More details on B1G suspension of Spence
January, 7, 2014
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
When a team suspends a player for violating its rules, the issue typically goes away. When a league imposes a suspension and the school helps the player during the appeals process, it can get ugly.
That's the situation we have with Ohio State sophomore defensive end Noah Spence, who was suspended last week by the Big Ten for three games for violating a league rule. The Columbus Dispatch reported that Spence tested positive for a banned dietary supplement, but Spence's father has told a very different story to WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, Pa.
According to Greg Spence, Noah tested positive for a small amount of the drug ecstasy, which Greg said Noah took unintentionally after it was slipped into a drink he received from people he didn't know at a recent party. The Big Ten initially suspended Noah for a full year before reducing the ban to three games following the family's first appeal. The Spences made a second appeal, which was denied, and Greg told WHTM that the family intends to sue the conference.
There seems to be some confusion about how ecstasy is classified and whether or not is should be considered a performance-enhancing drug. The NCAA classifies ecstasy as a stimulant on its banned substances list.
In its release announcing Spence's suspension, Ohio State noted that Spence's family disagreed with the Big Ten's decision and the punishment, and that Ohio State aided the family during the appeals process.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith declined to comment when reached via email today. Head coach Urban Meyer didn't say much about the situation last week before the Discover Orange Bowl.
Barring a change, Spence will have to sit out Ohio State's first two games against Navy and Virginia Tech next season after missing last week's Orange Bowl against Clemson. He led Ohio State with 8.5 sacks, ranked second on the team with 14.5 tackles for loss, and also recorded 52 total tackles, a forced fumble and four quarterback hurries this season.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Halftime Nebraska 17 24 USC 24 Final Cincinnati 17 Virginia Tech 33 Final 15 Arizona State 36 Duke 31 Final Miami (FL) 21 South Carolina 24 Final/OT Boston College 30 Penn State 31
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
Final Illinois 18 Louisiana Tech 35 Final Rutgers 40 North Carolina 21 Final North Carolina State 34 UCF 27
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State