Ohio State coach Luke Fickell said today he will not dismiss Dan Herron and DeVier Posey from the team despite multiple NCAA infractions committed over the last year.
Posey and Herron remain suspended for Saturday's game at Nebraska because they received too much compensation for part-time jobs they worked at a Cleveland-area construction company. That comes after both were suspended for receiving free/discounted tattoos and selling memorabilia last year.
“I haven't seen anything that we wouldn't want a guy around right now,” Fickell said.
The news that Ohio State's top returning running back and receiver will remain suspended for Saturday's night game at Lincoln, Neb. was another devastating blow to a program that has been dealt many of them over the past six months. The Buckeyes will at least get Mike Adams back. He has been immediately inserted at left tackle and Andrew Norwell has been shifted to left guard.
They will still be protecting freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, whom Fickell confirmed again Tuesday remains the starter. He won't be working on a shorter leash, either, after struggling miserably in the loss to Michigan State. Fickell said he has made it clear to both Miller and Joe Bauserman that both quarterbacks will be needed this season, but he wants Miller to remain confident in his starting role.
“We don't want him to ever think that” he's on a short leash,” Fickell said. “I wouldn't say there's something we're looking for and if it doesn't happen we're going to change. We just have to put him in some situations and ultimately we have to make plays.”
Other Tuesday notes:
* Redshirt freshman receiver Verlon Reed tore his ACL against Michigan State and will miss the rest of the season. He is second on the team in catches (9) and receiving yards (132).
* Fickell wouldn't address how the ongoing scandals affect him as an alumnus of Ohio State. “There's situations and things you have to go through in life,” he said. “Do we like them? No, but they are what they are. These young men have not been in a situation like this on the field or off the field, but it's nothing more than a life lesson. I'm not going to worry about how I feel as an alum or former Buckeye. That doesn't play into it.”
* In addressing his players about the continued absence of Herron and Posey, Fickell said he trotted out John Wooden's three pearls of wisdom: Don't whine, don't complain and don't make excuses. “When we go out there today, there won't be a head down, there won't be anybody whining or moping about it.”
* Fickell thought defensive end Nathan Williams is doubtful for Saturday, but he didn't have a definitive update on receiver Corey “Philly” Brown.