Making the morning rounds.
• Eligible… Ohio State has reinstated three players who were briefly ruled ineligible for the Buckeyes’ opening-day win over Akron for accepting less than $300 worth of improper benefits at a charity event, including a pair of projected starters, running back Jordan Hall (right) and cornerback Travis Howard. They will not, however, step right back into their old jobs. “Those three guys will be available to us,” said coach Luke Fickell. “There’s three practices ahead of us, and we’re going to make sure those guys are competing. … They’ve got to come in and beat [guys who played in the opener] out now. So I think we all understand the situation.” [Columbus Dispatch]
• Eligible… USC has reinstated senior tailback Marc Tyler, who sat out the Trojans’ opening-day win over Minnesota after delivering a drunken monologue to the ever-vigilant cameras of the tabloid show TMZ back in July. His return leaves USC with its usual four-man rotation in the backfield, alongside D.J. Morgan, Curtis McNeal and Dillon Baxter, who’s beginning to look like the odd man out. [Los Angeles Times]
• …Ineligible. Oklahoma State senior Johnny Thomas, a full-time starter last year at free safety, has reportedly been declared academically ineligible by the NCAA for the entire season. (OSU held Thomas out of the Cowboys’ opening-day win over Louisiana-Lafayette for “unresolved eligibility issues,” but has declined to elaborate.) If reinstated, he could return as a fifth-year senior in 2012. [Tulsa World]
• Tell us what you know about… the cookies. Also ineligible at the moment: Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd, who sat out the Gators’ opener against Florida Atlantic and went in front of the NCAA Tuesday for a hearing to determine his eligibility. Floyd’s high school coach, who was asked to write a letter attesting to Floyd’s character for the meeting, said the NCAA’s concern was due in part to a bake sale organized by coaches and a school guidance counselor to pay for Floyd’s travel expenses to the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. “Supposedly that’s part of it. That’s why I was questioned. I know the cookie sale was still being brought into it,” Ron Cohen told the Gainesville Sun. “A lot of people helped him because he had nothing. He didn’t have two pennies to rub together. I had to give him money to eat sometimes.” The NCAA didn’t reach a verdict on Tuesday. [Gainesville Sun]
• Rainball Wizard. As expected, Notre Dame named sophomore Tommy Rees its starting quarterback for Saturday’s must-win date at Michigan, exactly two weeks after giving the nod to Dayne Crist for the season opener. Crist lasted two quarters in Saturday’s 23-20 loss to South Florida, tossing an ugly interception into the end zone in the first quarter and leading three consecutive three-and-out possessions in the second before being yanked on the other side of a lengthy lightning delay. Rees led three second half touchdown drives, but was picked off twice himself. [Irish Illustrated]
• Injured Orange. Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones is out until further notice with an unspecified “lower body injury,” robbing the Orange of arguably their best player on either side of the ball. Two other players, cornerback Ri’shard Anderson and safety Orlando Fisher, are also out indefinitely with vaguely-defined (“upper body” and “lower body,” respectively) injuries. [Syracuse Post-Standard]
Syracuse is also attempting to resolve an eligibility issue that held one of its top freshmen, safety Durell Eskridge, out of last Thursday’s opener against Wake Forest. “Durell comes from a really unique situation,” said coach Doug Marone. “He was just caught in red tape. We believe that through the process of the NCAA that eventually he’ll be cleared.” [Syracuse Post-Standard]
That is all. [@DerekPonamsky]
Quickly… Greg Reid is one of two Florida State players suspended against Charleston Southern for an unspecified violation of team rules. … Bob Stoops trolls the Big 12 press corps by suggesting realignment may suspend the Oklahoma—Texas series. … Colorado‘s presidents says he’ll “make a lot of noise” if the Buffs find themselves playing Oklahoma and Texas schools again in an expanded Pac-[Insert Number]. … The Kansas schools want to hang together in realignment, or they will surely hang separately? … Realignment could spell the end of the Longhorn Network. … LSU is on the cover of Sports Illustrated. … Texas Tech loses a defensive linemen for “several weeks,” at least, due to a collapsed lung. … Syracuse fans hilariously imagine a spelling bee organized by the BCS. … The South Florida Sun Sentinel has an awesome ad director. … The Wall Street Journal drops the College Football Grid of Shame. … Hawkeye sin F-15s! … And did Maryland steal those helmets from the Charm City Roller Girls?