- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2011

COLUMBUS, OHIO (AP) - The NCAA has denied Ohio State’s appeal on behalf of five Buckeyes football players who will be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling autographed memorabilia and receiving discounted tattoos. Coach Jim Tressel has asked that he also be suspended for the same span for not reporting the players’ involvement.

The NCAA announced the decision on Thursday night _ during the midst of the first day of men’s basketball tournament.

Star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four others acknowledged they sold rings, trophies and apparel in 2009.

The NCAA ruling is separate from the case involving Tressel, who did not disclose for more than nine months that he was aware his players’ received improper benefits from a Columbus tattoo-shop owner.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ The NCAA has denied Ohio State’s appeal on behalf of five Buckeyes football players who will be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling autographed memorabilia and receiving discounted tattoos.

The NCAA announced the decision on Thursday night _ during the midst of the first day of men’s basketball tournament.

Star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four others acknowledged they sold rings, trophies and apparel in 2009. The athletes must repay money and benefits ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.

The decision is separate from the case involving coach Jim Tressel, who did not disclose to the NCAA or Ohio State’s compliance department for more than nine months that he was aware his players’ received money and other benefits from a Columbus tattoo-shop owner.

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