Two starters and one reserve will sit out the season opener against Akron on Saturday.
Travis Howard celebrates at the end of Ohio State's 31-26 win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl college football game in New Orleans Thursday afternoon. (Photo: AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Ohio State is already awaiting NCAA punishment on a memorabilia-for-tattoos scandal committed by several football players.
Now the Buckeyes could be in even more trouble with the NCAA after suspending three more players Thursday for receiving impermissible benefits earlier this year.
The school reported that running back Jordan Hall and defensive backs Corey Brown and Travis Howard have all been suspended for Saturday’s season opener against Akron after accepting impermissible benefits of $300 or less. Hall and Howard are both starters while Brown is a reserve safety for the Buckeyes.
“We take this matter seriously,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. “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.”
But for the Buckeyes it could be a matter of too little, too late. The NCAA heard the case in August on the tattoo scandal and other impermissible gifts and is expected to give a ruling later this month. Now this latest revelation will be added to a long list of violations.
The Buckeyes already will be without several key people for the first five games of the season due to the tattoos scandal. In addition, head coach Jim Tressel was forced out and star quarterback Terrelle Pryor left the program this summer for the NFL.