Ohio State University says it's reducing its football scholarships by five over three years as part of a self-imposed punishment in response to allegations about a booster's misdeeds.
On Thursday the university informed the NCAA of its decision as part of material it submitted to the college sports governing body, which is weighing potential punishments for Ohio State.
The university says former booster Robert DiGeronimo arranged cash payments of $200 to four current or former players at a Cleveland sports banquet earlier this year.
The university says DiGeronimo also overpaid five players by $1,605 while they were working for businesses owned and operated by the DiGeronimo family.
Never miss a local story.
Ohio State President Gordon Gee expressed disappointment Thursday in athletic director Gene Smith for not properly monitoring DiGeronimo. "I am disappointed that this is where we find ourselves. You know I find this unacceptable," he wrote.
No rest for Western
It's usually a decision reserved for college football's best teams — resting key players in nonconference matchups.
But Western Kentucky is in a unique position heading into Saturday's game against No. 1 LSU. The Hilltoppers are in the thick of this year's Sun Belt Conference title race and need to keep their best players healthy down the stretch.
Coach Willie Taggart joked that LSU is a "minor league NFL team," but the second-year head coach isn't treating Saturday's contest against the Tigers like an NFL exhibition.
"It's a great opportunity for our guys to go out and see how far we are from being the No. 1 team in the country," Taggart said.
WKU (5-4, 5-1) sits behind Arkansas State (7-2, 5-0) and Louisiana-Lafayette (8-2, 6-1) with games against North Texas and Troy remaining.
Taggart said he's not talking to the people who suggest he should rest his best players to prevent injury.
"If you buy into that, you don't stand a chance. You've already lost," Taggart said. "That's what happens in a lot of these ballgames. Teams lose before they even step on the football field."
In 2007, while Taggart was running-backs coach at Stanford, the 41-point underdog Cardinal upset host Southern California. WKU heads to Baton Rouge with LSU a 411/2-point favorite.
"That USC team had about seven first-rounders, and I think LSU probably has about the same or more," Taggart said. "But you saw a Cardinal team come in there that believed they could play with them and didn't go in there thinking any other way."
Plunkett wants company
Jim Plunkett wants some company at the Heisman Trophy ceremony every year. He has watched three Stanford players finish second since he won the program's only award in 1970. How soon the drought ends could depend largely on this week.
Andrew Luck, last year's runner-up, will take the biggest stage of his career Saturday night when he leads undefeated and third-ranked Stanford against No. 6 Oregon. A national television audience will be watching the showcase game of Stanford's season, including voters looking for Luck to seize the moment and perhaps a spot in the sport's most famed fraternity.
Luck was a dinner guest at Plunkett's home last year and reportedly avoided the trophy room where Plunkett's Heisman resides.