Tag:Jordan Hall
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:06 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Florida 24, Ohio State 17

Posted by Adam Jacobi

FLORIDA WON. The Florida Gators used two special teams touchdowns to break the Gator Bowl open, and Ohio State's late rally wasn't enough to bring the Buckeyes back in a 24-17 Florida victory. Andre Debose, seen at right, was named Gator Bowl MVP after he took a kickoff 99 yards to the house, and fellow Florida speedster Chris Hainey later blocked a punt that was returned 15 yards for a touchdown.

HOW FLORIDA WON: As mentioned before, Florida made big plays on special teams that turned the tide of this game, but it should also be noted that the reason OSU only scored 17 points was that Florida effectively bottled up Braxton Miller on the ground. Miller led the Buckeyes with 15 rushes, but he was only able to get 20 yards total on the ground, and Florida's six sacks on defense were a huge part of that. Ohio State depends heavily on its run game, so when Florida held that ground game to under four yards a pop, half the Gators' work toward getting the W was done.

WHEN FLORIDA WON: The Gators had held a healthy lead for most of the game, but Braxton Miller found Jordan Hall on a swing pass late in the 4th quarter, and about five jukes later, Hall was in the end zone and OSU was within seven points with under a minute left. Alas, Drew Basil's onside kick found its way into the arms of Florida WR Stephen Alli, and that would be all.

WHAT FLORIDA WON: If nothing else, it was enjoyable to see an SEC team win the way SEC teams win: SPEEEEEEEEEED. What Florida did not do, however, is move the ball reliably and turn first downs into scoring drives with any regularity. Florida avoids its first losing season in over 30 years with the win, and Will Muschamp has a bowl win over the Big Ten's historical powerhouse on his resume already, so although six-loss seasons aren't going to be tolerated in Gainesville for very long, this is at least a high note for the Gators to end on and to keep the mood at Florida congenial -- for now.

WHAT OHIO STATE LOST: This isn't goodbye for interim head coach Luke Fickell, who's going to be the co-defensive coordinator for Urban Meyer next year, but this was his swan song as Ohio State's head coach, and if anybody deserved to be carried off the field on the team's shoulders this year, it was Fickell. This wasn't a good Ohio State team. Urban Meyer wouldn't have been able to get more than seven or eight wins out of it. So for Fickell to just go out as a sub-.500 head coach at the end of the year would unfairly obscure the work he did. 

THAT WAS CRAZY: In the first quarter, Ohio State knocked the ball out of Florida QB John Brantley's hands as he was passing it. The ball bounced and hit OSU LB Ryan Shazier, who tried to recover it, but his effort was unsuccessful and shortly thereafter the officials blew the play dead as an incomplete pass before anybody else recovered the ball. The play was sent to further review... at which point the replay official awarded the ball to Ohio State for recovering the ball. The fumble was a good call; the recovery was not. Fortunately for Florida, OSU did not convert the turnover into points.

FINAL GRADE: D. This wasn't much like the Ohio State team we'll see next year, thanks to the impending arrival of Urban Meyer. So a game featuring three total offensive touchdowns, two limited offensive performances, one play's worth of end-game drama (a failed onside kick, at that), and zero lead changes isn't exactly going to be exciting. Bah.

Posted on: October 3, 2011 11:39 am
Edited on: October 3, 2011 11:40 am
 

Status of Herron, Posey in doubt for Ohio State

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Ohio State has now played five games this season, which means that the suspensions that players like Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas, Dan Herron and DeVier Posey for their involvement in Tattoogate is over. However, that doesn't mean that every single one of them will be able to play when the Buckeyes take on Nebraska on Saturday.

According to a report in the Columbus Dispatch, the status of both Posey and Herron is still in question.
A separate probe by the NCAA into Herron and Posey apparently showed they may have received improper benefits in terms of alleged inflated remuneration while working summer jobs in the Cleveland area. It could mean at least one more game of suspension for Herron, for whom the benefits was said to be in the $200 to $400 range, and perhaps multiple games for Posey, for whom the benefit was said to be about $500.

Sources said both refuted the charges. Herron, a source said, produced evidence that he thought showed he had received no improper benefit.
The NCAA started a separate probe into Herron and Posey earlier this season while looking into the benefits Jordan Hall, Travis Howard and Corey Brown received from booster Robert DiGeronimo for attending a charity event. Those three were all suspended for the first two games of the season for accepting $200 from DiGeronimo.

Ohio State is scheduled to make an announcement at 3:30pm Eastern on Monday.

If Herron and Posey can't play this weekend against Nebraska, it would be a big blow to the Buckeyes. The Ohio State offense has been pretty dreadful this season, so getting two playmakers like Herron and Posey back would be a nice boost.

Both Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas are expected to be cleared to play.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:40 am
 

OSU RB Berry hospitalized, involved in assault

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Ohio State running back Jaamal Berry was involved in a strange incident on campus on Wednesday morning, according to OSU police, and the sophomore running back was hospitalized after allegedly assaulting another student. No charges have been filed on Berry, but as the Ohio State Lantern reports, that may be because Berry took the worst of the punishment by far:

Berry's name was the only one blacked out of the report but multiple sources confirmed to The Lantern that he was the other student involved. The OSU police report listed the incident as an assault, a misdemeanor in the first degree, with use of weapons including "hands, feet, teeth."

At about 10:25 a.m., two males were witnessed "wrestling on the ground" in the South Oval, according to the police report. The primary witness is a university employee who declined to comment, but said in the police report that Berry was muttering things such as "I don't know what is going on around me."

The report said Berry "appeared confused and disoriented and was unable to tell me his name."

The OSU police officer on the scene observed that Berry was "mentally unable to provide me with any of his emergency contact information," and Berry voluntarily went to the OSU emergency department. 

From that description of events, there is every indication that Berry suffered either a concussion or some other traumatic brain event during the course of the alleged assault, and though we are obviously not doctors and Berry's medical records are not about to be made public, the witness description of Berry's mental state after the alleged assault certainly doesn't sound like somebody who should be practicing or taking hits from opposing defenses any time soon. In fact, it sounded like the only place Berry should have gone was the OSU Medical Center, and we're glad he went there voluntarily.

Berry rushed for 266 yards on 32 carries as a redshirt freshman last season, and he has seen extremely limited action in the last three games this season, even with presumptive top tailback Dan Herron currently serving a five-game suspension and emerging star Jordan Hall suspended for the first two games of the year.

Being that Hall and Herron's absences have been insufficient to get Berry on the field in any reliable context, it's unlikely Ohio State will miss Berry's production over the next few weeks -- especially with Herron returning from suspension after this week's game against MSU. But with an incident as weird as this, and with Berry's state of mind so clearly imperiled by whatever happened to him, the primary concern here is that he acts responsible and steps away from football until he's ready to go again.

For the record, the Lantern reported that the other member of the alleged fight Berry was in did not have his name blacked out of the police report, so one must assume that if it were anybody of public note, his name would have been either blacked out or made (extremely) public. Columbus isn't exactly a media atmosphere known for restraint and secrecy, after all. So in other words, being that it's extremely unlikely that Berry was fightint a teammate, it seems vastly more likely that this is a Jaamal Berry problem than an Ohio State problem.

Posted on: September 17, 2011 10:32 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 10:39 pm
 

Instant Reaction: Miami 24, No. 17 Ohio State 6

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Heading into the IneligiBowl, Miami had already scored a big victory over Ohio State: they had more ineligible players back for the game than the Buckeyes did.

It finished as much more than a moral victory, however; it turned into a real one for the 'Canes Saturday night. despite a lackluster second half from both teams that caused Sun Life Stadium to look and sound like a Marlins game.

Ohio State's offense never could get going, racking up less than 200 yards of total offense. Miami didn't generate a ton of pressure on defense, but it was enough to keep the Buckeyes uncomfortable in the pocket all night long. Receivers failed to get open against the Hurricanes secondary and Joe Bauserman ended up completing as many passes to his teammates as Jacory Harris did. The Buckeyes also had more pass attempts (15) than passing yards (13) until the very end of the final quarter.

Speaking of Harris, he was sharp early but shaky late before turning into a glorified handoff machine. The Hurricanes first two drives were impressive, with Harris hooking up with wide receiver Allen Hurns twice to take a 14-0 lead the team never relinquished.

The game itself was really a tale of two running backs. Miami's Lamar Miller showed great burst, hitting the hole hard before taking off on several long runs throughout the night. Before the season, UM coaches talked very highly of the talented redshirt sophomore and it's easy to see why after Saturday night's game. He rushed for 116 yards in the first quarter and managed keep his average over seven yards a carry for the night.

His counterpart in scarlet and gray, Jordan Hall, was the Ohio State offense. He broke off several nice runs during the Buckeyes' second scoring drive and had a nice punt return to start the third quarter where he almost broke it to the house. He was limited after the return following a minor injury on the play and whatever hope OSU had of winning the game walked to the sidelines with him.

Given the offseason both teams faced, the game in the warm Miami night was pretty reflective. It was ugly and nothing to be proud of, with a second half that some would like to forget. For the Hurricane faithful though, it was something they needed - a win no matter what. It was also Al Golden's first win as head coach and while there's plenty of things to go back and work on, he'll no doubt be happy to be talking about winning instead of what ineligible player will be suiting up.


Posted on: September 16, 2011 4:16 pm
 

Miami-Ohio St looking for a game, not headlines

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MIAMI -- Is Oklahoma going to the Pac-12? Did you see LSU's defense Thursday night? The NCAA reinstated someone from Boise State!

The world of college football this year seems to be about everything but the games six days a week. Saturday, of course, things stop. There's tailgates and touchdowns, quarterbacks and queso, defensive backs and racks full of ribs.

Likewise, much to Mark Emmert, Donna Shalla and E. Gordon Gee's chagrin, Saturday's primetime match up between Miami and Ohio State has seemingly been about everything but what will take place at Sun Life Stadium. The Ineligible Bowl. The Tats and Cash Fiesta. The Yahoo! Sports Bowl. Convict Boosters vs. well… Convict Boosters.

For what it's worth though, there will be no boosters on the sideline according to Miami officials.

Everyday this week, it seemed that each program was in the news for off the field distractions. Tuesday, the NCAA reinstated three Buckeyes after accepting money - via disgraced quarterback Terrelle Pryor - from a booster. On Thursday, Miami's most famous booster, Uncle Luke, announced plans to sue Miami's most infamous booster, Nevin Shapiro. Before the game on the field, games were played in the headlines during the run-up.

"What has been our strategy? Just focus on what we can control," Hurricanes head coach Al Golden said. "Again, I keep saying it. No one on our staff was involved with anything that occurred here, and 90% of our team wasn't.

"There are some distractions there. There are a lot of things. I'm sure Coach (Luke) Fickell has the same issues in terms of every move that you make requires a double move basically."

Golden's starter at quarterback tomorrow, Jacory Harris was suspended for the opener, a loss to Maryland. He's looking to make up for his performance in the Horseshoe last year when he threw four interceptions in a 36-24 loss. For a team looking to put it all out on the field after a rough month off of it, perhaps it is fitting that the Hurricanes' fate will rest on someone who was taken off of it for eligibility issues.

Beyond last year's loss and Harris' issues though, this game means something to Miami. They're looking to avoid an 0-2 start for the first time since 1978 and end their four game losing streak. It's Golden's home debut leading the Hurricanes as well, something the team is clearly focused on - not the nicknames for their Ohio State showdown.

“He's been through the thick and thin with us through this whole [NCAA investigation]," senior Travis Benjamin said. ”We just want to come out and get a W for coach Golden.”

The Buckeyes are not without their own issues as they take their slightly less talented roster to South Beach. The team struggled last week and almost lost to Toledo were it not for John Simon's interception of the Rockets' backup quarterback late in the game. They'll be without four key players due to suspension in receiver DeVier Posey, tackle Mike Adams, running back Dan Herron and backup end Soloman Thomas. Those four will stay in Ohio while the other member of the Buckeye Five will be in Oakland. Not that anyone will bring any of that up.

"We hope and we think that this is what the game is all about, to be able to handle adversity and we believe it's going to make us stronger in the long run," Fickell said. "It starts from the top down. We can't let it affect me so that we can't let it affect them, as well."

Speaking of suspended players, Miami has at the early lead going on: they'll get back five players to Ohio State's three.

The Hurricanes will likely play a key role in the game as well. Linebacker Sean Spence will be a key defender in the middle of the defense behind linemen Marcus Forston and Adewale Ojomo. A speedy receiver, Benjamin should also provide a boost for the offense. Starting running back Jordan Hall, corner Travis Howard and reserve safety Corey Brown are back for the Buckeyes.

It won't quite be the 2003 Fiesta Bowl in terms of talent on the field but there's no ignoring how big a game it is between the two programs who are not on friendly terms.

"We try not to focus on, `Hey, this is a national game because of Miami and their great history and Ohio State's great history,'" Fickell said. "We're still making sure we understand it's one game at a time, like we always say, but it's still about getting better. It's a chance to obviously test ourselves."

Miami's home opener will be emotional. Ohio State is no doubt looking to silence critics. There will be story lines aplenty.

But as 7:30 eastern rolls around, it will - finally - be just a game.
 

Posted on: September 14, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Buckeye booster takes responsibility for payments

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A Cleveland-area Ohio State booster has admitted "responsibility" for the $200 payments at a charity event that led to the two-game suspensions of Buckeyes Corey Brown, Travis Howard and Jordan Hall. He also revealed how those payments were delivered--by none other than ex-Buckeye Terrelle Pryor, who gave the three suspended players envelopes with the cash inside.

The booster, Robert DiGeronimo, told the Columbus Post-Dispatch that the money was intended to be used as reimbursement for the three players' travel expenses. Brown, Howard and Hall received the money at an Independence, Ohio fundraiser for the charity Cornerstone of Hope, which was founded by DiGeronimo's son-in-law and on whose Board of Directors DiGeronimo serves.

However, DiGeronimo would not admit to having provided the money himself nor describe how Pryor had obtained it.

"However the money got there ... it did not come from Cornerstone," DiGeronimo told the Dispatch. "However Mr. Pryor got the money, I take responsibility. I am responsible for those kids coming up here from Columbus. I handled it wrong. I should not have handled it the way I did."

Two other unnamed current OSU players told the Dispatch they had also been in attendance at the fundraiser, but had not received any money. The players' appearances at the fundraiser had not been approved by the Ohio State compliance office

Brown, Howard and Hall were reinstated yesterday after repaying the $200 to an unidentified charity, and will be eligible for this week's visit to Miami. But the NCAA also confirmed that its investigation into Ohio State is ongoing--and with the obvious questions that surround why Terrelle Pryor was walking around with envelopes full of money at a fundraising event largely organized by an admitted Buckeye booster-slash-superfan, it's easy to see why.

Posted on: September 13, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 6:49 pm
 

NCAA reinstates three suspended Buckeyes

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Ohio State may not be at full strength in terms of getting players back on the field, but it's getting there. The NCAA has officially reinstated RB Jordan Hall, CB Travis Howard and S Corey Brown as of today, ending the three Buckeyes' two-week suspension for accepting money from a booster at a recent fundraiser. 

According to the NCAA, whose full statement on the reinstatement is linked here, the three players will be forced to repay the money they received from the booster, with the money going to an undisclosed charity.

The reinstatement means that the players have finally gotten their stories straight about where the money came from, which was not the case last week when two different people (a former player and a booster) were named as sources for the money in Ohio State documents. That clearly didn't sit well with the NCAA, and the suspensions continued through the Toledo game.

Nonetheless, Ohio State didn't have any public gripe about the length of the investigation and suspensions. “The university appreciates the NCAA’s expeditious response in reinstating these three student athletes,” said Gene Smith, Ohio State Director of Athletics. 

The NCAA's statement ends on this well-known, but still ominous note (emphasis ours):

Reinstatement decisions are independent of the NCAA enforcement process and typically are made once the facts of the student-athlete’s involvement are determined. This is typically well in advance of infractions decisions. The enforcement investigation into the Ohio State University is ongoing.

In other words, this situation isn't fully resolved in the NCAA's eyes, but at the very least the three players involved can get back on the field.

One must wonder when the boosters in Columbus are going to stop providing benefits to players. It may be a noble gesture and the rules may be illegitimate in the boosters' eyes, but they are still the rules, and the more those rules are broken the worse off Ohio State is going to be. It seems very counterintuitive that a "booster" would take such destructive action, then, but such is the world we live in.



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Posted on: September 9, 2011 6:26 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 6:33 pm
 

NCAA hasn't reinstated three Ohio State players

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Last week, Ohio State suspended RB Jordan Hall, CB Travis Howard and S Corey Brown for the Akron game after learning the three players had accepted $200 for their presence at a Cleveland charity event. Ohio State expected its three suspended players to be reinstated by the NCAA for this week's game at Toledo following the conclusion of the NCAA's investigation.

Problem: the NCAA never agreed to a one-game suspension. As a result, all three players will be sitting out their second straight game.

Here's the official statement from Ohio State:

The three Ohio State University football players suspended for last week's game have not been reinstated by the NCAA and will not participate in the game Saturday against the University of Toledo. The university continues to work with the NCAA on the reinstatement process and is hopeful that the student-athletes will be reinstated soon. The university will have no further comment. 

On its face, this appears to run counter to the NCAA's speedy reinstatement of several suspended Miami players who had accepted much more than $200 from disgraced booster Nevin Shapiro. The problem for Ohio State is that this is more than an issue of just punishment; the NCAA is not satisfied with the results of its investigation, and the fact that the three players gave conflicting reports to officials and investigators about why they were at the fundraiser and who paid them cannot possibly help their case for an expedited reinstatement.

To that end, here is the official statement from the NCAA (emphasis ours):

Contrary to recent media reports, Ohio State football student-athletes Corey Brown, Jordan Hall and Travis Howard are not cleared to compete in the game on Saturday with University of Toledo. The nature and scope of their violations merit a minimum two-game suspension. In addition, the facts submitted by the university have raised further questions that need to be answered before the reinstatement process is complete. 

Two of the three suspended players named a former Buckeye as the source of the money, and the third named a "representative of athletics interests." All names were redacted by Ohio State on the documents acquired by the Columbus Dispatch.

It is strange that we live in a world where athletes in a multi-billion dollar sport/industry can be taken out of competition for something as insignificant as accepting a $200 gift, and it's been made clear recently that Ohio State has a few boosters who don't have much respect for those rules, but they are still the rules. So as long as giving money to players is still illegal, as long as the NCAA's sniffing around Columbus because of previous violations, and as long as the NCAA won't reinstate players who are being evasive with an investigation, it strongly behooves everybody involved with the Ohio State program to follow the NCAA's rules to a T. To do anything less is demonstrably harmful to the program, and it's strange that so many people around the team -- from Jim Tressel to everyone else who evidently wants to give these players an extra little something -- don't seem to realize this.

 
 
 
 
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