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Buckeyes suspended five games

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four teammates were suspended by the NCAA on Thursday for the first five games of next season for selling championship rings, jerseys and awards and receiving improper benefits from a tattoo parlor.

All can still play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas.

Pryor, running back Daniel Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams and defensive end Solomon Thomas also must donate the value of the benefits to charity.

A sixth player, linebacker Jordan Whiting, must sit out one game and pay $150 to a charity for the value of services discounted by the tattoo artist because he was a Buckeyes player.

"As a student-athlete, you're not allowed to use your persona to get discounted services." Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said.

The NCAA said a game was added to the usual four-game penalty "because these student-athletes did not immediately disclose the violations when presented with the appropriate rules education."

The school will appeal the suspensions. Smith said the punishment should be mitigated because of how the players used the money they received.

"The time this occurred with these young men was a very tough time in our society. It's one of the toughest economic environments in our history," he said. "The decisions that they made they made to help their families."

Smith was asked how getting money for their families jibed with getting free or discounted tattoos.

"The discount on tattoos is not as big as the other pieces," he said. "I'm not trying to make those two the same. But the cash was relative to family needs."

Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said at least one player had filed paperwork to have his NFL draft status assessed but didn't not specify which.

"We all have a little sensor within us: 'Well, I'm not sure if I should be doing this,' " Tressel said. "And sometimes, it gets overrided by what you think your necessity is. I would have to think that there was no way that they just thought that (selling items) would be common practice."

The NCAA did not suspend the players for the Sugar Bowl because the rules allow players to participate in a championship or bowl game if they were "not aware they were committing violations."

Addazio speaks

PHILADELPHIA — Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio was officially introduced as Temple's coach.

"I've waited a long time to be a head football coach," said Addazio, as assistant for 15 seasons, the past six at Florida. "I've paid my dues in this business."

The Connecticut native, 51, who will stay at Florida through the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl, replaces Al Golden, who took over at Miami. The Owls went 3-31 in the three seasons before Golden arrived. They went 1-11 in his first season then won 26 games over the next four.

"Al Golden has done a fantastic job," Addazio said. "It's our responsibility to come here and build on that."

LSU: The NCAA will not add penalties for improper contact between Akiem Hicks, a junior college transfer who never played, and D.J. McCarthy, who has since resigned as receivers coach. LSU sanctioned itself with the loss of two scholarships for 2011-12 and a reduction in recruiting visits.

Poinsettia Bowl: Ronnie Hillman ran for 228 yards and three touchdowns to lead San Diego State to its first bowl win since 1969, 35-14 over Navy in San Diego. The Mountain West freshman of the year ran for scores of 22, 37 and 2 yards and caught a 15-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth for a 28-14 lead. Navy (9-4) had closed within one score on Ricky Dobbs' 1-yard keeper with seven seconds left in the first half. The Aztecs (9-4) hadn't won a bowl game since the Pasadena Bowl in December 1969. They had been in only three since, most recently the 1998 Las Vegas.

Buckeyes suspended five games 12/23/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 23, 2010 11:57pm]
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