Penn State's Moye understands financial crunch


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TAMPA, Fla. -- Penn State wide receiver Derek Moye says he understands the actions of the five Ohio State players suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling championship rings and memorabilia.

"Personally, I've never sold anything that we got as gifts," the redshirt junior from Rochester High said Wednesday. "But to be honest with you, the thought definitely has crossed my mind.

"A lot of people from the outside don't see the things we actually go through from a money standpoint. I guess it's not totally different from being a normal college student. But at the same time, we don't have the freedom to actually go out and get a job.

"There are a lot of times we don't have very much money. A lot of people from the outside will say that we are on scholarship, and we're definitely grateful for being on scholarship, but at the same time, any extra money we can make, we want to make.

"I'm fortunate now because my brother [Jermaine] has got a job and he's able to help me out a little more. Last year, there were times when I had $25 or $50 in my bank account and I had to make that last for maybe a month or two. That's tough."

Two of Moye's teammates, quarterback Matt McGloin and All-America right guard Stefen Wisniewski from Central Catholic, said they would never consider selling gifts or memorabilia they have received during their college careers.

"The [Ohio State guys] sold Big Ten championship rings and that's something special," Wisniewski said. "I wouldn't sell that."

Said former walk-on McGloin, "I treasure that stuff and want to have something I can show off 20 years from now."

Players from Penn State (7-5) and Florida (7-5), who meet Saturday in the Outback Bowl, have received nice bowl gifts.

They include a $150 Best Buy gift card, a Jostens ring commemorating the 25-year anniversary of the game, a Fossil watch, a hat and a $25 Outback Steakhouse gift card.

Moye plans to hang onto his ring, but he will give his $150 gift card to Jermaine, a former football player at West Virginia and California (Pa.), and his watch and hat to his father.

"As far as my knowledge goes, no one here has ever sold anything," Moye said. "We just try to give it away to somebody's that close to us or a family member."

Ohio State quarterback and Jeannette graduate Terrelle Pryor, who chose the Buckeyes over Penn State coming out of high school, was among the five players who received the NCAA's five-game suspension next season. A sixth player has been suspended for the first game.

But the Ohio State players, who were reprimanded for also taking discounts at a tattoo parlor, are eligible to play for the Buckeyes Jan. 4 against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

"Five games is a little harsh," McGloin said. "Obviously, the Ohio State guys made a mistake, and college players tend to do that. These aren't guys that have been in trouble before.

"If anything, suspend them for the bowl game and let it go."

Wisniewski disagreed, saying he "doesn't have a problem" with the suspensions. Ohio State is appealing.

Pryor must repay $2,500 for selling his 2008 Big Ten Conference championship ring, Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 gold pants, a tradition-rich charm given to players who take part in a victory against rival Michigan.

Pryor and four other Buckeyes publicly apologized Tuesday for their actions, which go back as far as two years ago.

Moye said if he were Pryor he would consider skipping his senior year rather than returning for an abbreviated season. Pryor has not said what he plans to do.

"I guess he'll have to see what his prospects are for the next level," Moye said.


Ron Musselman: rmusselman@post-gazette.com .


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