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Ohio State Players Suspended

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pryor385 Ohio State Players Suspended

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) – Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four other Buckeyes have been suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of 2011 season for receiving improper benefits in 2009.

Pryor, running back Dan Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike

Adams and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas were also suspended five games.

Linebacker Jordan Whiting was also suspended one game for a lesser infraction.

All six, though, will be able to play in the Sugar Bowl on January 4 against

Arkansas.

According to the NCAA, the players were penalized for selling awards, gifts

and university apparel. In addition to the suspension, the players must repay

money and benefits ranging in value from $1,000 to $2,500. The repayments must

be made to a charity.

“We were not as explicit with our student-athlete education as we should have

been in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years regarding the sale of apparel,

awards and gifts issued by the athletics department,” said Ohio State athletic

director Gene Smith in a statement. “We began to significantly improve our

education in November of 2009 to address these issues. After going through

this experience, we will further enhance our education for all our student-

athletes as we move forward.”

According to NCAA policy, suspensions can be withheld for a championship or

bowl game if it was reasonable at the time the student-athletes were not aware

they were committing violations. In addition, there must not be any

competitive advantage related to the violations, and the student-athletes must

have eligibility remaining.

The usual penalty for receiving such improper benefits is four games, or 30

percent of a season, but because it was not immediately disclosed an extra

game was added to the suspensions.

Ohio State starts next season with a September 3 game against Akron and

follows with a contest against Toledo. The Buckeyes then visit Miami-Florida

on September 17 and return home the following week against Colorado before

opening the Big Ten schedule on October 1 at home against Michigan State.

Pryor must repay $2,500 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, a 2009

Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 Gold Pants, a gift from the

university. Adams must repay $1,000 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship

ring and Herron must repay $1,150 for selling his football jersey, pants and

shoes for $1,000 and receiving discounted services worth $150. Posey must

repay $1,250 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,200 and

receiving discounted services worth $50, while Solomon must repay $1,505 for

selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,000, his 2008 Gold Pants for

$350 and receiving discounted services worth $155.

The university can appeal the decision to the Division I NCAA Committee on

Student-Athlete Reinstatement, an independent committee comprised of

representatives from NCAA member colleges, universities and athletic

conferences. This committee can reduce or remove the condition, but it cannot

increase the staff-imposed conditions.

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