Less than two weeks after giving Ohio State an oral commitment, All-State linebacker Alex Anzalone has informed Urban Meyer's staff that he will not be attending the school.
Anzalone, one of the most sought after football recruits in the nation, de-committed Friday afternoon after disturbing news surfaced that a Buckeyes fan who gained access to players and recruits is a convicted sex offender.
The sex offender, Charles Eric Waugh of Kentucky, has been reaching out to Ohio State players and recruits, personally and via social media.
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.
"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.
Anzalone and his father spoke to Ohio State assistant coach Luke Fickell Friday afternoon to express their concerns and to de-commit.
"Something's just not right at Ohio State," Sal Anzalone said. "It's not for him."
Anzalone had received offers from over 30 major colleges before selecting Ohio State. He personally extended his commitment to Meyer after the annual Scarlet & Gray spring game April 21.
The Wyomissing junior said he'll re-evaluate his options and select another school.
He previously said that Florida and Stanford were at the top of his list, right behind Ohio State. He said he also gave strong consideration to Southern Cal, Penn State and Notre Dame.
They're all back in the running now.
"I had to make a decision that's best for me, and for my family," Anzalone said. "There's a reason behind it. I don't want to get into it; I don't want to hurt anyone.
"We've been talking about it for a week or so with my family. I need to re-evaluate things right now, slow everything down."
On Thursday Ohio State athletic director for compliance Doug Archie informed Buckeyes student-athletes via an email that the university was aware of photographs the 31-year-old Waugh had taken with athletes at the school.
A text message also was sent to OSU athletes, warning them about Waugh and directing them how to block his text and Twitter messages, which he had sent to numerous players.
According to a report in The Lantern, Ohio State's student newspaper, Archie's email contained an internet link to a March 19, 2008, Daily Independent in Ashland, Ky., report about Waugh entering guilty pleas to five counts of "possession of matter portraying sexual performances by minors."
Sal Anzalone said that his son had expressed his concerns that "something wasn't right" about his visit shortly after returning from Ohio last month.
The family spent the past several days privately discussing the issue, but the tipping point, Sal Anzalone said, was the photograph that appeared on the Internet.
It made him believe his son was at risk during his recruiting visit, and he became disenchanted with the Buckeyes coaching staff because of the episode.
"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.
"I was concerned with what recruits do, and with them being allowed to visit these kind of places where it puts kids at risk. That's the issue. You entrust people (at the school) to do the right thing."
While he said he doesn't believe the Buckeyes coaching staff was aware that a sexual predator had access to its recruits and players, Sal Anzalone said he is upset at what transpired.
"Of course," he said. "Who wouldn't be? I'm outraged."