father.
“Ohio State had no idea that this guy was a perv,” Dr. Sal Anzalone told ESPN.com. “They were totally unaware. Let’s make that very clear. That’s not Ohio State.
“But Alex was creeped out by him. He thought something was wrong. Alex wasn’t going to get hurt. Alex could knock him out. But the point is, this creep shouldn’t be near recruits.”
Ohio State released a statement addressing the issue on Friday, and speaking with his hometown newspaper, the Reading Eagle, Dr. Anzalone clarified his previous comments.
“I want people to understand, I have no beef with Ohio State, at all,” Anzalone said. “My issue is not with Ohio State: It’s a great institution, they have a phenomenal president, Urban Meyer is nothing but a class act to me.
“There’s nothing wrong with Ohio State; it’s a great institution. When I said there was something wrong with Ohio State, I was talking about the visit – there was something wrong with the visit, not with Ohio State.”
Anzalone added that coach Urban Meyer called the family on Friday after the story broke, but wouldn’t clarify the details of the conversation. The elder Anzalone said he does not hold Meyer or the university responsible. As for his son, Anzalone said Ohio State is back in the picture, but that he needs time to “reassess the situation.”
“With all the craziness, we want to slow down the process, calm it down a little bit,” Anzalone said. “There’s no reason we wouldn’t consider the Buckeyes. We love Ohio State. The academic opportunities there are tremendous.”
(Photo credit: Rivals.com)