COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An appeal by Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Noah Spence to have his permanent ineligibility restored by the Big Ten was denied Tuesday, officially ending his career with the program and within the league.
The process reached its conclusion after Spence's case was presented to the conference in an effort to get his ban for failing multiple drug tests overturned and allow the former All-Big Ten selection to return to the No. 6 Buckeyes.
Spence was initially suspended for three games, starting with last year's Discover Orange Bowl, but a second failed test just before he was scheduled to return to the field in September extended his suspension indefinitely.
Spence weighed in on Twitter in the wake of the news.
Not what I wanted but now it's time to get ready for the next level, I've learnt so much in the last couple months that it's all worth it..— Noah Spence (@nspence94) November 26, 2014
Spence, a junior, was considered a potential candidate to skip his final year of eligibility with Ohio State given his combination of speed and strength that made him one of the best pass rushers in the country a year ago when he finished second in the Big Ten in sacks.
"While we are disappointed in the outcome, we are pleased that Noah has come a long way and we are very proud of the progress he has made with regard to his health," Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. "The Department of Athletics will continue to assist Noah through his pursuits and provide the academic resources necessary to help him complete his degree program."
The Buckeyes have still been productive on the defensive line without Spence in the rotation, with Joey Bosa emerging as a finalist for multiple individual awards as the team has climbed back into contention for the College Football Playoff.
They close out the regular season on Saturday against rival Michigan.