Five Ohio State players suspended

The Buckeyes will be shorthanded to start the 2011 season, as five players (including QB Terrelle Pryor) will miss the first five games of the season for receiving improper benefits. Per ESPN:

Five players were found to have sold awards, gifts and university apparel, plus receive improper benefits in 2009. In addition to missing five games next season, Pryor, Mike Adams, Daniel Herron, Devier Posey and Solomon Thomas must repay money and benefits ranging in value from $1,000 to $2,500. The repayments must be made to a charity.

Jordan Whiting must sit out the first game next year and pay $150 to a charity for the value of services that were discounted because of his status as a student-athlete.

All of the players be eligible for the Jan. 4 Allstate Sugar Bowl, however.

What did they sell, you ask?

Pryor must repay $2,500 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, a 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 Gold Pants, a gift from the university.

Herron must repay $1,150 for selling his football jersey, pants and shoes for $1,000 and receiving discounted services worth $150.

Posey must repay $1,250 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,200 and receiving discounted services worth $50.

Adams must repay $1,000 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring.

Thomas must repay $1,505 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,000, his 2008 Gold Pants for $350 and receiving discounted services worth $155.

Good grief. Leave it to the NCAA to come down hard (five games?) on a program for breaking the rules, but still allow the players to still play in the upcoming bowl game. While these players were in the wrong, it’s telling that these unpaid student-athletes, who generate millions in revenue for the NCAA, have to resort to selling their championship rings to put some cash in their pockets.

Looking ahead to the Buckeyes’ 2011 schedule, they’ll have to face Akron, Toledo, Miami (FL), Colorado and Michigan State without their star QB. Their first game back will be on Oct. 8 at Nebraska.

What do you think — is what amounts to a half-season suspension fair for what Pryor and the other players did?

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