Ohio State junior defensive lineman Noah Spence has failed a drug test and his status with the team is in jeopardy, sources told Eleven Warriors Friday afternoon.
The school, which did not respond to multiple requests for comment, later confirmed Spence won't play against Kent State Saturday afternoon through a released statement:
Ohio State junior Noah Spence is ineligible to play for the Buckeyes tomorrow against Kent State because of a university and Big Ten Conference rule violation. Ohio State and the Spence family will continue to work with the Big Ten until there is final resolution to this matter.
Spence, a first-team All-Big Ten selection last season, was suspended three games after testing positive for ecstasy prior to the Big Ten Championship Game. He was supposed to make an anticipated return against the Golden Flashes.
Spence's parents told the Columbus Dispatch their son has a "medical illness":
“We love him dearly, and our focus is to get him the best medical attention we can,” Greg and Helen Spence said in an email to The Dispatch. “We are hopeful that Noah can get healthy and, at some point, resume his career with the Buckeyes.”
The Dispatch report also says the pair was "summoned" for a meeting with head coach Urban Meyer and defensive line coach Larry Johnson Thursday in Columbus.
Spence led the Buckeyes with eight sacks last season in addition to 52 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss. He was projected by some to potentially be a top NFL Draft pick next spring.
A product of Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, Pa., Spence was a a five-star prospect and a Parade Magazine All-American.
You can find Ohio State's drug testing policy here.