Ohio State QB Bellisari Suspended

Friday, November 16th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Ohio State suspended quarterback Steve Bellisari indefinitely Friday after he was charged with drunken driving.

Backup Scott McMullen will start for the No. 25 Buckeyes (6-3) against No. 12 Illinois (8-1) on Saturday.

Bellisari was arrested by Ohio State police early Friday, the school said. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.22 percent, more than twice the state's legal limit of 0.10 percent, said Scott Varner, spokesman for the city attorney's office.

Bellisari, a 21-year-old senior from Boca Raton, Fla., was charged with two counts of drunken driving and a stop sign violation. He was released after his arrest.

Coach Jim Tressel said in a statement that Bellisari was suspended for violating team policy.

``For the past 10 months, we've discussed the importance of decision making in good quarterback play, the same is true in life. This can be a life lesson,'' Tressel said.

The suspension comes at a crucial time for Ohio State, which can win at least a share of the Big Ten title if it beats Illinois and Michigan in its final two games.

In Ohio State's past two games, Bellisari completed 26 of 37 passes (70.3 percent) for five touchdowns without an interception. In the season's first seven games, he was 62-of-148 (42 percent) with six interceptions and only three TD passes.