It’s your regularly scheduled look around the world of college sports- a bit more in depth than the tidbits we’ve got after practice. Following Tuesday’s notes, be sure to check the latest on “reform” from the NCAA and thoughts on Penn State’s constant appeals processes.
Not So Fast… Any speculation about Roby playing offense and defense was shut down by the coaches today. He made a spectacular play on an overthrow today, though- he’s going to be special. However, Corey Brown said that Roby wasn’t the fastest guy on the team, and called him out saying that he (Corey) wasn’t able to run during testing but that he could beat Roby in a race.
Ohio State wide receivers caught just 65 passes as a group a last year—dead last in the Big Ten.
To put that in perspective, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State and Northwestern each had one wide receiver catch more than 65 passes.
To put it mildly, that will simply not be good enough this season. Not with Urban Meyer under the helm.
With DeVier Posey suspended for the first ten games of the season, Devin Smith was the leading receiver for the Buckeyes in 2011. His statistics? A not exactly mind blowing 14 catches for 294 yards and four touchdowns. Posey has since moved on to the NFL, leaving the Buckeyes’ receiving corps as its largest question mark for the 2012 season.
There are no senior wide receivers on the roster, so Corey “Philly” Brown and Chris Fields are the veterans of the group as juniors. I use the term “veterans” lightly here, though, as Brown has just 14 catches in his OSU career and Fields has just 11. So, who steps up this season for the Buckeyes?
There are proven playmakers at the other positions on the field, except for wide receiver.
Tight end Jake Stoneburner will likely be the favorite target for sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller. Versatile tight ends seem to have a certain niche in Meyer-coached offenses, and Stoneburner is just that. Stoneburner, though, is currently suspended after being arrested roughly three weeks ago for obstructing official business, but many say that Stoneburner will not miss any games.
Running back Jordan Hall will also be used in a variety of ways by Meyer. But, Hall recently suffered a foot injury that will cause him to miss roughly 10 weeks, and potentially three games of the regular season.
But Miller will need some help from the wide receivers, too. Read More
Quick reflections on the Ohio State Spring Game…
NCAA says decision is “independent” of the NCAA enforcement process. “The enforcement investigation into th… (cont) http://t.co/R9fD2eK
It was confirmed by OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith that the three players suspended for accepting 200 dollars cash and attending a charity event without permission have been reinstated by the NCAA today and will be eligible to play against the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday.
Running back Jordan Hall, Corner Travis Howard and safety Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown were all suspended for two games for taking those improper benefits at the charity event that took place this February. It is yet to be determined if Hall will automatically be inserted as the starter against Miami. Rod Smith and Carlos Hyde shared carries in the first two games of the season, with Hyde getting the majority of the workload. Hall was the projected starter heading into the season.
Howard will start in the secondary most likely on Saturday, barring any belief from the coaching staff that he isn’t ready to go. Dominic Clarke, who filled in for Howard, will still see a bunch of time on the field. Brown will continue to back up Orhian Johnson and C.J. Barnett.
Rusty Miller of the AP was the first to announce the reinstatement. Bill Rabinowitz of The Dispatch has since confirmed.
Gene Smith told Miller and the Associated Press on Saturday that he didn’t believe these three suspensions would affect the decisions of the NCAA that loom over the head of the University. He also added that Ohio State would plan to appeal a bowl ban if it was handed down to them by those capable of doing so
From the AP:
“I don’t think a postseason ban is warranted,” Smith said. “I’ve always said, that’s the one thing we would appeal. Anything else, we can accept. But I can’t speculate what (the NCAA is) going to do.”
Coach Fickell receives a bit more of a heads up that his players are returning than he did when they were suspended. The coaching staff found out just 48 hours before the opening of the season that it would be without Hall, Howard and Brown. It seemed that all three would be back before OSU’s battle with Toledo, but just 24 hours before game time, the coaching staff was informed that all three would be suspended for a second game.
All three players must pay 200 dollars back to charity before they are eligible to play a down.
Today, Ohio State released the following statement regarding the three student athletes who were suspended against Akron. While it was anticipated that they would return, they have yet to be cleared by the NCAA-
The three Ohio State University football players suspended for last week’s game have not been reinstated by the NCAA and will not participate in the game Saturday against the University of Toledo. The university continues to work with the NCAA on the reinstatement process and is hopeful that the student-athletes will be reinstated soon. The university will have no further comment.
This might indicate that there is either a larger issue at hand, or that the NCAA has not gained all of the information that was needed. In fact, the NCAA release included the words “further questions that need to be answered”. Ohio State had assumed that these three would be cleared, and had been preparing all week as such; including conversations with the media.
Thursday night, the Dispatch reported that the suspensions were for receiving $200 at a charity event, and that there were discrepancies in the student athletes’ stories. According to the Dispatch, there seemed to be confusion on whether or not the students believed that they were being paid to work at an event that had been cleared by compliance in previous years.
It’s interesting that student athletes from other programs could be suspended for one game for seemingly greater issues after a relatively quick turnaround by the NCAA, while these students have not yet been given the OK through the process.
This afternoon, Ohio State released a statement announcing that Jordan Hall, Travis Howard, and Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown are suspended for the Akron game for accepting improper benefits under $300 at an event earlier in the summer. Howard and Hall were scheduled to be starters.
The full statement is as follows-
COLUMBUS, Ohio— As part of its continued work with the NCAA to resolve any remaining football compliance issues, Ohio State today announced that it has self-reported violations involving three student-athletes. That review has led to junior running back Jordan Hall, sophomore defensive back Corey Brown, and junior defensive back Travis Howard disclosing that they had received impermissible benefits of $300 or less each in total at a charity event they attended earlier in the year.
Consistent with past practice, the university immediately reviewed this information and self-reported the infractions to the NCAA and the Big Ten. In accordance with NCAA regulations, the university will not permit them to participate in the Sept. 3 game versus Akron. Although Ohio State has filed for their reinstatement for the remainder of the 2011 season, the university also is considering institutional sanctions for these student-athletes.
Athletics Director Gene Smith said, “We take this matter seriously. 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.”
The university will have no further comment.
We’ll keep you posted as this develops.
The receivers are one of the least experienced groups on the entire team. The suspension of Devier Posey compounds the issue significantly.
As young and inexperienced as they may be (and let me reiterate, they are), they are also extremely talented- as you would expect from any group at Ohio State.
It may take a few games to work out the kinks, but if the passing attack starts rolling, these players are fully capable of taking over a game.
The good news is that they don’t need to take over games; they only need to take some pressure off the running backs by giving the defense something to worry about.
At this, they should be more than capable, no matter who the quarterback ends up being.
After losing three starters from last season, one would think the secondary would be in rebuilding mode at camp. Like the rest of the defense, that has not been the case at all. The starters (with one small exception) have been set from day one.
Continuity in the secondary is important, and the Buckeyes have had plenty of it so far. Outside of the offensive line, communication and coordination is more important in the secondary than anywhere else on the football field, and having the same players together helps out tremendously.
I have been very impressed by the secondary during practice. Despite three new starters, they all play (and most importantly communicate) like seasoned veterans.
Bold prediction time: despite the attrition, the 2011 defensive backs will be better than a year ago.
Here is a player by player breakdown of the two-deep. Read More