Originally created 12/16/06

Four Buckeyes might leave early



Four of Ohio State's top underclassmen on offense are considering leaving school early to enter the NFL Draft.

Junior wide receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez, tailback Antonio Pittman and lineman Kirk Barton filed paperwork with the NFL on Friday.

An NFL advisory committee estimates where, or if, a player might be taken in the draft. A player can then elect to remain in college or make himself available for the draft.

Pittman rushed for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Ginn led top-ranked Ohio State with 59 receptions for 781 yards and nine touchdowns.

Gonzalez is second on the team in receiving with 49 catches for 723 yards and eight scores.

Barton started every game at right tackle as the Buckeyes averaged 36.3 points and 410 yards per game.

AUBURN: Linebackers Tray Blackmon and Kevin Sears and tailback Brad Lester were suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules, coach Tommy Tuberville said.

All three players will miss the 10th-ranked Tigers' game against No. 22 Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day.

Blackmon and Sears had already served lengthy suspensions following alcohol-related arrests in the offseason.

AIR FORCE: Fisher DeBerry retired after 23 years as Air Force's head coach, finishing with three consecutive losing seasons and two big controversies in his final years.

The 68-year-old DeBerry's 169-107-1 record made him the winningest coach in Air Force history.

But he has had problems off the field in recent years.

In 2005, he was criticized after a 48-10 loss to TCU when he said Air Force didn't have enough "Afro-American" players, singling them out for being able to run well. DeBerry was reprimanded by top brass at the academy and offered a public apology.

In 2004, academy officials asked him to remove a banner from the locker room that included the lines "I am a Christian first and last ... I am a member of Team Jesus Christ."