OSU’s Spence suspended for ecstasy use


COLUMBUS — Ohio State star defensive end Noah Spence's recent suspension was originally a one-year ban and the result of a positive test for a small amount of ecstasy, his father told a Harrisburg, Pa., television station Tuesday.

Greg Spence told WHTM-TV that Noah, the Buckeyes’ sacks leader, unknowingly took the drug when strangers gave him an open drink at a recent party. He said his son was "shocked" by the outcome of the test, which was taken before last month’s Big Ten championship game.

Spence was suspended three games for an undisclosed Big Ten violation — the first of which he served in the Buckeyes’ 40-35 loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Another outlet previously reported Spence had used an unapproved dietary supplement.

Greg Spence said his family plans to sue the Big Ten, though it is unclear on which grounds. A message left at the Spences’ home in Harrisburg went unreturned. Spokesmen for Ohio State and the Big Ten declined further comment.

A previous statement from Ohio State said Spence’s parents, Greg and Helen, disagreed with the rules violation and were assisted by the university in exhausting the Big Ten’s appeals process.

The Big Ten tested all Ohio State and MSU players for performance-enhancing drugs before the conference championship game. OSU also randomly tests athletes for both street drugs and PEDs.

The WHTM report said Spence was initially suspended for one year because the Big Ten considers ecstasy a PED. The NCAA labels ecstasy a stimulant rather than a street drug.

Spence, a sophomore all-conference selection who finished second in the league with eight sacks and had 14½ tackles for a loss, will practice with the Buckeyes in the spring and summer before returning for their Sept. 13 game against Kent State. OSU’s first two games are at Navy in Baltimore and home against Virginia Tech.

Contact David Briggs at:, 419-724-6084 or on Twitter @DBriggsBlade.