Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith issued a statement late Tuesday night containing a formal apology and an update on senior forward Kamil Sadlocha, who “is returning home and will not participate or compete at this time.”
The announcement comes one day after Michigan State senior forward Jagger Joshua took to social media to share that an OSU player, who has now been identified as Sadlocha, directed racial slurs at him multiple times in a Nov. 11 game at Munn Ice Arena. A nearby on-ice official heard the slurs and assessed Sadlocha a 10-minute major penalty and game misconduct in the second period.
No action was taken by either Ohio State or the Big Ten between Nov. 11 and Tuesday, prompting Joshua to go public with the incident.
In Smith’s statement, he said he’s met with the OSU hockey team and has also spoken with Michigan State Athletic Director Alan Haller.
“I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology to Jagger Joshua,” Smith said in the statement. “On behalf of Ohio State University, I am so sorry. No student or student-athlete should experience hatred or racism, and everyone should feel welcome. I have spoken with Michigan State Athletic Director Alan Haller, and I’m thankful Jagger is getting the support he needs."
Smith then said that over the last week the Department of Athletics has worked through the incident and talked to Sadlocha and the rest of the team and that Sadlocha will not be returning to practice or compete for the time being.
“I have met with the men’s hockey team and will be meeting with them again soon to discuss our values," Smith said in the statement. "The team will complete education on racial sensitivity, diversity, equity, inclusion and the use of respectful dialog. The department and I will support them through this important process.”
Joshua, who leads MSU with six goals, spoke with reporters Tuesday, voicing his displeasure with OSU and the Big Ten, while also echoing the support he’s received from teammates, family, friends and members of the hockey community in the last 24 hours.
Ohio State released an initial statement Monday night, saying they “worked collaboratively with the Big Ten Conference to come to a resolution in response to the allegation of misconduct toward the Big Ten sportsmanship policy.”
The Big Ten backed it up, saying “due to the absence of indisputable evidence presented to the conference, the conference has not imposed further disciplinary action."
Since the incident occurred, Sadlocha played in two games last weekend versus Notre Dame. Sadlocha was teammates with Joshua’s older brother, Dakota, who was on the team from 2015-2019 and now plays for the Vancouver Canucks.
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