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Ohio St. booster comes forward to accept blame for violation

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A booster said he's responsible for envelopes containing $200 in cash given to three Ohio State football players that led the NCAA to suspend them for two games each, the Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday.

Robert "Bobby" DiGeronimo said he was behind former Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor giving the three players the envelopes.

DiGeronimo said, "I handled it wrong."

The NCAA suspended the players — expected starters tailback Jordan Hall and cornerback Travis Howard, and backup safety Corey Brown — for accepting improper benefits. They were reinstated Tuesday and could play Saturday at Miami.

NCAA back on North Carolina campus

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The NCAA has returned to campus as part of its investigation of North Carolina's football program.

Team spokesman Kevin Best said in an e-mail that the NCAA returned for "follow-up work" related to the investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct. NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn declined to comment in an e-mail.

The NCAA sent a notice of allegations in June outlining nine violations. The school's response is due Monday, and it is scheduled to appear before the infractions committee in October.

Tennessee: Coach Derek Dooley says he's unsure whether senior defensive end Ben Martin can play against Florida on Saturday. Martin suffered a sprained ankle last week. Junior offensive tackle Dallas Thomas is expected to start after hurting his knee last week.

MSU tries to end streak: For all the good third-year coach Dan Mullen has done since his arrival from Florida's staff, Mississippi State is just 2-9 against SEC West foes — with both wins against Ole Miss. The Bulldogs are winless against Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama and LSU.

But No. 25 Mississippi State could take a huge forward with a win against visiting LSU tonight in Starkville (8, ESPN). The Tigers have won 11 meetings in a row dating to 1999.

The Bulldogs feature a spread offense led by quarterback Chris Relf and running backs Vick Ballard and LaDarius Perkins. The trio was largely responsible for MSU gaining 333 rushing yards in last week's loss to Auburn, and the ground-based plan will be the same against LSU.

"Our people expect us to win games now," Mullen said. "Before, they were just impressed maybe we competed."

UConn women's coach not optimistic

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma says he doesn't think his Huskies will win an eighth national title this season.

Auriemma told a group of business leaders that while fans have come to believe that UConn should play for a championship every year, those expectations are not realistic for a team that no longer includes two-time national player of the year Maya Moore.

"Sorry, I would like to, but I don't think we are," Auriemma said.

"Now if the other guys (he later listed Notre Dame, Tennessee and Baylor) screw up, which they are capable of doing, then we've got a chance."

Ohio St. booster comes forward to accept blame for violation 09/15/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 15, 2011 12:05am]

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