Three Suspended for at Least the Nebraska Game
By John Porentas
COLUMBUS, Ohio - OSU Director of Athletics Gene Smith announced today that additional NCAA violations have been discovered in the University's seemingly never ending chain of NCAA bad news.
Five student-athletes were found to have been overcompensated for work done for an OSU booster, a violation of NCAA rules relating to employment, extra benefits and preferential treatment.
Three of the student athletes, offensive lineman Marcus Hall, running back Boom Herron and wide receiver DeVier Posey have been ruled ineligible for the upcoming game with Nebraska this weekend for payments received from OSU booster Robert DiGeronimo beginning in June 2009 and as late as June, 2011.
Linebacker Melvin Fellows was found to also have received excessive payments from DiGeronimo, but is no longer a participant with the football team due to medical hardship. Linebacker Etienne Sabino was also determined to have been overpaid a total of 60.00 but has been reinstated by OSU based upon repayment of 60.00 to a charitable organization.
According to Smith, the University has already applied for reinstatement for all three of the student-athletes who have been ruled ineligible this week. Smith did not however say when he expected to hear back from the NCAA on their reinstatement, but added that the University has asked that the NCAA expidite their deliberations on the matter since the football season has already begun.
There is at least some possibility that one or more of the student-athletes involved could lose more than one game. According to Smith, the length of their suspension(s) is commensurate with the amount of money they were overpaid. Herron was overcompensated a total of 292.50 for work performed in the period beginning 6/18/10 through 3/25/11. During that time, Herron actually worked 84.5 hours but was compensated for 104 hours. Hall was overcompensated 225.00 for having worked 51 hours but received compensation for 66.5 hours.
Posey worked a total of 21.5 hours, but was compensated for 70 hours of work for a total overcompensation amount of 720.00. That included a week in February of 2010 in which he worked 0 hours and was compensated for 20 hours.
In addition, Posey has a separate additional violation involving an extra benefit of 102.00 as a result of golfiing with Columbus-based photographer Dennis Talbott.
All the student-athletes claim that they were unaware of the fact that they were overcompensated and thought they were paid only for work performed. That includes Posey for the week in which he worked no hours but was compesated for 20.
All three will remain ineligible until reinstated by the NCAA. There is no timetable or guarentee as to when the NCAA will act leaving all three in limbo as to when they will again be allowed to play.
Additionally, the NCAA could rule that the dollar amounts involved warrant more than a one-game suspension, especially in the case of Posey whose total extra benefits are nearly 830.00 while the benifits received by Hall and Herron are 232.50 and 292.50 respectively.
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