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Herron, Posey, left tackle Mike Adams and defensive end Solomon Thomas, along with star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Dorian Bell, were suspended last December for the first five games this fall. Bell has since transferred to Duquesne.

All were found to have received cash and free or discounted tattoos from Edward Rife, who has pleaded guilty to federal charges of money laundering and drug trafficking unrelated to the Ohio State case and is awaiting sentencing.

Herron, Posey, Adams and Thomas were originally set to rejoin the team this week. Adams and Thomas have been cleared to play against Nebraska.

When Ohio State went before the NCAA’s committee on infractions on Aug. 12, the major issue was the players who took improper benefits from Rife and the actions (or inaction) of then-Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. Tressel, the Buckeyes’ successful coach for 10 years, was forced to resign because he did not tell his superiors when he found out about possible violations. He used ineligible players throughout the 2010 season.

Soon after Tressel was pushed out, Pryor left school a year early to jump to the NFL and is now a member of the Oakland Raiders, although is suspended by the NFL due to his problems at Ohio State and his unconventional route to the league.

James thinks the NCAA was harder on Posey because of his friendship with Pryor, who was at the center of several areas of investigation when he announced he was leaving Ohio State.

“My hunch is for some reason they have discredited him because he was close to Terrelle,” James said. “I think that’s what it is. As a result of that, they don’t want to believe anything that we put forward. But I can’t prove that.”

DiGeronimo helped run an annual charity event which led to three other players being suspended for the first two games this season.

Ohio State is awaiting the NCAA’s report of sanctions for the Tressel/tattoo violations. Smith said this week he expected the NCAA to announce final penalties late this year, perhaps in December.

The university has offered penalties including vacating the 2010 season’s 12-1 record, returning bowl payments totaling almost $339,000 from last season, and accepting a two-year NCAA probation. The NCAA could add to those penalties based on all of the subsequent violations and suspensions.

The NCAA also determined Posey accepted approximately $100 in golf fees from another individual, which it called “a preferential treatment violation.”


Rusty Miller can be reached at