December 23, 2010

Bucks face suspensions, Smith to appeal

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor is one of five Buckeye football players that will face a five-game suspension in 2011 for receiving money and benefits in exchange for items received from the university.

Others who also face the suspension for Ohio State are left tackle Mike Adams, running back Dan Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey, and defensive end Solomon Thomas. The NCAA also determined Jordan Whiting must miss Ohio State's 2011 opener.

"These are significant penalties based on findings and information provided by the university," said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs.

In order for the aforementioned players to be reinstated after the suspension, the following must occur:

  • Adams must repay $1,000 he received after selling his 2008 Big Ten title ring.

  • Herron must repay $1,150 for selling game-worn apparel, including his football jersey, football pants, and cleats. Herron also accepted discounted services.

  • Thomas just repay $1,505 for selling his 2008 gold pants, awarded to the team for beating Michigan. He also sold his conference title ring from that year as well as received discounted services.

  • Pryor must repay the most, $2,500 for selling his 2008 gold pants, his 2008 Big Ten title ring, and the 2009 Sportsmanship Award he earned in Ohio State's loss to Texas in the Fiesta Bowl his freshman year.

  • Whiting, who faces only a 1-game suspension, must pay $150 to a charity in exchange for the value of the services he received that were discounted.

    Ohio State to appeal suspensions

    Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith acknowledged the need for suspensions, but admitted he felt the sanctions on the players were "severe." Because of this, Smith said the Buckeyes plan to appeal the sanctions.

    The program must be formally notified by letter and once that occurs Ohio State has up to 30 days to file the appeal. Smith said the program will work diligently to complete the process once notification is received.

    "We will appeal the game suspensions and there is an appeal process that we will begin next week," Smith said. "While we believe sanctions should be rendered because of violations that did occur, we do believe that they are severe and we do believe that we will be able to submit mitigating circumstances for the NCAA to consider and hopefully reduce the number of games our young men are currently being sanctioned for."

    Smith wasn't sure how the NCAA would consider the "mitigating circumstances," but the athletic director did acknowledge the state of the economy at the time the players engaged in the selling of their belongings.

    The NCAA also did not make the sanctions effective until next season, giving the players eligibility for the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 4 against Arkansas. The NCAA's reasoning for reinstating the players for Ohio State's bowl is because the "student-athletes did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred."

    "We are obviously very pleased that the NCAA reinstated the young men for the bowl game," Smith said, "but we will work on the appeal.

    "I can't speculate on the appeal," Smith continued, "but I think we can build a case and we'll begin doing that next week. But I can't speculate what the outcome will be, but obviously I hope there will be reductions."

    *** Check back with today for more updates on Ohio State's current situation.

    Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for He can be reached at


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