Sophomore defensive end Noah Spence, who didn’t make the trip to south Florida earlier in the week due to a “personal issue,” was suspended for three games by the Big Ten Conference by violating an unspecified league rule.
Later, The Columbus Dispatch reported that Spence “used an unapproved dietary supplement detected by testing conducted last month at the conference championship game.”
According to a university release, “Spence’s parents, who did not agree with the rule violation nor the penalty imposed, were assisted by the Ohio State Department of Athletics in exhausting the appeals process that was available to them with the Big Ten.”
Head coach Urban Meyer had hoped that Spence would win his appeal and join the team in Miami in order to play against Clemson in the Orange Bowl on Friday.
That’s not going to happen now. Junior Steve Miller and sophomore Jamal Marcus will see action at Spence’s position, Viper.
Spence totalled 28 tackles while leading the Buckeyes with eight sacks and is second on the team with 14.5 tackles for loss. His first game next season will be against Kent State on Sept. 13.
“I was just disappointed that the appeal didn’t go through,” Meyer said after practice on Wednesday. “Noah is one of my favorite players, great family, great person. But you’ve got to move forward.”
And then there’s another starter, junior cornerback Bradley Roby, and it’s likely he won’t play as well or for Ohio State ever again. Roby, who is suffering a bone bruise in his knee, announced in November he was turning pro.
“I don’t think Roby is going to make it,” Meyer told reporters on Wednesday.
In his place, sophomore Armani Reeves is expected to start.