Buckeyes could be shorthanded for Rose

December, 21, 2009
12/21/09
11:52
AM ET
Ohio State already knows it will be without No. 4 wide receiver Duron Carter for the Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi.

The Buckeyes also could be down three more players when they face No. 7 Oregon in Pasadena on Jan. 1 (ABC, 4:30 p.m. ET).

The Columbus Dispatch and other outlets are reporting that wide receiver/punt returner Ray Small, defensive end Rob Rose and running back Bo DeLande likely won't be with the team for the Rose Bowl.

A source close to the team told me Saturday night that Small had violated team rules and wasn't practicing. Rose had academic troubles last week that he appeared to figure out, but the senior reportedly erred again. The source tells me Small's violation is a repeat offense.

Now it's very important to remember that the status of players can change, especially at Ohio State. Rose's academic turnaround last week is proof of this. Two years ago, Buckeyes cornerback Donald Washington was allowed to play in the national title game after being suspended for a repeat violation of team rules. Bottom line: things can change.

But given how both Small and Rose have been given multiple second chances, there's a decent bet neither player will be in Pasadena for the game. Small is the big loss as he ranks fourth in the Big Ten in both punt returns and kickoff returns. The senior also ranks third on the team in receptions with 15.

If Small and Carter both miss the game, expect Lamaar Thomas to take on a bigger role as a receiver and a return man.

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