Ohio State coach Ryan Day announced Sunday that senior linebacker K'Vaughan Pope has been dismissed from the team after he stormed off the field during the No. 11 Buckeyes' 59-7 win over Akron on Saturday out of apparent frustration. This after he was waved off a play in the first half. Pope, who was considered a potential starter for OSU entering the season, played mostly as a reserve in the team's first four games.
"Senior linebacker K'Vaughan Pope has been dismissed from the Ohio State football team," Day said. "K'Vaughan 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 the semester."
Pope returned to the sideline briefly after the play at issue but had an apparent exchange with linebackers coach Al Washington. The veteran linebacker then threw his gloves into the crowd at Ohio Stadium, according to Eleven Warriors. He then retired to the locker room and posted on Twitter shortly after.
good lucc to my teammates 💯— K’Vaughan Pope (@VonP04) September 26, 2021
Pope also posted another tweet with vulgarity directed at Ohio State: "f--- ohio state." That has since been deleted. He apologized Sunday.
"Last night I let my emotions get the best of me," Pope wrote on Twitter. "For that I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Buckeye Nation. I made a mistake and know that I need to be better and do better. I'm going to take this time to reflect and work on my mental well-being."
Pope was a four-star prospect in the Class of 2018 but entered the season with just 16 career tackles while playing mostly on special teams. Though listed on Ohio State's two-deep depth chart entering the Akron game, Pope was behind linebackers Cody Simon and Tommy Eichenberg for playing time.
His dismissal shouldn't be devastating for Ohio State. But it will be a hit to the program's depth, and the saga is a bit unpleasant bit of drama for a defense that has struggled at times early in the season. The Buckeyes were knocked off at home by Oregon in Week 2 and struggled to defend the pass in a 44-20 win over Tulsa on Sept. 18.
Pope tried to run out on the field in a sub package. Teradja Mitchell waved him off, and Pope stormed down the sideline, started walking to the tunnel and then had to be coaxed back by an Ohio State staffer. He tossed his gloves into the stands and took off his jersey.— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) September 26, 2021