Charles Eric Waugh spoke for the first time since his arrest in a 75-minute interview published Sunday by the Columbus Post-Dispatch. Waugh faces up to 10 years in prison for failing to comply with the terms of his state's sex offender registry. In his comments, Waugh explained his actions and apologized to Ohio State players and coaches.
"If you could go to the coaches, tell them I never meant to cost you a recruit," Waugh said. "I lost my freedom for being supportive of Ohio State. I care about Ohio State. ... I want to tell the players as well: You'll never lose me as a fan, and I hope I haven't lost you guys as friends, those who know me. And to the fans: I never meant harm."
Several photos of Waugh and teenage Ohio State recruits surfaced on the Internet, and his obsession with the Buckeyes was well-documented in an investigation by the SB Nation blog Land-Grant Holy Land. He tweeted what were meant to be inspirational messages to 129 former, current and potential players in April. The act was unsettling to some, though Waugh said he was simply trying to be encouraging.
"I thought to myself, ‘Ohio State has got a lot of fans who do crazy things,' " Waugh said. " ‘What can I do to make myself stand out? Something encouraging and positive.' "
Waugh's actions may have cost Ohio State one recruit in talented linebacker Alex Anzalone, but the university won't have to worry about another NCAA violation coming down the pipe. Waugh says he has never donated any money, nor had any official association with Ohio State. The NCAA has not contacted Waugh or the Buckeyes.