In what has become a common scene in the continuing parade of terribles in Columbus, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith took to the podium this afternoon to announce that three players - offensive lineman Marcus Hall, running back Dan Herron and receiver DeVier Posey - have been suspended for Saturday's game at Nebraska for accepting improper benefits for a job they worked.
It is another square roundhouse kick to the face of the embattled program, although Smith maintained his confidence that the latest in a seemingly never-ending string of violations would not result in a Lack of Institutional Control or Failure to Monitor Allegation. Smith characterized the violations as an "individual" not a "systematic" problem.
Meanwhile, players like Carlos Hyde are openly criticizing the coaching staff, defensive starters are complaining about the offenses' impotence, reports are swirling of internal strife in the lockerroom, Linebackers Coach Mike Vrabel and Offensive Coordinator Jim Bollman are allegedly getting into confrontations, and Luke Fickell's in-game decision-making is getting skewered all over the web. As our colleagues at Along the Olentangy summarize:
"The coaching staff has forced Miller into a pro-style offense, bludgeoning his athleticism and inexperience into a natural, experienced passer's hole. The routes being run-- square-ins, deep posts, fades-- are vestiges of Ohio State's 2010 playbook, and they reveal an offensive staff unable to adjust. Terrelle Pryor, now an Oakland Raider, rarely threw these routes his first two seasons, yet the Buckeye coaches somehow deem Miller capable."
Ladies and Gentlemen, the wheels are coming off in Columbus. The only good news for Buckeye fans? The decision to fire Fickell at the end of the season and bring in an experienced leader is getting easier by the day.