Ohio State Players Not Reinstated for Toledo
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Contrary to recent comments by Ohio State Head Coach Luke Fickell and members of his staff, the Buckeyes will not have their three suspended players back on the field this week against the University of Toledo.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Running back Jordan Hall, cornerback Travis Howard and safety Corey Brown were all suspended for last week’s season-opener against the University of Akron
They were expected back this week, according to Fickell, but they have not been reinstated by the NCAA and will not participate in the game Saturday against the University of Toledo,
“Ohio State football student-athletes Corey Brown, Jordan Hall and Travis Howard are not cleared to compete in the game on Saturday with University of Toledo,” the NCAA said in a statement Friday, less than 24 hours before kickoff.
“The nature and scope of their violations merit a minimum two-game suspension.”
Where Ohio State officials got the idea that a one-game suspension was sufficient for accepting $200 cash at a charity event is unclear. The NCAA is still investigating the Buckeyes for violations committed by former head coach Jim Tressel and a handful of players.
Seniors DeVier Posey, Boom Herron, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas are all suspended for the first five games of the season. Linebacker Jordan Whiting missed the opener for his involvement, and it remains unclear when Hall, Howard and Brown will be allowed to return to action.
“In addition, the facts submitted by the university have raised further questions that need to be answered before the reinstatement process is complete,” the NCAA said of Ohio State’s self-report.
According The Columbus Dispatch, two of the players said they accepted the $200 cash under the impression they were being paid for their work at the charity event. The third player said he received the money directly from a teammate.
None of the three suspended players was expected back in the starting lineup this week, but Hall and Howard were going to be starters before their suspensions came down. Fickell was not in a hurry to hand their starting spots back to them after the season-opener.
“I don’t think we’ve set any stipulations publicly with what we’ll do with them,” he said Thursday.
“I think our guys played well last week and its their job. We want to make sure they know we have confidence in them.”
Sophomore Carlos Hyde will start the game at tailback, and the Buckeyes should also have Jaamal Berry available this week along with Rod Smith. Redshirt sophomore Dominic Clarke will continue to replace Howard at cornerback as Ohio State tries to work out the details with the NCAA.
“The university continues to work with the NCAA on the reinstatement process and is hopeful that the student-athletes will be reinstated soon,” Ohio State said in a statement.
“The university will have no further comment.”
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