Alex Anzalone, a four-star linebacker recruit from Pennsylvania, has decommitted from Ohio State after discovering a convicted sex offender gained access to him and other players and recruits during a recruiting visit.
The man, 31-year-old Kentucky resident Charles Waugh, was convicted on five counts of possessing child pornography depicting underaged males in 2008. He had engaged multiple Ohio State players and recruits through Twitter and Facebook. He had also interacted with players and recruits in person during Ohio State’s spring game.
He made contact with Anzalone during a recruiting visit to Columbus, Ohio, April 21. A photograph of Waugh with Anzalone and two other recruits was posted on a fan website, as were other photographs of the sex offender with a Buckeyes player and the school mascot, Brutus.
Anzalone’s father was concerned that his son had been placed at risk. He did not withhold any punches with Ohio State’s coaching staff.
“There’s a disconnect between what Alex thought was was there (at Ohio State) and what is actually there,” said his father, Dr. Sal Anzalone.
“Something’s just not right at Ohio State,” Sal Anzalone said. “It’s not for him.”
“You don’t want your son to go to a place where there’s a potential issue (like this),” Sal Anzalone said. “You expect the (football) staff to have some sort of control on how things are handled with recruits when they visit. This is ridiculous.
Anzalone had committed to Ohio State at the Scarlet and Grey game. His other favorites were Florida and Stanford.
There’s not much to beat Meyer or Ohio State with here. It’s more a cautionary tale about how easy it is with the Internet for absolute creeps to gain access to these kids. Recruiting isn’t going to be covered less, and it seems far more vigilance is needed.
Here via Eleven Warriors is Ohio State’s statement
The issue surrounding the individual from Kentucky is being treated by the Department of Athletics as a student-athlete welfare issue. When the University became aware that this individual had been seen in pictures – taken in public places – with student-athletes, proactive precautions were taken and the Department of Athletics alerted more than 1,000 Ohio State student-athletes about this person. The email message also reminded them of the negative implications that can be realized through simple associations on social networking sites. This individual is not associated with Ohio State. He is not a booster. He has not engaged in any activities on behalf of the University. The Department of Athletics will continue to monitor this issue and it will remain proactive in its efforts with regard to precautions for its student-athletes.