WKBN previously reported through a source that a fifth player would not be playing in today’s game. The source was wrong. The player is at the game and will be available to play. WKBN apologizes for the error and any problems it may have caused.
CHENEY, Washington (WKBN) – Sources have told WKBN that four of the Youngstown State football players who will not play in Saturday’s national semifinal against Eastern Washington are starters.
The four are running back Martin Ruiz, wide receiver Darien Townsend and safeties LeRoy Alexander and Jameel Smith. Ruiz and Alexander are first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selections, while Townsend and Smith were named second-team all-conference.
Ruiz’s situation was uncovered Tuesday when WKBN received dash cam footage of the senior being arrested on Dec. 6 in Tallmadge. He has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon and improper handling.
Since the news broke on Monday that players could be suspended for today’s 6:30 p.m. game at EWU, officials with YSU’s football and athletic departments have refused to comment.
Head coach Bo Pelini said at a news conference on Tuesday, “I don’t confirm, deny, I don’t talk about our discipline and our internal policies and what we do.”
Ruiz, a senior from Tampa, Fla., is YSU’s second leading rusher.
Townsend, a junior who graduated from Youngstown Christian High School, is the team’s leading receiver and leading punt returner.
Alexander, a senior from Toledo and transfer from Nebraska, leads the Penguins in interceptions and is third in total tackles.
Smith, a senior from Miami, Fla., is second in interceptions and second in total tackles.