In case you missed it, it was announced Friday morning that Ohio State defensive end Chase Young will be suspended from Saturday’s game against the Maryland Terrapins and possibly the rest of the season. Young announced the reason behind the suspension via Twitter.
Before he tweeted the explanation, rumors were circulating that he had accepted money from an agent, which would almost guarantee him a season-ending suspension. Luckily, those were, in fact, just rumors.
Young apparently accepted a loan from a family friend that he paid back in full — which is key — but that didn’t stop even legitimate outlets from tweeting things that they “heard.”
I'm hearing that the "family friend" who gave Chase Young a loan is also an NFLPA-certfied agent. Which if true could possibly cause more problems for the agent than for Young.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 8, 2019
Fortunately, college football insiders like The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman and FOX’s Joel Klatt seem to have debunked this conspiracy theory.
More on Chase Young situation:— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) November 8, 2019
- Loan was not from Agent
- It was paid back before situation became public
- He was truthful from start
- With precedent I would expect somewhere between 1-2 game suspension...fact that it was not agent and loan was paid back will be key
Feldman went on to provide a bit of context for potential ramifications if the information that we know ends up being true.
Speaking to an NCAA compliance expert on the Chase Young situation: “If it is a loan he repaid and can prove it--one game suspension might be enough.” #OhioState— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 8, 2019
So, sorry, Rutgers, but if this all holds true, you’re about to face an angry, well-rested Chase Young.
Following Young’s statement, his attorney, Tim Nevius, reiterated the situation, and piled on the NCAA a little bit. What’s interesting about Nevius (as cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises reminded us) he was an NCAA investigator that worked on the Jim Tressel/Tattoo-gate saga, and then, following his experience, became so exacerbated by the NCAA that he went to law school and started representing student-athletes.
Chase took a small loan from a close family friend last year to cover basic life expenses. Loan was repaid months ago and we’re working to restore his eligibility. Unfair and outdated @NCAA rules punish athletes for making ends meet while enriching everyone else. https://t.co/2Jsqj7f7TR— Tim (@TimNevius) November 8, 2019
Later in the day, Klatt spoke with Clay Hall of Columbus’s ABC 6/FOX 28 and after a day of meeting with Ohio State coaches in preparation for Saturday’s game, Klatt believes that there will be a resolution in the situation next week.
.@FOXSports analyst @joelklatt believes the amount of money extended in the loan to Chase Young will effect the severity of the penalty. Expect resolution next week. Coming up on @wsyx6 @TheFeverABC6 pic.twitter.com/vC99HmNLnw— Clay Hall (@claywsyx6) November 8, 2019
Finally, Lesmerises had a good explainer of the entire situation here, and his cleveland.com colleague Nathan Baird looks at the NCAA rulebook to figure out what might be next. Also, we looked at a handful of recent situations that had similarities to Young’s case in an effort to establish some precedent.
Considering where Ohio State star Chase Young's situation could go next: What do the NCAA bylaws say about student-athletes accepting loans? What is the recent NCAA precedent for similar violations? https://t.co/Jw88ZkWjf7 pic.twitter.com/y061l1xi7I— Nathan Baird (@nwbaird) November 8, 2019
“Sure, Young is the best player in the Big Ten this year, and the Big Ten has a six-year, $2.64 billion deal to show its games on FOX and ESPN. And sure, Young is expected to lead Ohio State to the College Football Playoff, and ESPN is paying $7.3 billion over 12 years to show the College Football Playoff. But why should Young see any of that money?”
Not to get into the NCAA’s awful-ness, but the fact Young is being disciplined for accepting a loan from a family friend to either make ends meet or fly his family out to watch him play the sport that he’s dedicated his life to, while the NCAA, TV networks and the university profit millions off of his likeness every single day is...well...frustrating, to put it politely.
“In the NCAA, he gets only the value of his Ohio State scholarship, and he gets to have the NCAA scrutinize his private life for any sign that he might have made any money anywhere else,” Smith wrote.
“If a violation occurred in 2018, Young could theoretically have competed while ineligible this entire season. If that’s the case, and it was ruled that Ohio State should have been aware of the violation or did not do everything it could have done to be aware, the Buckeyes could end up forfeiting the eight games it has won to this point.”
Now the question remains: Did Ohio State know he took money from a family friend this whole time? If they did, the Buckeyes will likely have to forfeit their last eight games.
But, that’s worst case scenario and, as Forde reported, would take several months to determine unless Ohio State immediately vacates wins, which is highly unlikely.
If you’re looking for something to worry about today, here are the more immediate issues:
— If Young is suspended for the entire season, the Buckeyes will have to find a way to keep undefeated No. 4 Penn State and TTUN at bay without Young, who leads the FBS with 13.5 sacks.
— Young’s Heisman hopes are probably squashed. The voters weren’t likely to vote for a defensive player to begin with, let alone one who’s missed games due to a scandal.
— Its Ryan Day’s first real test as Ohio State head coach. It’ll be interesting to see what he says to the media regarding the allegations and how he handles the situation moving forward.
“Junior safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been reinstated by the NCAA after serving a two-game suspension, Alabama announced Friday on Twitter. Alabama coach Nick Saban suspended Clinton-Dix indefinitely on Oct. 2 for a violation of team rules. The Tuscaloosa News reported assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris provided a ‘short-term loan’ to the safety for an amount less than $500.”
The closest thing there is to a precedent in Young’s case was when Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix borrowed money from his assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris. Clinton-Dix was about to head home to Florida to visit family, but not before his car was broken into and all of his belongings were stolen. So, Harris loaned him money to get home, and Clinton-Dix filed a police report and later paid his coach back.
Once word got out, Alabama head coach Nick Saban indefinitely suspended the junior safety and the coach was put on administrative leave.
Clinton-Dix provided bank statements to the university compliance that proved he repaid the loan in full to Harris— something Young will have to do as well. However, it was still deemed an NCAA violation. He served a two-game suspension before getting reinstated by the NCAA.
This is good news, because accepting money from a member of the coaching staff sounds a lot worse than accepting a loan from a family friend— as long as the family friend is not an agent or tied to the university in some way. Still, if precedent holds any leverage and if Young can supply bank statements or some type of proof, we can likely expect him back for Penn State week— when we need him the most.
“Cooper, Smith and Friday have combined to miss 10 games this season, so Ohio State has dealt with shaky defensive end depth earlier in the fall. But it has never been without Young. With games against Maryland and Rutgers in the next two weeks, the underclassmen on the roster will be put to the test.”
Welp, didn’t think we’d have to worry about Ohio State’s defensive end position this season but here we are. Chase Young’s suspension and Jonathan Cooper’s nagging injury means the Buckeyes will be without their two preseason starters on the defensive line, meaning it’s time for the underclassmen to step up.
Sophomore defensive ends Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday will co-start on one side of the line and freshmen Zack Harrison and Javonte Jean-Baptiste on the other.
Smith has five total tackles, Friday has five tackles and a sack, Harrison has 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks, and Jean-Baptise has 14 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. The collective five sacks between the four aren’t even half of Young’s 13.5 sacks this season.
It’s fine. Everything’s fine.