Sophomore Zwick will take over

Updated: January 11, 2005, 10:21 AM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith was suspended on Monday for violating team and NCAA rules and will not play in next week's Alamo Bowl.

Coach Jim Tressel would not say what Smith did or when the violation occurred, but said the university became aware of the problem on Thursday.

Troy Smith
Getty ImagesSmith, who started in Ohio State's final five games, could rejoin the team over the winter.

"Obviously, he feels terrible that he didn't take care of his responsibilities," Tressel said.

Smith, a sophomore, will not travel with the team to San Antonio when it leaves on Wednesday for the Dec. 29 game against Oklahoma State.

Justin Zwick, who is also a sophomore, will take over. He had been the starter until he lost the job after mildly separating his left, or non-throwing, shoulder in the sixth game of the season against Iowa.

Smith led the Buckeyes to a 4-1 record in their final five regular season games, including a 37-21 victory over rival Michigan last month when he threw for 241 yards and ran for 145 yards.

"I am aware of what is expected, both on and off the field, at Ohio State and I have fallen short of those expectations," Smith said in a statement released by Ohio State.

Overall, Smith played in eight of Ohio State's 11 games this year, completing 68 of 122 passes for 896 yards and eight touchdowns. He was intercepted three times.

He also ran 82 times for 339 yards and two touchdowns.

Athletic director Andy Geiger said the university has petitioned the NCAA to have Smith reinstated for the 2005 season.

Tressel said he hoped Smith would be back with the team over the winter.

"What we're doing is self-imposing a suspension and then seeking reinstatement for the future," he said.

It is not the first time that Smith has gotten in trouble. He was convicted of a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge because of his involvement in a fight outside an Ohio State dormitory last fall.

The suspension is the latest problem for the university's athletic program, in which several current and former players have been disciplined by the school or convicted of crimes.

In an ESPN.com interview last month, former running back Maurice Clarett accused Tressel, his staff and school boosters of arranging for him to get passing grades, money for bogus summer jobs, thousands of dollars in cash and loaner cars. The school immediately labeled the charges as lies.

Last week, the university banned the men's basketball team from postseason play for an alleged $6,000 payment to a recruit by former coach Jim O'Brien.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press