With just a few days before the Ohio State Buckeyes play the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, bad news hit the Ohio State nation. The Sugar Bowl will have a shadow casted over it when both teams take the field.
The NCAA handed down suspensions for five Buckeyes. The controversy is in the fact that those suspensions won’t start until the 2011 season for all five players – quarterback Terrelle Pryor, offensive tackle Mike Adams, running back Dan Herron, receiver DeVier Posey and defensive end Solomon Thomas. Every year the Coaching staff, Athletic Directors and the Compliance department, cover the dos and don’ts of all student athletes and these players know the rules, it’s drilled into them, they know better.
These players sold memorabilia – among the items sold: Pryor’s 2009 Fiesta Bowl Sportsmanship Award and his 2008 Gold Pants for beating Michigan. Other sold items included a 2008 Big Ten Championship Ring (ownership not disclosed), football jersey, pants and shoes. All five players must repay cash and benefits ranging from $1,000 – $2,500.00 and sit out the first five games in 2011.
The excuse all of them used was “I sold it to family members and friends.” These are not kids that stole candy from the corner convenience store. These young men are earning their degrees from a university of higher education. They all have good ACT or SAT scores or they could not get in; that tells me they have some smarts. There is just is no excuse for this, and I don’t think the penalty is harsh enough. The NCAA should have included the Sugar Bowl appearance as part of the suspension as well.
This is a true embarrassment to Buckeye nation and a fan base that stretches across the country. The Big Ten conference pushed to protect their financial interest in the Sugar Bowl in which they need Pryor to play for the Buckeyes. While Gene Smith (the Buckeyes Athletic Director) called the NCAA suspensions “severe” and the Buckeyes would be appealing the decision….good luck.
Now let’s focus on the 2011 NFL Draft. What are the chances that Pryor, Posey and Dan Herron declare? If I was a betting man, chances are pretty good! I don’t want to hear that these players don’t make any money, and they should get paid as an excuse for what they did.
A Buckeye is a fruit or poisonous seed. A prickly or smooth fruit of a tree or bush of the horse chestnut tree family. It is a shiny brown seed that is stuck on the side of the helmets for great plays and outstanding performances they need to remove all the Buckeyes from these five players’ helmets for the Sugar Bowl.
Shame on them!