The numbers aren’t adding up for sophomore Corey Brown, junior running back Jordan Hall and defensive back Travis Howard, who each received $200 at a charity event and will now miss their second consecutive game for Ohio State.
The source of the money received by the three players remains unclear, according to documents that were released by the athletic department on Thursday evening. One former member of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions declined to comment on the specifics of OSU’s recent suspensions, but did say that similar circumstances could lead to a new NCAA investigation.
Brown, Hall and Howard’s name are redacted in the NCAA and university documents that were released, but the documents did say that interviews with current student-athletes revealed that they were invited to attend the charity event by former student-athletes whose names are also redacted.
There are also discrepancies among the players regarding who they received money from and why they were receiving it.
Two players said believed they were receiving money for working the event while the third player said he was receiving money from a former student athlete, according to the documents.
In a letter dated Sept. 1, Doug Archie, OSU’s associate athletic director for compliance, said to Jennifer Henderson, the NCAA’s director of student-athlete reinstatement:
“All of the current student-athletes incorrectly believed that their participation in the event had been approved by the OSU compliance office. The OSU compliance office did not approve participation in the… 2011 event, but did approve the same event (in 2007 and 2010).
“Please note that there was nothing impermissible about the event.”
At least two parties also indicated that one party involved in the money exchange was seen carrying several envelopes during the charity event.
Josephine Potuto, a University of Nebraska professor in constitutional law, served on the NCAA Committee on Infractions from 2006–08 and chaired the committee in 2007 and 2008. Potuto would not comment on any specific facet of OSU’s recent suspensions, but did say that, generally, it was unlikely that the NCAA would admit further evidence against a university after a hearing has been held.
OSU held its hearing with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions on Aug. 12 and is still awaiting the committee’s final ruling.
“Any violation committed by an individual student-athlete is also an institutional matter because institutions only deal through people,” Potuto said. “So, another investigation could be opened. Generally, the NCAA and the Committee on Infractions won’t re-open a case after it has held a hearing with the institution. “
Mike Doss, a safety for the Buckeyes from 1999-2002 and member of OSU’s 2002 consensus national championship team, was preparing for his Friday induction into the university’s athletics hall of fame moments before the athletic department announced the continuation of the three players’ suspensions.
Doss said he wished the current OSU squad well despite its recent troubles.
“I hope they do great,” he said. “I hope they win them all and knock them down and show the country that, no matter who’s the head coach, there’s still great football in Columbus, Ohio.”
From from his Twitter account, @Jordan_Hall7, Hall said at approximately 8:30p.m. Friday, “Killin’ me not to be out there ..good luck to all my homies tho.”
The Buckeyes continue their season on Saturday with a noon game against Toledo at Ohio Stadium.