LINCOLN, Neb. -- Even before the Ohio State University football team takes the field against Nebraska on Saturday, they managed to lose another decision, this time to the NCAA on Friday night.
The NCAA suspended senior wide receiver Devier Posey for five games and three other Buckeyes for one game for accepting too much money for summer jobs from a booster.
In addition to Posey, offensive lineman Marcus Hall, defensive lineman Melvin Fellows, and Daniel Herron will not play today. Hall, Fellows, and Herron will be eligible to play next week, barring more sanctions from the NCAA.
Posey's suspension of five more additional games didn't sit well with Gene Smith, OSU athletic director.
"I am extremely disappointed with the NCAA's decision regarding Devier Posey," Smith said in a statement. "This penalty is harsh considering the nature of the violation and the five-game suspension already served by this student-athlete."
Posey's attorney was angry at the severity of the penalty.
"I've been doing this for 30 years, and I have not had anything that I think has incensed me more," Columbus lawyer Larry James told the Associated Press.
The NCAA said Posey was overpaid $728. Herron and Fellows both accepted approximately $290 in excess pay, while Hall received $230 in overpayment.
The off-field incidents make the Braxton Miller-for-Joe Bauserman and vice versa a water-cooler topic.
But if you think OSU is the only team with quarterback issues, check out No. 14 Nebraska.
The Cornuhuskers got cheesed 48-17 at Wisconsin last weekend, and quarterback Taylor Martinez threw three interceptions in a span of four possessions to accelerate their demise. Martinez has been especially prickly when questioned by the media over that unusual string of completions that went into the hands of the Badgers.
"You guys rip me anyway, so it really doesn't matter," Martinez said during a sequence of terse responses to reporters' questions.
While Miller and Bauserman have been humble and apologetic over their underwhelming performances for the Buckeyes, a defiant Martinez said he is confident, and he voiced indifference over the surge of criticism that has come his direction.
"I don't read nothing you guys say, anyway," said Martinez, a sophomore from California.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, a former Buckeye who played safety at Ohio State from 1987-90, defended Martinez with statements that sound awfully familiar to those current OSU coach Luke Fickell has used regarding his quarterbacks.
"Let's face it, the quarterback position is always going to be under the microscope," said Pelini, a graduate of Youngstown football powerhouse Cardinal Mooney High School. "Trust me, Taylor had a couple throws he'd like back, [but] when you look at what he's done over the bulk of the season, I'm glad he's our quarterback."
Martinez has rushed for nearly 1,500 yards in a season and a half as the starter at Nebraska, and thrown for almost 2,500 yards with 14 touchdowns and a dozen interceptions. He has scored another 20 touchdowns running the football, and that running ability is the biggest concern for Fickell.
"Obviously he can run, and I'm not sure there's anybody on their team that's faster than him," Fickell said about Martinez, who averages just under 100 rushing yards per game.
"But it starts with them up front, when they can get on you they can get those guys pulled around the edges, and they can get you strung out on options. Martinez is going to be a very, very tough guy to catch, obviously, if you let him get going."
Ohio State senior linebacker Andrew Sweat said despite all of the struggles Martinez had at Wisconsin last Saturday night, he remains the motor behind any momentum the Nebraska offense builds.
"Taylor Martinez is explosive and has big play capability," Sweat said. "I think the biggest key to success against them is to not let them get started offensively. Watching the film we saw that Wisconsin was able to do that last weekend with success."