CHICAGO: Tight end Jake Stoneburner and offensive lineman Jack Mewhort remain suspended from the football team for now, but Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is anticipating both players to report to camp on time next week.
Stoneburner and Mewhort were arrested last month on charges of obstructing official business. They were given a list of duties to complete before they could be reinstated and Meyer indicated both are on target to return next week. Their scholarships were revoked for the summer, however.
“They’ve had to pay for their summer school,” Meyer said. “Very expensive mistake. They’re doing what they are supposed to do.”
The future of linebacker Storm Klein, however, remains unclear. Meyer kicked Klein off the team after he was arrested on assault and domestic violence charges this month. Meyer indicated the situation could be revisited if the charges change.
“He has a good reputation,” Meyer said of Klein. “He’s a good student, has good grades, is a good guy, but it was a severe violation. On my first day in a meeting, I was really clear about what I expect and it is non-negotiable and he understood it. However, if it all changes, we’ll re-evaluate it.”
Defensive end Nathan Williams is ahead of schedule in rehabilitating his left knee injury and tailback Jordan Hall is “a little bit ahead” of schedule, Meyer said.
Williams injured the knee in Ohio State’s opener last year and missed the rest of the season. Hall cut his foot on glass in his yard.
“It was a very unfortunate injury to a guy who was completely bought in,” Meyer said of Hall. “He had a great spring and then had an injury that, to this day I’m still trying to figure out what happened, how he stepped on a piece of glass at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.”
Williams will not be at full speed when he reports and has just started cutting and accelerating. Hall could miss the entire nonconference portion of the schedule with the foot injury.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke dismissed the fact that Michigan was picked to win the Big Ten in just his second year with the Wolverines.
“I think the 1997 team in the preseason was picked right inside the top 25 by a lot of people, and that ended up being a pretty good football team,” Hoke said of the Michigan team that won a national championship. “We don’t put too much stock in [predictions]. It’s like anything in life: It’s not where we start, but where we finish.”
With both Penn State and Ohio State ineligible for the Big Ten title game this season, Wisconsin has a clear path in the Leaders Division. Its only eligible competitors are Purdue, Illinois and Indiana.
“I’m not blind and oblivious to the fact,” Badgers coach Bret Bielema said. “But it really won’t change our approach. It really doesn’t change what we do because we can never skip a step to get where we want to be.”
As part of his 30-minute meeting with reporters, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said the conference was sticking with the current eight-game conference schedule, he was disappointed the Pac 12 pulled out of the scheduling collaboration between the two conferences and he was emphatic he did not believe the NCAA overstepped its bounds in punishing Penn State.
“I don’t really care if it’s a precedent,” Delany said. “The only thing that matters to me is I think the NCAA did have moral authority to act, and I think the Big Ten had moral authority to act. Clearly what happened at Penn State, as outlined in the Freeh Report, challenges any organization to step up and do what’s right.”
Jason Lloyd can be reached at email@example.com.