Chase Young's dominant season has come to a halt.
The Ohio State defensive end "will not play in this Saturday’s game between the Buckeyes and the Maryland Terrapins due to a possible NCAA issue from 2018 that the Department of Athletics is looking into," Ohio State confirmed Friday morning.
The news was first reported by Lettermen Row's Austin Ward.
In a statement via Twitter on Friday morning, Young said he "made a mistake last year by accepting a loan from a family friend" that he knew since the summer before his freshman year at Ohio State, but repaid the loan in full last summer and is working with Ohio State and the NCAA "to get back on the field as soon as possible."
Tim Nevius, an attorney who was formerly an investigator for the NCAA, said Young "took a small loan from a close family friend last year to cover basic life expenses," the loan was repaid months ago and he is working with Young to restore his eligibility.
Chase took a small loan from a close family friend last year to cover basic life expenses. Loan was repaid months ago and were 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 Unfair and outdated @NCAA rules punish athletes for making ends meet while enriching everyone else.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
According to Lettermen Row's report, "multiple sources have indicated that the program is optimistic that Young will be cleared to return to Buckeyes this season, but a resolution for the matter still hasn’t been reached." The Athletic's Bruce Feldman indicated that a one-game suspension could suffice if Young can prove that it was a loan that he repaid.
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
A report from Pro Football Talk indicated that the loan Young received came from an NFLPA-certified agent, while Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel also reported that the issue involved an agent. Feldman, however, tweeted that a source close to Young told him that the "family friend" is not an agent or booster. Fox Sports' Joel Klatt also reported that the loan was not from an agent or booster and that he would expect the suspension to last for only one or two games.
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
Bill Rabinowitz and Joey Kaufman of the Columbus Dispatch reported that "the loan is believed to have been used to pay for airfare for Young’s family to attend the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day" and that Ohio State "was tipped off about the loan the day after the Wisconsin game on Oct. 26." Feldman reported that Young "borrowed money from a family friend to fly his girlfriend to California to attend the Rose Bowl" and "paid that money back in April."
Young had established himself as the best defensive player in college football and a potential candidate for winning this year's Heisman Trophy after recording 29 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and a blocked field goal in Ohio State's first eight games of the season. He is coming off a career game against Wisconsin in which he recorded six total tackles with five tackles for loss, four sacks and two forced fumbles.
Now, though, the Buckeyes will be without their best defensive player indefinitely.
Jonathon Cooper is also unavailable for this week's game due to injury, so Ohio State will be without both of its top two defensive ends against Maryland. Tyreke Smith, Tyler Friday, Zach Harrison and Javontae Jean-Baptiste are all listed as co-starters at defensive end on this week's depth chart.