Ohio State suspends three players

Updated: September 1, 2011, 6:49 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Ohio State has suspended three players for receiving impermissible benefits at a charity event earlier this year.

Running back Jordan Hall and defensive backs Corey Brown and Travis Howard have been suspended for Saturday's season opener against Akron for each receiving benefits of $300 or less.

Ohio State self-reported the violations and has petitioned the NCAA for their reinstatement, although the school is also considering additional sanctions against the players.

"We take this matter seriously," athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. "Our commitment to institutional integrity is steadfast, and we must hold everyone associated with our athletics programs accountable for lapses in judgment. We believe in transparency with the NCAA, all regulatory bodies and all of Buckeye Nation."

The latest admission could affect Ohio State's previous case before the NCAA, which was heard on Aug. 12.

The suspensions come as Ohio State awaits a ruling from the NCAA's Committee on Infractions regarding violations committed by former coach Jim Tressel, former quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four current players. Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas are suspended for the first five games of the season for trading memorabilia items in exchange for cash and tattoos.

Hall, from Jeannette, Pa., was Pryor's high school teammate.

Hall and Howard both are listed as starters on Ohio State's depth chart for the Akron game, while Brown is a reserve. At running back, sophomore Carlos Hyde and freshman Rod Smith are listed evenly on the depth chart behind Hall. Sophomore Dominic Clarke is listed behind Howard at cornerback.

Brown, who goes by the nickname "Pittsburgh" to distinguish him from Buckeyes wide receiver Corey "Philly" Brown, was listed as a backup at safety.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.