Buckeyes' C. Wells out for game vs. USC

The Baltimore Sun

Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells will not play for the fifth-ranked Buckeyes against No. 1 Southern California tonight.

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel made the announcement late yesterday afternoon after the team went through a 40-minute walk-through at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

"He's been getting treatment 15 times a day," Tressel said. "I guess if looks could kill, he fought me. I just told the team because it's important our guys know what we thought we should do."

The Trojans (1-0) will be playing their first game since an impressive 52-7 victory Aug. 30 at Virginia. Ohio State (2-0) has beaten in-state opposition Youngstown State, 43-0, and Ohio University, 26-14.

Wells, who rushed for 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, injured his right foot in the opener, and without him, the Buckeyes had to rally to beat the lightly regarded Bobcats last weekend.

No details on the injury have been released.

Tressel said early in the week that Wells would play, but it was a different story Thursday, when the coach said the 6-foot-1, 237-pound junior's status was doubtful because of lingering soreness in his foot. And then came yesterday's announcement.

Tressel spoke briefly with the media, and no players, including Wells, were made available for comment. Wells hasn't spoken publicly since being injured.

Redshirt freshman Dan Herron, sophomore Brandon Saine and senior Maurice Wells shared the carries for Ohio State against Ohio University and are expected to do the same against USC.

"We're going to play whoever they bring," USC safety Kevin Ellison said. "It's time to play. It's time to hone in and get down to it. It's going to be rocking at the Coliseum."

Florida State:: The NCAA found no new allegations of academic cheating by athletes, but it might consider additional penalties against the school, including the forfeiture of games. The university yesterday released documents related to the NCAA investigation. Included was the Seminoles' response to allegations from the NCAA. The school initially uncovered and reported the cheating scandal. The response admits to breaking rules but argues against a financial penalty or game forfeits in part because of steps the university already has taken, including suspending athletes from competition and reducing scholarships. Athletes cheated on an online test from fall 2006 through summer 2007. They also received improper help from staffers who provided them with answers to the exam and typed papers for them. The NCAA will hold a hearing Oct. 18 to decide whether Florida State should receive additional penalties. Florida State in February announced it was penalizing itself with two years of probation, the loss of scholarships in 10 sports and suspensions of 30 percent of a season for 61 athletes - about a third of them football players. The probation does not include a ban on postseason play.

West Virginia:: Coach Bill Stewart signed a six-year contract that will pay him $800,000 this year with an annual increase of $50,000. Athletic director Ed Pastilong said Stewart's base salary is $150,000 and he will earn $550,000 in supplemental income for promotional purposes, including radio and television appearances. Also included in his salary is a $100,000 annual retention fee.

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