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Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 12/23/2010

Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor, 4 other players suspended for first 5 games of 2011 season

By Cindy Boren

Terrelle Pryor and four others will miss the first five games of the 2011 season. (Getty Images)

Five Ohio State players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, have been suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling championship rings, jerseys and awards and receiving improper benefits. They can, however, still play against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

Running back Daniel Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams, defensive end Solomon Thomas and Pryor must miss the 2011 games and repay $1,000 to $2,500 to charity. Another player, linebacker Jordan Whiting, must miss the season opener and pay $150 to a charity for services that were discounted because he played for Ohio State.

"While we believe sanctions should be rendered, we do believe they are severe," Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said Thursday. "We do believe we can give mitigating circumstances for the NCAA to consider."

The NCAA chose not to suspend the players for the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4 because, it said, "student-athletes did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred." Smith said Ohio State was not "explicit" in instructing players about the sale of apparel, awards and gifts.

Adams must repay $1,000 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring; Herron must repay $1,150 for selling his jersey, pants and shoes for $1,000 and receiving discounted services worth $150. Posy sold his 2008 Big Ten ring for $1,200 and also received discounted services. Pryor must repay $2,500 for selling his Big Ten ring, Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 gold pants, a trinket given to players whose squad beats Michigan.

Allegations surfaced last weekend that several players traded autographs for tattoos; athletic department officials have not addressed those allegations.

Pryor, in a tweet that has been deleted, said on Twitter: "I paid for my tattoos. GoBucks"

Pryor is the Buckeyes' top star, Herron is the leading rusher and Posey the second-leading receiver. Adams starts at left tackle and Thomas is a substitute defensive lineman.

Pending appeal, what games would they miss? Home games against Akron on Sept. 13, Toledo on Sept. 20, Colorado on Sept. 24 and Michigan State on Oct. 1 and a game at Miami on Sept. 17.

By Cindy Boren  | December 23, 2010; 12:23 PM ET
Categories:  College football  
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You mean athletes who help to bring in millions for their universities and coaches in exchange for tuition, books, room and board try to enrich themselves? The horror.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 23, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

This will never end. How do you make millions for the NCAA and school that you attend, but leave with nothing. How is it that a coach gets a shoe contract, radio endorsements and a hefty salary when the kids get little to no money for their services. Please

Posted by: Teddyh1 | December 23, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The reason why the sanction won't apply to the bowl game doesn't make sense. What mitigating circumstances exists that make it reasonable to apply the sanctions to next year, but not the bowl game? The money the bowl game generates if the game is a did?

Posted by: almelbe | December 23, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The NCAA is a throughly corrupt organization which uses athletes to make money but keeps them in a state of poverty. And universities accept this.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | December 23, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

First off, it's silly to maintain that scholarship athletes "leave with nothing" when by definition they are receiving the opportunity to get a college education in exchange for playing a frickin' game. If some athletes squander that opportunity and "leave with nothing", that's the athletes' (and to a lesser extent the schools') fault.

Second, it's shameful for Ohio State to make this announcement now but postpone the suspensions until early next season. Shameful. If they were serious about any of this, the suspensions would begin immediately and include the bowl game.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 23, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I meant the NCAA -- I realize this has to do with the NCAA's decision on when to impose the suspensions, not the school's.

Good luck to the NCAA, though! I hope they achieve their goal of preserving the holy awesomeness of the big bowls.


Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 23, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

It's not exactly indentured servitude guys, these players often get huge scholarships and a education although many leave without a degree and use it merely as a casting off point for the NFL...

Posted by: ozpunk | December 23, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

If the players didn't receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred to the point that they're not being suspended from the upcoming Bowl game, then it makes no sense that they were anymore educated on the rules before next season's games. If they didn't know the rules before one upcoming game, they didn't know them for other upcoming games, regardless of when the games are played.

Perhaps I don't understand the rules about players selling their personal apparel, awards and gifts, but if they can't sell what's theirs, then maybe the NCAA should be a little more consistent and say that coaches should be limited to salary earned, that they not be eligible to have outside jobs based on their positions as coaches, that they don't endorse shoe companies or car dealerships, and that they don't get paid for radio or television appearances that are based on their job with the school, and that they don't get paid to write (or have ghost-written) newspaper articles published under their name.

Let's just be consistent. Pay coaches for their job and if that salary, with no outside income, isn't sufficient, they can leave coaching and do other jobs, or take other jobs after they leave working for NCAA schools.

Doesn't seem too difficult to me.

Posted by: Dungarees | December 23, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

What crock! After we abolish the EPA and the FCC, the NCAA should be next.

Posted by: hammeresq | December 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Nate: while it seems unfair that student-athletes work like indentured servants for a university and coach who makes millions off of their labor, receiving a scholarship to attend a university just so they can play football. I know thousands of well-deserving students (including grad students myself) who would gladly have a free ride and play within the rules.

I also agree that suspending them for the first 5 games of the season is not punitive enough. OSU usually has one significant game sandwiched around some cupcakes, which will tide them over until conference play when they come back. Suspending them from the Sugar Bowl will send a strong message that this kind of behavior will not tolerated.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | December 23, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they should just say their father sold the equipment and they knew nothing about it.

Posted by: rndl404 | December 23, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Hypocrisy! The NCAA only exists so it can collect $$$.

Posted by: mortified469 | December 23, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Discounted services" I can see would be bad, and I know that you aren't supposed to sell tickets that are meant for family members etc. But are these other items the player's to keep? If so, why can't they sell them for money?
It's too bad they are selling championship rings and jerseys while they're still in school. Maybe they really need/want the money, or maybe they just don't realize that there may not be any more chamionships in their future and they should hold on to their mementos.

Posted by: didnik | December 23, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

There should be no indented servicetude among our college crop. Pay to play as we americans love our game of football and to miss these boys messes the book.

Posted by: llrllr | December 23, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Whats happening with the NCAA and its relationship with the players (football and bball)is a 21st century capitalistic form of exploitation. These colleges admit these Black kids knowing full well that they are inadequetely prepared for college. They put them in the most dumbed down majors, i.e parks and recreation, general education, social sciences ect..,put minimal effort into developing their academic skills, and sell them on a false dream of making it professionally, knowing full well that less than 5% will. So basically at the end of the young mans college career, he often times leaves with no degree, or one with little job market value, while the coaches, administration,schools in addition to the media, and apparel giants are made wealthy from these young men comming from low socioeconomic backgrounds, who as a result of this system are continuing their families cycle of dysfunction and poverty because they were not educated, and instead exploited.

Posted by: maymapp | December 23, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Hundreds of thousands of college athletics play within the rules. But does this make the NCAA rape and pillaging right? Of course they are not gonna suspend for the Bowl game, are you NUTS? NCAA is in this to make money, that's all. Remember when Chris Webber was out on a date after Mich advanced to sweet 16 and he earned the school $2.5+ million and he was out on a date with his girl friend and they had to put chips and snacks back on 7-11 shelf because he didn't have enough cash? That's what this is all about. Embarrassment to the students.

Posted by: madstamina | December 23, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Nothing new here that U of Michigan guard Allen Jackson didn't cover thoroughly in The Atlantic Magazine almost 60 years ago. To read this classic article click on the following link and scroll down to "Too Much Football".

Posted by: hp3kanalyst | December 23, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Dexter Manley went through college and I believe earned a degree. The only problem, as was revealed later, was that he wasn't able to read. Fortunately for Dexter he was a great athlete able to make it to the next level. How many Dexter Manleys have gone through college w/o the benefit of NFL level talent and end up in jail, impoverished or dead?

Posted by: randysbailin | December 23, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

The NCAA is a joke.

Posted by: DCFanatic | December 24, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins face a dilemma. They have had all of Snyder's class in dealing with Zorn, Campbell, and McNabb and were certain to go with Cam Newton as their quarterback of the future (and his father as their business manager). But now Pryor also turns out to meet their standards. So course since he won't have a Super Bowl ring to sell, the question is whether they can count him to do something to hold up Snyder's standards. Perhaps they could get a two-fer by appointing the NCAA head as their business manager.

Posted by: jhough1 | December 24, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

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