COLUMBUS, Ohio - During the last several months it has seemed as if the Buckeyes have cornered the market on bad news but on Tuesday evening the first measure of good news came down from the NCAA. Travis Howard, Corey Brown and Jordan Hall will all be cleared by the governing body upon repayment of $200 to charity after missing two games of the 2011 season.
The players were ruled ineligible before the season opener against Akron stemming from allegations of impermissible benefits from a February 2011 charity event in Northeast Ohio. According to facts that were provided by Ohio State the three athletes in questions received money from a booster of the university.
"The university appreciates the NCAA's expeditious response in reinstating these three student athletes," said Gene Smith, Ohio State Director of Athletics.
These suspensions were only the latest in the line of suspensions that have cost nine Buckeyes at least one game of playing time during the 2011 season. Four Buckeyes are still suspended and will not be cleared until the week of the Nebraska game.
It appeared as if the three players in question would only miss one game and members of the coaching staff announced that the three were set to be back for the Toledo game but the NCAA intervened on the Friday before the game saying that report was in error and that there were more things that needed to be addressed before any sort of reinstatement could be finalized.
During the absence of the players backup defensive back Dominic Clarke and running back Carlos Hyde stepped up and filled the starting roles in Ohio State's first two wins of the season. It remains to be seen how playing time will be split up as the Buckeyes head to Miami (Fla.) to take on the Hurricanes.