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Former Buckeyes petition NCAA to get DeVier Posey back on the field

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Former Ohio State players have banded together to get wide receiver DeVier Posey back on the field.

Nine former players — most of which played during the early 1970s — sent NCAA president Mark Emmert a letter expressing their belief that the NCAA had gone too far in suspending Posey for an additional five games after the NCAA discovered that he was overpaid by $700 by a booster for whom he worked.

Jim Conroy, a former Buckeye who is now a Cleveland lawyer, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer the main purpose of sending the letter was to express how they think Ohio State is being treated unfairly. Posey was already suspended five games for trading Ohio State memorabilia for tattoos.

"There's not much we can do, but we can at least go on the record and basically say enough is enough," Conroy told the paper. "The kid made mistakes and he served his time and we want the kid to know, and maybe the (Ohio State athletic) department as well, that we don't think this is right."

Here's the text of the letter:{YSP:MORE}

Dear Dr. Emmert:

As former football players and proud alumni of The Ohio State University, we have watched the recent issues surrounding the Buckeye football program with great concern and disappointment. Having played a game from which one learns so many life lessons, we readily acknowledge that actions have consequences and that when players make mistakes, on or off the field, there is a price to be paid and responsibilities to be accepted.

When we learned last week of the additional game suspensions leveled against certain players, however, we were not only surprised but, to be candid, troubled. This reaction is based upon prior knowledge and understanding of the content of the evidence submitted by counsel to support the players' position that the pay they received was for actual work done.  Why those charged with the responsibility of assessing the evidence—be it Ohio State, or the NCAA or its enforcement consultants -- failed to conclude likewise is troublesome, at best.

With the imposition of the additional suspensions the college career of at lease one of these players is effectively over. This seems to be by any standard of equity and fairness an incredibly steep price to pay for selling memorabilia and, if the position of the NCAA is to be accepted, receiving $700 extra dollars in pay from an employer. We would hope that upon additional reflection by the NCAA it would agree.

Accordingly, as former players—men who have in fact worn the uniform and know what the experience means to these young men-- we call upon the parties involved, both the NCAA and Ohio State, to revisit this penalty. We ask that given (i) the  nature of the infraction; (ii)the disparity between the NCAA and the athletes relative to challenging this ruling; (iii) the impact this ruling has had and will have upon the lives of these young men, and (iv) the serious concerns we have over the analysis of the evidence submitted on the players' behalf, the "Rule of Reason" will be followed and the players in question will be immediately reinstated.

Respectfully, said yet another way, they have been punished enough.

Sincerely,
Jim Conroy '71, '74 — Football 1968-1970
Bruce Smith '71 — Football 1968
Jan White '71 — Football 1968-1970
Ralph Holloway '71 — Football 1968-1970
Phil Strickland '71 — Football 1968-1970
Bruce Jankowski '71 — Football 1968-1970
Fred Schram '72 — Football 1969-1971
John Hicks '74 — Football 1970, 1972-1973
Steve Langenkamp '98 — Football 1992-1995

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Graham Watson is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @Yahoo_Graham.

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