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Buckeyes take away five scholarships

Not quite: Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas can’t get the ball over the goal line during a 37-26 win over Georgia Tech.

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Not quite: Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas can’t get the ball over the goal line during a 37-26 win over Georgia Tech.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State president Gordon Gee expressed disappointment in athletic director Gene Smith for not properly monitoring the actions of a booster who got several football players in trouble with the NCAA.

Thursday, the university agreed to reduce its scholarships by five over the next three years as its latest self-imposed punishment. The NCAA allows football programs to have 85 scholarship players.

The NCAA also accused Ohio State for the first time of a "failure to monitor" — a step below "lack of institutional control" — for permitting the booster, Robert DiGeronimo, to continue to have contact with players even after he was involved in NCAA problems earlier in the year.

In the letter to Smith dated Thursday, Gee wrote, "I am disappointed that this is where we find ourselves. You know I find this unacceptable."

As part of its report, Ohio State also disclosed DiGeronimo hid in a locker in order to try to hear a game-day speech by then-coach Jim Tressel after Tressel had banned outsiders from the locker room.

The NCAA handed Ohio State a second letter of allegations covering all violations that have occurred since it sent the initial letter last summer. The NCAA anticipates the latest allegation will be heard by the Infractions Committee on Dec. 10.

The first letter dealt with violations stemming from players taking cash and discount tattoos from a Columbus tattoo-shop owner and a subsequent coverup by Tressel, who resigned. The latest letter covers violations not covered during Ohio State's hearing before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions on Aug. 12. Those self-punishments included vacating bowl money and wins, two years of probation and suspension of players

The university previously said DiGeronimo arranged cash payments of $200 to four current or former players this year. It also said he overpaid five players by $1,605 while they worked for businesses owned by his family.

Ohio State said Thursday it should've done more to monitor DiGeronimo's activities.

"On a personal note," Smith said in a statement, "I deeply regret that I did not ensure the degree of monitoring our institution deserves and demands."

Hokies edge Jackets

ATLANTA — Logan Thomas threw for three touchdowns and ran for two as No. 10 Virginia Tech took a step toward the ACC title game by beating No. 20 Georgia Tech 37-26.

The Hokies (9-1, 5-1 ACC) sit 1½ games ahead of Virginia and two ahead of Miami in the Coastal Division. The Jackets (7-3, 4-3) were eliminated from the division race.

Down 26-21, Thomas was sacked on third and 19 from the Hokies' 17-yard line. But linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu punched Thomas' helmet, leading to a penalty and an automatic first down. Thomas capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run.

No. 11 Houston 73, Tulane 17: Charles Sims rushed for 207 yards, including scores of 72 and 52 yards, as the visiting Cougars remained one of five unbeatens in Division I-A (Boise State, LSU, Oklahoma State and Stanford). Case Keenum passed for 325 yards, including touchdowns of 66, 23 and 8 yards to Patrick Edwards, who also scored on a 70-yard punt return. Tulane (2-9, 1-6 C-USA) held Houston scoreless in the first quarter. The Cougars (10-0, 6-0), averaging 52.7 points, scored 35 in the second.

Buckeyes take away five scholarships 11/10/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 11, 2011 12:28am]

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