|Jordan Hall, left, is one of three players suspended for Saturday's opener against Akron (TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)|
Junior tailback Jordan Hall, junior cornerback Travis Howard and safety Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown will miss Saturday's contest after receiving improper benefits at a charity event they attended earlier in the year.
According to the university, the players were provided $300 or less in benefits after receiving gift bags.
OSU director of athletics Gene Smith issued the following statement Thursday evening ...
"We take this matter seriously," Smith said. "Our commitment to institutional integrity is steadfast, and we must hold everyone associated with our athletics programs accountable for lapses in judgment. We believe in transparency with the NCAA, all regulatory bodies and all of Buckeye Nation."
Hall, who was listed as the starting tailback for the Akron game earlier in the week, will be replaced by sophomore Carlos Hyde and red-shirt freshman Rod Smith. Both were considered the second back according to the depth chart. Senior Dan Herron is already serving a five-game suspension for receiving improper benefits.
Howard, who is one of the up-and-coming stars of the Buckeyes' young defense, will be replaced at left cornerback by sophomore Dominic Clarke.
Brown was listed as a backup at safety behind C.J. Barnett.
The university is also considering institutional sanctions for said student-athletes.
The Buckeyes opener is at 12 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium.