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NCAA suspends Posey 5 more games; AD Smith calls penalty ‘harsh’

Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey has been suspended five games by the NCAA beginning with Saturday’s game at Nebraska, the NCAA announced Friday.

Posey must also pay back $720 he received for work he didn’t do from former booster Robert DiGeronimo.

The NCAA’s ruling comes after OSU athletic director Gene Smith announced Monday that Posey, along with Dan Herron and Marcus Hall, would be suspended for Saturday’s game at Nebraska, also for being paid for work they didn’t do.

“I am extremely disappointed with the NCAA’s decision regarding Devier Posey,” Smith said in a statement released Friday. “This penalty is harsh considering the nature of the violation and the five game suspension already served by this student athlete.”

Larry James, Posey’s lawyer, said the NCAA ignored documentation that showed Posey worked proper hours, but said the NCAA had made up its mind, according to a tweet from Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“I believe they think he was dirtied by Terrelle Pryor,” he said. “That’s the only thing that could make sense.”

Attempts to reach James by phone and email were unsuccessful.

Posey’s suspension follows a prior five game suspension for improper benefits in the form of free tattoos. He was scheduled to make his return at Nebraska this weekend prior to the new suspension.

The suspension means Posey won’t be eligible to return until OSU hosts Penn State on Nov. 19. The team will finish the regular season by traveling to Michigan the next week, and then could play in the Big Ten Championship and a bowl game afterward, if necessary.

DiGeronimo overpaid Posey by $720, being paid for 70 hours of work, despite actually working only 21.5 hours. He also received $102 in impermissible benefits for a round of golf.

Herron was overpaid $292.50. He was paid for 104 hours of work, even though he only worked 84.5 hours.

Hall was overpaid by $225. He was paid for 66.5 hours of work, despite only working 51 hours.

Melvin Fellows and Etienne Sabino were also involved, though Fellows is no longer playing due to a career-ending injury and Sabino has already been reinstated.

DiGeronimo has since been disassociated from the university.

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