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Report: OSU trio given $200 each at charity event

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The only reason given by Ohio State when it ruled three players — junior running back Jordan Hall, sophomore defensive back Corey Brown, and junior defensive back Travis Howard — ineligible for the opener was that they had been found to have received less than $300 each in impermissible benefits at a charity event earlier this year.

Shortly thereafter speculation began as to the reasons behind the suspensions, up to and including the players merely being guilty of accepting gift bags that were being passed out to everyone at the charity event.  Unless those gift bags were also rumored to have contained pictures of dead presidents that can be folded and put into a wallet, that simply wasn’t the case.

Instead, the Columbus Dispatch, citing documents they obtained pertaining to the investigation, is reporting that Hall, Brown and Howard each received $200 in cash at the charity event in Cleveland.

(Writer’s note: what can I say; we’re generous in this area of the state.)

In the self-report obtained by the Dispatch, two of the players stated that they thought they were being paid for working at the event.  The third stated that he received the money from a teammate — there were two other current Buckeyes at the event, but it was found they did not receive any impermissible benefits — but wasn’t sure why.

It was also unclear exactly which individual or individuals were responsible for giving the three players a total of $600.

One player told investigators he received the cash from a former OSU player while another indicated he received payment from a person who is “a representative of athletics interests.” Both names were redacted by Ohio State attorneys.

The two players who did not receive money observed someone carrying several envelopes during the event. However, the identity of that individual was also redacted by Ohio State attorneys.

According to the self-report, it was unclear whether the person who gave the money did so in his role as a representative of the charity or acting alone. The source of the money is also unclear.

(Writer’s note: why is it that the players’ names are released in a very public manner and allowed to become the object of scorn and/or ridicule in these types of situations, yet at the same time the facilitators of these impermissible benefits have their names redacted?)

All three players were reinstated by the NCAA earlier this week and will be available to play this weekend against Toledo.  Hall and Howard had been listed as starters on the Buckeyes’ depth chart before their suspensions, but head coach Luke Fickell said each player would have to earn back their starting jobs.

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9 Responses to “Report: OSU trio given $200 each at charity event”
  1. buckeye044 says: Sep 8, 2011 9:47 PM

    Luke Fickell is angered and disgusted.

  2. southernpatriots says: Sep 8, 2011 10:15 PM

    JT: Could it be that the giving of the money is not a crime and the giver is not governed by the NCAA? Only the receiving of the money by a college athlete is a violation of NCAA rules?

    buckeye044: We KNOW you are right. After lecturing the players about what they should not do and after the mess which proceeded him Fickell and staff were most certain to have made what is and what is not permissable known to all.

    We KNOW Coach Les Miles was beyond angry, beyond a red face to a purple anger face when he learned his team violated curfew and went to a bar at the “gates of LSU” and some became involved in a melee. There was hell to pay for all the team, and more for the greater offenders. Thank God he was able to get the team to focus in time for Oregon. Fickell will do the same.

  3. tsimpson50 says: Sep 8, 2011 11:02 PM

    Interesting…. were they suspended for taking money? lying? or both? Wonder how they thought they were “working the event”? Wow!! I bet this isn’t the last we hear out of Columbus. They ought to start taking away these athletes scholarships and if they want to transfer to another school they pay for their own way….

  4. steelersandladyboysfan says: Sep 9, 2011 12:56 AM

    Damn, better start “working” some charity events, sounds like good money.

  5. paulbrownsrevenge says: Sep 9, 2011 1:41 AM

    ^ if you think a few hundred bucks is good money, I’d hate to see where and how you live. Did you post this from a public library?

  6. gershonpsu says: Sep 9, 2011 6:26 AM

    “working” a charity event isn’t exactly heavy lifting. What did they do for their $200? Eat and shake hands? The OSU culture was and is dirty. They’ve recruited athletes with a wink and a lot of promises. It’s going to take some time to clean out the garbage.

  7. southernpatriots says: Sep 9, 2011 7:36 AM

    It is normal, common, standard operating procedure (SOP) for charities to pay celebrities (athletes, actors, politicians, authors, etc.).

    These fees they pay are often called “appearance fees.” The celebrity does not have to “work” any physical labor, just show up, look good, sometimes mingle, and maybe sign autographs and take photos with donors, or those attending the event.

    We have been to hundreds of these type events. Small events and large events like this happen every day throughout America and many parts of the world.

    The charity organizers likely gave the athletes money for appearing and did not think twice about it since they do that all the time. The athletes should have spoken to their assistant coach and he should have spoken to the compliance officer (team?) rather than let this matter continue down the line and now penalties are imposed.

    Most scholar athletes are looking for emploment almost all the time. Scholarships do not pay the total cost of education. They fall short averaging about $5000 per year.

    If these athletes thought or were told that they would receive money for “working” or “appearing” at the charity event, they may have indeed thought this was a good opportunity to get some pocket money.

    Fickel and staff have work to do. The NCAA needs to clarify some rules and dispense with most nit picky rules that prohibit college athletes from earning money like this. If they relax the rules it would allow athletes to help make ends meet for the growing gap between the scholarship funds and the actual cost to the student of the education. At LSU, the gap is about $4000, at USC the gap is about $5000 a year.

  8. dkhhuey says: Sep 9, 2011 10:42 AM

    @southernpatriots – easy there folks… you’re talking sane, logical, common sense and that is usually frowned upon when talking about OSU!

  9. southernpatriots says: Sep 9, 2011 1:53 PM

    dkhhuey: Oh, we forgot… this is CFT? ha. Surely, some folks have posted such vitriole and venom that it makes us think that they must have been jilted by a former love from tOSU…ha.

    The Golden Rule is often forgotten: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” It universally applies (except for Ole Miss and Tulane). Sometimes, the Wizard of ID’s observation applies: “He who has the gold, makes the rule!”

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