Happy New Year, right? The Ohio State football program announced early New Year's Day morning that sophomore defensive end Noah Spence had been suspended three games, including Friday's 2014 Discover Orange Bowl, for a breach of Big Ten rules. Spence will also miss the first two games of the 2014 season. A high-level Ohio State source told the Columbus Dispatch that Spence's offense was the result of "the use of an unapproved dietary supplement".
This punishment (both length and broad cause, a 'breach of Big Ten rules'), had been rumored on social media while the Ohio State team plane was en route to South Florida and Spence wasn't with them. However, it seemed thoroughly unlikely given the nature and the root of some of the rumors.
Unfortunately for Spence and OSU partisans alike, there apparently was fire where there was smoke, and the Buckeyes will now be without the All-Big Ten defensive end in a game where their recently suspect defense is already a bit light due to a variety of ailments. According to an Ohio State release, Spence and his parents, who did not agree with the rule violation nor the penalty imposed, exhausted all appeal options at their disposal before the breach of Big Ten rules and subsequent punishment became official.
Given the way freshman Joey Bosa stepped up and the general depth on the line, the loss isn't the worst thing that could happen to Luke Fickell and Urban Meyer's defense, but it's certainly not the kind of news you ever want to wake up to.
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