NEW ORLEANS – Five Ohio State juniors that have been suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of 2011 for their involvement in the sale of memorabilia will play in the Sugar Bowl, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said Thursday morning, but only after they gave the Buckeyes a commitment to return next season.
It was widely speculated that the players – quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron, offensive lineman Mike Adams, wide receiver DeVier Posey and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas – might jump to the NFL a year early to avoid serving out the NCAA sanctions.
“I'm excited to say that all of our young people will be back. They want to be Buckeyes in 2011,” Tressel said while addressing the media for the first time since his team arrived in New Orleans on Wednesday.
“They wouldn't be here if that weren't the case.”
Tressel said he has no plans to limit the playing time of any of the players involved in the matter when the Buckeyes (11-1) face Arkansas (10-2) in the bowl game here on Tuesday.
Ohio State is appealing and seeking a reduction in the NCAA sanctions for next season, and Tressel said he has instructed his players that it was “not inbounds to talk about that situation” while the appeal is underway.