The hits just keep on coming for Ohio State. Some 48 hours after a dominating 42-0 win over Akron on August 30, the university announced three football players were suspended from game for violating NCAA rules.
It’s another incident in line with a slew of NCAA violations the football program committed in the past year. This scandal of the week involves starting tailback Jordan Hall, cornerback Travis Howard and backup safety Corey Brown. Recently released records show the three accepted $200 at a charity event in Cleveland earlier this year but gave varying accounts of how the affair transpired.
Two said they thought the money was payment for working the event. The third was under the assumption he was receiving the money from a teammate. A Buckeye alumnus invited the three to the charity event and the players obliged, thinking the event was university approved. It wasn’t.
In the records sent from OSU to the NCAA, there is no clear evidence as to who gave money to the players.
Once again, “miscommunication” is the alibi. You would think the NCAA will try to send a message, adding another increasing the punishment for the Buckeye’s extensive catalog of misbehavior. The university acted first, suspending them last week against Toledo.
It seems interim head coach Luke Fickell is trying to nip these problems in the bud. Hall, Howard and Brown might play next week and if they do their playing time isn’t ensured. Fickell was pleased with his players that filled in for the suspended trio and might not want to disrupt any continuity in the lineup.
“Our (other) guys played well last week. It’s their jobs. We want to make sure that (those other players) know we have confidence in them. It’s not like we’re going to bounce around from week to week. If (the other players) do a good job throughout the week, we’re going to continue with them.”
In other words, Hall, Howard and Brown may receive a much harsher punishment than suspension. Being cleared to play yet sitting on the bench is probably not the easiest penalty to swallow.