It’s been a long week for Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington. After senior Dallas Gant entered the transfer portal on Wednesday, the program dismissed K’Vaughan Pope from the team on Sunday.
Pope’s departure unfolded in front of more than 95,000 fans at Ohio Stadium and thousands of people watching the Big Ten Network’s broadcast of the game.
“Senior linebacker K’Vaughan Pope has been dismissed from the Ohio State football team,” head coach Ryan Say said in a statement. “K’Vaughan will continue to have use of the 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.”
In the middle of the second quarter, Pope attempted to enter the game for Ohio State on a third down. However, linebacker Teradja Mitchell waved Pope off the field before he could make a substitution. Pope stormed to the Buckeyes’ bench and headed toward the locker room.
Some members of the Ohio State staff convinced the fourth-year player to return to the sideline. He threw his gloves into the stands as he walked back. Some heated conversations occurred between Pope and director of player development C.J. Barnett. After the shouting match concluded, Barnett escorted Pope back up the tunnel and to the locker room.
Once Pope reached his locker, he tweeted “good lucc to my teammates,” followed by “(bleep) ohio state,” which he deleted quickly after he hit send.
Pope sent an apology tweet to his teammates and Ohio State fans on Sunday afternoon.
“Last night I let my emotions get the best of me,” he wrote. “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 came to Ohio State as the eighth-ranked linebacker in the country in the class of 2018. He was the 217th player in the nation, per the 247Sports’ composite rankings. The former Dinwiddie County (Va.) four-star had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida and other top schools.