Thursday, December 30, 2010


Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
NEW ORLEANS — Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said on Thursday that he was happy the five Ohio State players — who were suspended by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits — were ruled eligible to play in next week's Sugar Bowl game in New Orleans.

Petrino, who has led the No. 8 Razorbacks (10-2) to their first BCS bowl game ever, said that he didn't want anything to tarnish this special moment in Arkansas football history.

"When it first came out, we happened to be having a team meeting right before we were ready to leave," Petrino said Thursday, inside the ballroom at the Marriott New Orleans at the Convention Center. "We all talked about how we hoped there's nothing to this situation. We want them to be eligible for the game.

"We get to a bowl game of this magnitude, you want to play against their best players, so I think we're fortunate that they're eligible to play."

Although the NCAA suspended the five players — Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas — for the first five games of the 2011 regular season, it hadn't been determined whether the Buckeyes were going to penalize the players internally by sitting them on Tuesday night.

Earlier today though, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said that all of the said players will play in the Sugar Bowl, and that each of them gave a pledge that they would return for the 2011 season, as well.