Ohio State trio not cleared to play
Brown, Hall, Howard to sit a minimum of two games
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State announced Friday that three football players suspended for taking $200 at a Cleveland charity event earlier this year will miss the upcoming Toledo game.
Adding to the football team’s recent troubles, a statement by the NCAA indicated the university will face more scrutiny over the most recent rules transgression.
The “facts submitted by the university have raised further questions that need to be answered before the reinstatement process is complete,” the NCAA said.
The university said starting tailback Jordan Hall and cornerback Travis Howard and backup safety Corey Brown won’t play in the 15th-ranked Buckeyes’ game against Toledo on Saturday.
The three already missed Ohio State’s 42-0 victory against Akron last week.
The university said it continues to work with the NCAA on the investigation.
Friday’s announcement wasn’t a complete surprise: both coach Luke Fickell and athletic director Gene Smith hedged a bit earlier this week when asked about the players’ availability for Toledo.
“Technically, based on NCAA case precedence, we anticipate the NCAA reinstatement staff will reinstate them this week,” Smith told the AP in an email.
The three players violated NCAA rules by taking $200 at a Cleveland charity event earlier this year, according to records released Thursday.
The records indicated the athletes gave varying accounts for why they received the money and who they received it from.
All three believed that Ohio State had approved attending the event, even though it had not. Ohio State had permitted athletes to attend the event in 2007 and 2010, however, Ohio State’s NCAA compliance department requires that athletes ask for and receive written permission to attend promotional or charitable events.
The records, a copy of the violations that Ohio State forwarded to the NCAA, do not point to a clear source for the money. All names were blacked out in the material released to the AP.
A joint Ohio State-NCAA investigation discovered the violation on Aug. 31.
Ohio State is awaiting word from the NCAA’s committee on infractions on what penalties it will receive for unrelated violations from 2010 involving football players who traded memorabilia for cash with the subject of a federal drug-trafficking probe. Four current players are sitting out the first five games as their penalty for receiving thousands of dollars in cash and discounted tattoos.