Defensive end Noah Spence has been suspended for three games and will not play Friday night for No. 6 Ohio State in the Discover Orange Bowl against No. 11 Clemson.
The all-Big Ten performer violated a conference rule, according to a statement released Wednesday by Ohio State.
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The sophomore did not travel with the Buckeyes to Florida because of what the team described as a "personal issue." He leads Ohio State and is second in the Big Ten in sacks with eight and is sixth in the league with 13½ tackles for loss.
There were no details on the infraction, but the statement did say that Spence's family did not agree with the decision: "Spence's parents, who did not agree with the rule violation nor the penalty imposed, were assisted by the Ohio State Department of Athletics in exhausting the appeals process that was available to them with the Big Ten."
Spence also is an academic all-Big Ten honoree and an OSU Scholar-Athlete. He will continue course work toward his sociology degree next semester, according to the school. He will be able to practice with the team this spring, but he will not be eligible to play in a game until Sept. 13, 2014, vs. Kent State.
Earlier this week, Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said Jamal Marcus and Steve Miller are among the top candidates to take Spence's spot on the field against the Tigers.
"Those are guys that probably haven't seen nearly as much action throughout the year, but they're guys who have practiced every single day, taken those reps," Fickell said. "That's a part of the game, whether we like it or don't like it. These guys all know it. What that does is puts a little more heat on your guys that are leaders to say, 'Come on, let's continue to move forward.' These guys are here for a reason. They're on scholarship for a reason."
Contributing: The Associated Press
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