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Ohio State’s Noah Spence to sue Big Ten over suspension

Noah Spence AP

Noah Spence may ultimately miss the first couple games of the new season, but he’s not going to do so without a fight.

The Ohio State defensive lineman was slapped with a three-game suspension for violating an unspecified Big Ten rule, which reportedly involved testing positive for a dietary supplement.  As it turns out, he actually tested positive for a small amount of ecstasy.

Through his father, however, Spence claims that the drug was, unbeknownst to him, slipped into his drink at a party prior to the positive test.  Spence was tested before the Buckeyes’ Big Ten championship game appearance.

While the NCAA considers ecstasy a recreational drug, the Big Ten considers it to be a performance-enhancing drug and calls for a one-year suspension.  An appeal reduced that suspension to three games — the Orange Bowl, plus the first two games of the 2013 season.  A second appeal by Spence aimed at having the three-game suspension lifted was denied.

Greg Spence, the defensive end’s dad, told WHTM-TV that they are planning to file a lawsuit against the Big Ten over the suspension.

As a sophomore 2013, Spence led the Buckeyes with 8.5 sacks and was second in tackles for loss with 14.5.  If the suspension holds, Spence will miss games against Navy and Virginia Tech and would be eligible to return for the Sept. 13 game against Kent State.

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18 Responses to “Ohio State’s Noah Spence to sue Big Ten over suspension”
  1. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jan 7, 2014 2:31 PM

    People can be very quick to say things like “quit whining and take your medicine”.

    But one has to remember that the Ohio State University isn’t a private institution. Thus, they should not be allowed to arbitrarily prevent Spence from participating in a school activity, especially when such action can negatively impact his future earnings.

  2. zoellner25 says: Jan 7, 2014 2:34 PM

    What performance is that enhancing, his nocturnal activities?

  3. senorpapino says: Jan 7, 2014 2:37 PM

    Sounds like a reasonable story. He was probably also raped later that night.

  4. handsofsweed says: Jan 7, 2014 2:44 PM

    It is a very reasonable story. Hell, it happened to me at Kent State in 1996. We were having a Hairy Buffalo dorm party for about a dozen people and I brought a bottle of Absolut to chip in, but wasn’t the one that mixed it all up. Another guy did, as well as tossing in a handful of E to dissolve.

    Nobody was raped, but I would have liked to have known it was in there first.

    Spence’s prob is going to be PROVING someone spiked him. But don’t think for a second that this isn’t reasonable, pounding techno music and glow sticks aside.

  5. gatorcheme says: Jan 7, 2014 2:45 PM


    The suspension was applied by the Big 10 Conference, not the school. Even so, how does the school’s private vs public have any bearing on the issue?

  6. thraiderskin says: Jan 7, 2014 2:46 PM

    I would say his story sounds believable, but you are opening up a bad door if the B1G let’s it slide. Partys are great in college, but you never take a drink u haven’t witnessed being poured and you never leave your drink unattended.

  7. gatorcheme says: Jan 7, 2014 2:59 PM

    I agree with thraiderskin on this. Professional athletes (even almost-professional ones) are acutely aware of everything that goes into their bodies. If, for no other reason, than to prevent a positive drug test.

    Noah should be more careful of his social environment–he has a lot more to loose than many of his ‘friends’. You are who you hang with.

    The Big Ten is right to have a zero tolerance policy. There’s too much plausible deniability when it comes to this stuff.

  8. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jan 7, 2014 3:14 PM


    If I’m running a transportation company and a non-union employee fails a recreational drug test, I can suspend him. Despite this not being private commerce, many use that flawed analogy. It’s a public school- it belongs to the citizens of Ohio.

    Why are they testing athletes for ecstasy in the first place if they’re not testing non-athletes? Should they test blacks but not whites?

    I get that they want to test for PEDs- that falls under just cause. Singling out the athletes for recreational drugs falls under “just ’cause”.

  9. gatorcheme says: Jan 7, 2014 3:33 PM


    The school didn’t conduct the drug test. It was done by the conference, which mandates testing upon all Big Ten athletes per NCAA guidelines. There is no direct connection between them and the citizens of Ohio. I.E. Ohio can’t pass a law that says the Big 10 Conference is no longer allowed to conduct drug tests on Ohio athletes due to some perceived discriminatory practice (athlete vs non-athlete) by the Big 10.

    Many recreational drugs fall under the PED category. The Olympic committee considers marijuana a PED. Ecstasy is known to raise one’s tolerance to pain.

  10. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jan 7, 2014 4:18 PM

    That’s just the Olympic committee justifying it’s own BS. If you buy into that, ice is a PED as well since it makes one recover from a workout faster.

  11. thraiderskin says: Jan 7, 2014 4:41 PM

    Garorcheme… and one’s tolerance to reality… I’m looking at you butthatmakestoomuchsense.

  12. bigbuckeye76 says: Jan 7, 2014 4:51 PM

    Sounds to me like he should be happy it’s not the whole season.

  13. normtide says: Jan 7, 2014 5:16 PM

    Only in the b1g

  14. thraiderskin says: Jan 7, 2014 6:25 PM

    I see what you did there Normtide!

  15. manik56 says: Jan 7, 2014 6:55 PM

    Sounds to me like he won his appeal since it was reduced from 12-15 games down to 3. He did have the drug in his system. He shouldn’t pay a price?

  16. polegojim says: Jan 7, 2014 7:06 PM

    Then…. he went to the wrong party with the wrong people, or those he didn’t know.

    Say it’s unfair??? I don’t care… once you’re playing at this level with high hopes for the next, you better know who you’re with and what your drinking.

    Take personal responsibility to assure you don’t get spiked by controlling your surroundings.

    PS… why did he have to be busted… to THEN come forward with this story???

  17. dkhhuey says: Jan 7, 2014 7:24 PM

    If it is true that he just consumed something that some dick dumped some Ex in – what a horrible break for Noah. Either way, if it is in his system then it really doesn’t matter how it got there unless you have some serious proof to support your statement.

    Tough break Noah – but I can recommend some therapeutic activity this year… once you get back on the field, just assume anybody wearing the opposition jersey was the dick who dumped Ex into your drink!!!

  18. gborange says: Jan 8, 2014 6:53 AM

    No worries…….. Meyer will take care of it……… Or at least hide for a couple of years til he gets that pro gig.

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