Ohio State has suspended another player, but not because of the NCAA: This time, it's for criminal charges.
Backup cornerback Dominic Clarke has been suspended for Saturday's game against Illinois after being charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly shooting a BB gun from the top of a dormitory cafeteria on Sunday night:
According to Ohio State Deputy Chief of Police Richard Morman, Clarke was arrested after 9 p.m. Sunday after a witness reported 2-3 people shooting what was believed was a paintball or BB gun above the MarketPlace restaurant at the William H. Hall Student Residential Complex at 1578 Neil Avenue. When an officer responded, Clarke was the only one remaining on the scene.
According to Morman, Clarke said he was trying to see how far the gun would shoot and did not target any person or object. There were no injuries or property damage from the incident.
So far this season, several Ohio State players have been suspended for everything from selling memorabilia for cash, tattoos and other perks to accepting too much money for a summer job. Clarke is the first Ohio State player this season to actually be charged with breaking the law (running back Jaamal Berry was implicated by witnesses of assault in a bizarre on-campus incident earlier this month, but was not charged), though since Clarke wasn't trying to hurt anyone, it's easy to chalk this incident up to a youthful mistake. Even coach Luke Fickell intimated that the suspension wouldn't be lengthy.
"He's very remorseful," Fickell said. "(It's) just a little thing that happened on campus. It's not something we're dwelling on."
Still, this isn't the kind of press Ohio State needs. Petty incidents like this - and I say petty because he didn't shoot anyone - happen in programs around the country, but everything is magnified and scrutinized more at Ohio State because of all the off-field problems the university has had this year. It would be one thing if the Buckeyes were winning, but after last week's heartbreaking loss to Nebraska, this is just another punch in the gut.