Sugar Bowl CEO lobbied to have Ohio State players eligible

Yes, bowl CEO’s are now involved in NCAA player-eligibility issues.

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Terrelle PryorICONTerrelle Pryor, suspended for the first five games of 2011, will play in the Sugar Bowl.

According to USA Today, Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan encouraged Ohio State officials to push for a delay in the suspension of five players upon hearing of the possible penalties earlier this month. Hoolahan, of course, wanted the players to stay eligible for the Jan. 4 game against Arkansas so the personnel losses wouldn’t affect the intrigue of the game.

Ohio State and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany were successful in lobbying the NCAA to move the suspensions of Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, Mike Adams, DeVier Posey and Solomon Thomas to the start of the 2011 season.

"I made the point that anything that could be done to preserve the integrity of this year's game, we would greatly appreciate it," Hoolahan said. "That appeal did not fall on deaf ears, and I'm extremely excited about it, that the Buckeyes are coming in at full strength and with no dilution."

Hoolahan understands the criticism that the ruling has created around the country. But he wanted to make sure his game had both teams at full strength.

"I appreciate and fully understand the Midwestern values and ethics behind that," he said. "But I'm probably thinking of this from a selfish perspective."

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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