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 COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -Two players from No. 1 Ohio State have been suspended for the Buckeyes' national championship game against LSU for violating team rules, according to several media reports.
Donald Washington, a starting cornerback, and backup Eugene Clifford will miss the BCS national title game in New Orleans on Jan. 7 for the unspecified violations, according to reports by WCMH-TV on Wednesday night and The Columbus Dispatch on Thursday. Both reports cited unnamed sources.
Athletic director Gene Smith declined Thursday to confirm the suspensions, but said there was ``work to be done.''
Washington is a sophomore who has started every game for the Buckeyes (11-1), and Clifford is a top reserve who played in four games.
Washington played a key role in an Ohio State defense ranked among the best in the nation. He had 34 tackles, tied for seventh-best on the team with lineman Vernon Gholston, and also had two tackles for losses, one sack, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Washington started at nickel back a year ago and moved into the starting spot at field corner this spring. In a 48-3 win over Kent State on Oct. 13, he returned an interception 70 yards for a touchdown and recorded his first career sack.
With him out of the lineup, redshirt freshman Chimdi Chekwa will most likely move into the starting position.
Clifford was a prized recruit last spring after receiving all-state and several national honors during his days at Colerain High School.
He was listed as Malcolm Jenkins' backup at border corner on the Buckeyes' latest two-deep chart.
The Buckeyes' final workout before the holidays was Wednesday. They will be off until returning Dec. 26, then practice for a week before flying to New Orleans on Jan. 2.
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