The Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Akron Zips 59-7 on Saturday, but all anyone wanted to talk about afterward was how linebacker K’Vaughan Pope left the field and appeared to quit during the game.
As first noted by Austin Ward of Lettermen Row, Pope tried to sub himself in for a play but was waved off by linebacker Teradja Mitchell. Pope then threw his gloves in the crowd, took off his jersey, and walked towards the tunnel. Bill Landis of The Athletic added that Pope had hated exchanges with head coach Ryan Day and linebackers coach Al Washington, before being “seemingly told to leave the sideline by general manager for football operations Brian Voltolini.”
In the locker room, Pope fired off a since-deleted tweet that read “f*** Ohio State.” He later tweeted “good lucc to my teammates” in what certainly feels like a goodbye. However, it appears that Pope was still officially a member of the team as of Sunday as Day told reporters after the game that he was unclear about all the details. While the outburst was one thing, the in-game tweets are another thing altogether.
Well, it apparently didn’t take too much time for Day to arrive at a decision about what to do with Pope. The school announced on Sunday that he had been dismissed from the program.
K’Vaughan Pope has been dismissed from the Ohio State football team pic.twitter.com/2Q5Hb9yYSP
— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) September 26, 2021
“Senior linebacker K’Vaughn Pope has been dismissed from the Ohio State football team,” read the statement. “K’Vaughn will continue to have the use of programs that benefit our student-athletes, such as our Student-Athlete Support Services Office, and we will support him with his progress toward graduation. He will remain on scholarship through the duration of this semester.”
Pope is a senior but he does have one more year of eligibility, so it would be possible for him to land at another school next season to find that elusive playing time. But he’s certainly going to have to explain to his next coach what happened on Saturday and prove it’s not the kind of thing he’ll do again.