Ohio State defensive end Noah Spence will sit out the Orange Bowl on Friday night against Clemson and the first two games of next season as part of a three-game suspension for violating a Big Ten rule, the university announced Wednesday morning.
No reason was given for the suspension, but Ohio State's news release said the sophomore's parents did not agree with the decision and were assisted by the athletic department in exhausting the appeals process to the conference. The Columbus Dispatch reported the suspension was for using a banned dietary supplement.
Spence did not travel with the team to Florida for the bowl game and Ohio State officials had not previously specified the reason for his absence. Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer held out hope that the matter would be cleared up and Spence would play in the Orange Bowl.
An All-Big Ten performer and all-conference academic player this season, Spence led the Buckeyes in sacks and ranked second in the Big Ten with 8.0. He also was sixth in the conference in tackles for loss with 14.5.
Spence, a sociology major, will remain at Ohio State and be allowed to practice with the team this spring, but he will not be eligible to play until the Buckeyes' third game of the 2014 season, against Kent State on Sept. 13. He will miss the opener against Navy on Aug. 30 in Baltimore and home opener against Virginia Tech on Sept. 6.