Andy Gottesman / Lantern photographer
Junior running back Jordan Hall, sophomore defensive back Corey Brown and junior defensive back Travis Howard have been suspended for Ohio State football’s Saturday game against Akron after OSU self-reported NCAA infractions, according to an athletic department press release.
“We take this matter seriously,” athletic director Gene Smith said in the release. “Our commitment to institutional integrity is steadfast, and we must hold everyone associated with our athletics programs accountable for lapses in judgment. We believe in transparency with the NCAA, all regulatory bodies and all of Buckeye Nation.”
The release, sent by OSU athletic department spokesman Dan Wallenberg, said:
“As part of its continued work with the NCAA to resolve any remaining football compliance issues, Ohio State today announced that it has self-reported violations involving three student-athletes… (The players disclosed) that they had received impermissible benefits of $300 or less each in total at a charity event they attended earlier in the year.
“In accordance with NCAA regulations, the university will not permit them to participate in the Sept. 3 game versus Akron. Although Ohio State has filed for their reinstatement for the remainder of the 2011 season, the university also is considering institutional sanctions for these student-athletes.”
The release also said that the athletic department will not comment further on the issue.
An OSU football depth chart released to members of the media on Tuesday listed Howard as the team’s No. 1 left corner back. Hall was listed as No. 1 at the tailback and punt and kick return positions.
Brown was listed as the backup to right safety C.J. Barnett.
With OSU set to begin its 2011 season in mere hours, the new suspensions come at the tail end of an already tumultuous off-season for the Buckeyes.
Four OSU football players — DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Dan Herron and Solomon Thomas — are also suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season after selling Buckeye football memorabilia in exchange for improper benefits in the form of tattoos. Linebacker Jordan Whiting received a one-game ban.
After initially agreeing to a suspension for the first five games of OSU’s upcoming season, former Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor departed the university on June 7 to pursue a professional football career. His departure came just days after former head coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign from his position.
Pryor was then selected by the Oakland Raiders in the third round of the NFL’s Aug. 22 supplemental draft.
University officials met with the NCAA in Indianapolis on Aug. 12. Prior to that meeting, OSU administered self-imposed penalties which included vacating the 2010 season and 2011 Sugar Bowl victory and a two-year NCAA probationary term. OSU then agreed to forfeit its $388,811 share in the Big Ten’s payment for the Sugar Bowl.
Following the Aug. 12 meeting, university representatives said that they expected a final ruling on OSU’s NCAA infractions in eight to 12 weeks.
Saturday’s game against Akron is set to kickoff at noon at Ohio Stadium.