COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The obscene gestures that followed Ohio State right guard Marcus Hall's ejection for fighting earned him a public reprimand from the Big Ten, but they won't cost him any more playing time.
After reviewing the video of both the on-field tussle that produced three total ejections in a rivalry game at Michigan on Saturday and Hall's actions afterwards, the conference announced the reprimand for the senior and the coaching staff for the No. 2 Buckeyes. But it didn't take further action against either, leaving Hall, Dontre Wilson and the staff all available for Saturday's conference championship against No. 10 Michigan State in Indianapolis.
"The Big Ten Conference expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship ... [including] integrity of the competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials," a conference release said. "The conference office also issued a public reprimand of the Ohio State football coaching staff for failing in its duty to effectively manage the process of escorting an ejected student-athlete from the playing field to the locker room."
On the way there, Hall violently tossed a helmet, kicked a bench and then made a pair of rude hand gestures before entering the tunnel to the locker room, which clearly separated him from Wilson or Michigan linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone, who were also ejected for the second-quarter dustup.
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer indicated on Sunday that his players had already missed the required amount of action for fighting and wouldn't tack on a suspension of his own, twice referencing the rule that calls for a player to miss a game for fighting and pointing out that "they lost a game."
Hall won't lose another one now, getting official clearance to return to the starting lineup one day after posting an apology for his actions on Twitter.
"I would like to apologize to The Ohio State University, The University of Michigan, my teammates, my family, the fans and the TV viewing audience for my behavior during yesterday's game," Hall said. "Wearing the scarlet and gray and uniform is a [privilege] and an honor. I let my emotions get the best of me and didn't conduct myself properly in the heat of the moment. My actions do not reflect who I am as a person and teammate.
"I love The Ohio State university and appreciate everything it has done for me. From the bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry and hope everyone can accept my sincere apology."