Thursday, September 18, 2003

Bucks not charmed by eBay auction

College football notebook

The Associated Press

When a tiny, gilded charm showed up on the Internet auction site eBay this week, it all but rocked Buckeye Nation.

The coaching staff and players buzzed. Alums were outraged.

Each year the Buckeyes beat Michigan, all team personnel are given a $25 trinket to commemorate the victory.

A replica of a pair of football pants, the charm has the year and score of the game engraved on its front. The tradition began in 1934 when first-year Ohio State coach Francis Schmidt told those wondering how Ohio State would do against the Wolverines, "They put their pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else." He led OSU to four consecutive wins over Michigan - all by shutout.

One of the charms - dated 2002 - drew a top bid of more than $1,000 early this week.

If the charm belongs to a current player, he could face charges of breaking NCAA rules for improper benefits. If it was put on the market by a graduated player or non-playing personnel (trainer, manager, etc.), no rules were broken.

The charm disappeared from eBay around noon Tuesday. Ohio State officials called the Web site and tried to find out who had posted the item for sale, but representatives of eBay declined to say.

FLORIDA: Defensive end Steven Harris pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery and is eligible to play this week against Tennessee. His plea came five days after his felony battery case ended in a mistrial.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Harris faces six months of probation, will have a mandatory evaluation for anger management and must pay restitution to the victim, Brian Assent, for medical expenses. Coach Ron Zook suspended Harris indefinitely after he was arrested in April outside a Gainesville, Fla., nightclub.

NOTRE DAME: Two games into this season, the Fighting Irish (1-1) have the nation's second-worst total offensive production at 228 yards a game. But quarterback Carlyle Holiday alone is not to blame, coach Tyrone Willingham said.

"The problems of our offense are never just limited to just one person," he said.

Brady Quinn, an 18-year-old freshman, has been in for a total of 18 plays, and fans are clamoring for him to start. He has led the Irish on one touchdown drive - the same number as Holiday has this season. Quinn is 3-of-10 passing for 36 yards with one interception, compared to Holiday's 26-of-48 passing for 204 yards with two interceptions.

SOUTHERN MISS: Coach Jeff Bower says he'll meet with team neurologists before deciding if quarterback Micky D'Angelo will play against Nebraska. D'Angelo suffered a concussion in Saturday's win over Memphis.

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