Vanderbilt center suspended six games
Vanderbilt officials learned of the incident in early August and immediately reported it to the Southeastern Conference and NCAA.
The school said Ezeli met with the unidentified out-of-town alumnus in a "chance encounter" while on a weekend trip to visit friends in the summer.
He will miss the first six regular season games and can return Nov. 28 against Xavier. He will also be available for the exhibition game against Xavier (La.) on Nov. 7.
"I am very sorry and would never want to jeopardize my college career over such a petty thing as a meal or a hotel room," Ezeli said.
"I would have been able to afford those things myself. I have always tried to do the right thing; I should have known better and am embarrassed that my mistake could affect my team."
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings added, "All of us are disappointed, especially Festus. He is always striving to do the right thing and cares a lot about the university, our program and certainly his teammates."