Three Ohio State football players  ̶  Corey Brown, Jordan Hall and Travis Howard  ̶  have been reinstated after sitting out two games and can compete once they each repay $200 to charity before they are eligible to compete, according to a decision Tuesday by the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff.


The term “student-athlete reinstatement” describes the process used to restore the eligibility of a student-athlete involved in an NCAA rules violation.

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On Sept. 1, Ohio State reported that running back Jordan Hall, defensive back Corey Brown and defensive back Travis Howard each received impermissible benefits of $300 or less earlier this year.
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The university declared all three student-athletes ineligible for violations of NCAA extra benefit rules discovered by the NCAA enforcement staff during a joint investigation. Brown, Hall and Howard did not compete in the team’s Sept. 3 game with Akron or its Sept. 10 game with Toledo.

Those violations occurred in February when the three student-athletes received envelopes with $200 in cash at a charity event. According to the facts submitted by the university, the money was provided by a university booster.

“The university appreciates the NCAA’s expeditious response in reinstating these three student athletes,” Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith said.

During the student-athlete reinstatement process, the staff considers a number of factors including guidelines established by the Division I NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement for the type of violations and value of benefits, if a significant competitive advantage was gained, the student-athlete’s responsibility for the violations and any mitigating circumstances presented by the school, among other factors.

The reinstatement staff determined the nature and scope of the violations, particularly the provision of cash benefits by a booster, merited a two game suspension.

When a school discovers an NCAA rules violation has occurred, it must declare the student-athlete ineligible and may request the student-athlete’s eligibility be reinstated. The NCAA staff reviews each student-athlete’s reinstatement request individually based on its own merits and set of specific facts.

The university can appeal any student-athlete reinstatement decision to the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, an independent panel comprised of representatives from NCAA member colleges, university and athletic conferences who are not directly affiliated with the university. This committee can reduce or remove the condition, but it cannot increase the staff-imposed conditions. If appealed, the student-athlete remains ineligible until the conclusion of the appeals process.

Reinstatement decisions are independent of the NCAA enforcement process and typically are made once the facts of the student-athlete’s involvement are determined. This is typically well in advance of infractions decisions. The enforcement investigation into the university is ongoing.