Thursday, March 17, 2011

BUCKEYE PLAYERS APPEAL DENIED; TRESSEL TO MISS FIRST FIVE GAMES

Jim Tressel
(TBT/D. Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State's appeal to the NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, to have the suspensions reduced for five Buckeye football players, was denied on Thursday. The ruling means quarterback Terrelle Pryor, as well as DeVier Posey, Dan Herron, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas will miss the first five games of the 2011 regular season for receiving improper benefits.

"While we are disappointed that our appeal request was denied, we respect the NCAA and accept its ruling," Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith said Thursday. "The players are sorry for the disappointment they have caused, will learn from their mistakes, and will strive to earn the confidence and support of everyone associated with the university through their future conduct."

Also, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel will miss the first five games of the 2011 season — at his request — for not coming forth immediately after learning about the player violations last April. Tressel was originally suspended for the first two games and fined $250,000 by the university.

"Throughout this entire situation my players and I have committed ourselves to facing our mistakes and growing from them," Tressel said in a statement. "We can only successfully do that together. I spoke with athletics director Gene Smith, and our student-athletes involved, and told them that my mistakes need to share the same game sanctions.

"Like my players, I am very sorry for the mistakes I made. I request of the university that my sanctions now include five games so that the players and I can handle this adversity together."

The five games the Buckeyes coach and players will miss include home tilts against Akron, Toledo, Colorado and Michigan State, with a road trip to Miami (Fla.) in between.