‘We Have to be Part of the Solution’ Said the OSU Coach
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. Ohio State coach Steve Rohlik said Friday the decision on whether to suspend defenseman Kamil Sadlocha was made “above him,” and he stayed out of it.
The senior Sadlocha was given a game misconduct during a Nov. 11 game against Michigan State. There was no further discipline at the time. Ohio State has since acknowledged that the reason for the ejection was because Sadlocha used racial slurs in the game.
It first came to light Monday, Nov. 20, when Michigan State forward Jagger Joshua made a social media post about it, saying he was on the receiving end of “multiple” racial slurs by an Ohio State player. He made his post, he said, because of frusration over the lack of further discipline by the Big Ten or Ohio State.
“There was a thorough investigation,” Rohlik said, following his team’s 3-2 upset loss to Long Island on Friday. “The Big Ten did their part. Both schools’ administrations were involved in their part. And when the decision came down, that’s what I was told. That this young man was not suspended and he should be able to play.”
Following a firestorm that resulted from Joshua’s remarks, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith announced late Tuesday that Sadlocha would not be with the team for games or practice “at this time.”
According to Rohlik, Sadlocha is still a member of the team and is currently home with his family for the Thanksgiving holiday. He obviously won’t play in either of the team’s games against LIU this weekend, but presumably will return soon.
Rohlik said he has spoken to his team about the incident, but did not consider taking action to suspend him on his own.
“The investigation was above and beyond me,” Rohlik said. “Like I said before, this is something you don’t want to see in hockey, something you don’t want to see in sport, something you don’t want to see in life. This is something that we all have to be better for.”
Rohlik coached Jagger Joshua’s brother, Dakota, from 2105-19. He said he’s tried to speak to Dakota, but has been “playing a little bit of phone tag.”
“Certainly, you feel bad for Jagger. That’s number one,” Rohlik said. “It’s a family I know very well.
“Number two, this isn’t what I am or what I’m all about. Everybody knows that. This isn’t what Ohio State is all about. We worry about equality and respect, that’s a word I use all the time.”
Rohlik said that education about the matter will be an ongoing process.
“For us, we got to continue to teach and help these guys grow and continue to educate so something like this never happens again. And we have to be part of the solution going forward,” he said.