On December 23, the NCAA suspended five Ohio State underclass football players, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, wide receiver DeVier Posey, running back Dan Herron, offensive tackle Mike Adams, and defensive end Solomon Thomas, for accepting illegal benefits. These players reportedly traded autographs for free tattoos and sold personal game memorabilia such as Big Ten championship rings.
After receiving their five-game suspensions, which will take effect at the beginning of the 2011 season, it was speculated that some of these players may decide to enter the 2011 NFL Draft. Today however, according to multiple sources, all five players have decided to return in the fall and play through the suspension.
These players were being allowed by the NCAA to still play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas. However, many members of the media believed that head coach Jim Tressel would not allow them to play in the bowl if they decided to head for the NFL. So that may be a reason why they have, for now, promised Tressel that they would return in 2011. Despite that promise, there is nothing keeping them from breaking it besides making Tressel and the rest of the OSU community mad.
It may also be that none of these players really stood a chance at attracting too much attention in the draft. Herron and Posey both were slated as 3rd-4th round prospects. Many scouts agreed that Pryor needs another great year of playing quarterback before he can even be considered an NFL quarterback prospect. He is currently being evaluated as an athlete, and even then, a 5th-6th rounder.
These players still have the option to go back on their words once the bowl game is over, but heading into the NFL prematurely and missing out on a year to improve may be more of a price to pay than missing the first five games of the 2011 season.