OSU letting Noah Spence practice

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer is standing behind indefinitely suspended defensive end Noah Spence, and that includes allowing him to remain with the team while the junior awaits word on his status moving forward.

Meyer confirmed Wednesday night that the All-Big Ten performer was still practicing with the Buckeyes, though nothing has changed in terms of his ineligibility for games after failing a second drug test last week just as he was due to return from a three-game suspension for his first positive test.

"Yeah, he actually practiced today," Meyer said. "He's doing things to get healthy, but he's also -- you know, we're supporting him."

Spence is entitled to an appeal, and at this point Ohio State has offered no timetable for when a resolution about his availability might be reached.

Coming off a season in which he led the Buckeyes with eight sacks, Spence is facing the possibility of permanent ineligibility for testing positive a second time for a banned substance, according to the Big Ten handbook.

A source told ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg that it's a "long shot" Spence will be cleared to return to the Buckeyes, but until that becomes official, the program is still allowing him to take part in team activities.

"You know, the only comment I'll make on the whole situation is that it's a tough deal for Noah and his family and we're going to support him the best we can throughout the situation," co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash said Saturday. "If he gets an opportunity to play football again one day, great. But we're here to help him receive the help that he needs."