Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was among five Ohio State University football players suspended for the first five games of next season after selling awards, gifts and university apparel and receiving other benefits, the school said on its Web site.
Pryor, a junior who has scored 55 touchdowns and accounted for almost 6,000 yards in his career for the sixth-ranked Buckeyes, and the others will be eligible to play in the Sugar Bowl against No. 8 Arkansas on Jan. 4 in New Orleans.
Pryor, offensive lineman Michael Adams, running back Dan Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey and defensive end Solomon Thomas must give a charity between $1,000 and $2,500 each to offset the value of the discounted services they received.
A sixth player, linebacker Jordan Whiting, was suspended for the first game of 2011 and must pay $150 to a charity for receiving discounted services.
“These are significant penalties based on findings and information provided by the university,” Kevin Lennon, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s vice president of academic and membership affairs, said in a statement.
The players will miss games against Akron; Toledo; the University of Miami of Coral Gables, Florida; Colorado; and Michigan State.
Lennon said the players weren’t provided with adequate instruction on the rules. Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said in the statement that the school was “not as explicit with our student-athlete education as we should have been in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 academic years regarding the sale of apparel, awards and gifts issued by the athletics department.”
Smith said instruction had been tightened up beginning in November 2009 and would be further enhanced “after going through this experience.”
Adams must repay $1,000 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, and Herron must repay $1,150 for selling his football jersey, pants and shoes for $1,000 and receiving discounted services worth $150, according to the statement.
Posey must repay $1,250 for selling his 2008 championship ring for $1,200 and receiving discounted services worth $50, while Pryor must repay $2,500 for selling his 2008 championship ring, a 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 Gold Pants, a gift from the university.
Solomon must repay $1,505 for selling his 2008 championship ring for $1,000, his 2008 Gold Pants for $350 and receiving discounted services worth $155.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup in New York at email@example.com