Initially suspended for just one game for receiving an envelope of $200 in cash at a charity benefit, Ohio State Buckeyes players Jordan Hall, Corey Brown, and Travis Howard weren't reinstated by the NCAA before their second game against Toledo, which came as a surprise to head coach Luke Fickell and athletic director Gene Smith.
Now, in anticipation of the Scandal Bowl, otherwise known as OSU's matchup against Miami Sept. 17, Hall, a running back, and defensive backs Brown and Howard have all been reinstated for this Saturday's tilt, a boon to a Buckeyes team that, despite its No. 17 ranking, can use all the help it can get after squeaking by Toledo.
The NCAA still hasn't ruled on the penalty it will give Ohio State in the wake of Tatoogate, which has already claimed three 2010 starters for the first five games of this year, Terrelle Pryor's senior year, and Jim Tressel's head coaching career (for now). Here's the NCAA's statement on its decision to reinstate those whom I shall henceforth call "The 'Charity' Three," until I think of something better:
Reinstatement decisions are independent of the NCAA enforcement process and typically are made once the facts of the student-athlete's involvement are determined. This is typically well in advance of infractions decisions. The enforcement investigation into the Ohio State University is ongoing.
For more on the now less depleted Buckeyes, visit Along the Olentagy.