COLUMBUS, Ohio (CBS4) – When the Ohio State Buckeyes travel to South Florida in 2011 to play the University of Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium, they will be without five star players including quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
The quintet were suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the 2001 season for selling championship rings, jerseys, awards, and receiving improper benefits from a tattoo parlor.
The story began to emerge late Wednesday night when rumors began making their way around the internet that OSU was investigating members of the football team.
The five players suspended for the first five games in 2011 include: Pryor, running back Daniel Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams, and defensive end Solomon Thomas. The group will also have to repay between $1,000 and $2,500 to charity.
All of the players will be eligible to play in the Buckeye’s Sugar Bowl game against Arkansas. The players are being allowed to play against the Razorbacks because the NCAA found, “the student-athletes did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred.”
The NCAA said Pryor must repay $2,500 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award, and his 2008 gold pants which are given to OSU player who are a part of a team that beats Michigan.
Adams owes $1,000 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring. Herron owes $1,150 for selling his football jersey, pants, and shoes for $1,000 and receiving discount services worth $150. Posey owes $1,200 for selling his 2008 Big Ten ring and receiving discounted services.
The news is especially relevant to the Canes because Ohio State will play them early in the 2011 season and without several top stars. The Canes could be in perfect position to pounce on the depleted Buckeyes who will have a replacement quarterback under center.
In addition, the Sugar Bowl could be the swan song for Pryor. The 6’6” quarterback has put up good, but not outstanding passing numbers, but if he stays, he’ll miss almost half of his senior season.
Pryor’s essentially been a poor-man’s Cam Newton throughout the season, but the NFL may be intrigued by his run/pass combination and take a chance on him the way the Denver Broncos gambled on Tim Tebow.