Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott issued a statement on Monday apologizing his critical comments regarding the Buckeyes’ coaching staff after the team’s 17–14 loss to Michigan State. Head coach Urban Meyer said he will not face discipline.
After Saturday’s game, Elliott complained about his lack of carries and said there was “no chance” he would return to Ohio State after 2015. Elliott carried the ball only 12 times in the Buckeyes’ loss. Saturday marked the first time this season he was held to under 100 yards.
On Monday, head coach Urban Meyer said Elliott will not face discipline for his comments. Meyer told reporters Elliott approached him to apologize and that he didn’t disagree with the running back’s criticism.
Meyer, who has led the Buckeyes since 2012, said the play calling was not very good on Saturday and he regretted not giving Elliott the ball more. Meyer added that he plans to be more involved in calling plays for the remainder of the season.
Ohio State’s athletic director Gene Smith said that it would have been better if the running back kept the critical comments in-house, but acknowledged that he had the right to express his opinions.
“He's like any other person; he has the right to share his feelings,” Smith told CBSSports.com. “I felt bad for him because he obviously was hurting emotionally and he's a passionate person. Those things are more appropriately deal with in-house, but he's got his rights like everybody else. He expressed his feelings and now he's got to focus on taking care of his business each day.”
Elliott, a junior, has recorded 1,458 yards on 232 carries with 17 touchdowns last season. He’s run for 3,598 yards and 37 touchdowns in his career.
Ohio State (10–1) plays away at Michigan (9–2) on Saturday.
Read Elliott’s full statement below: