After receiving word from the NCAA on Wednesday that star defensive end Chase Young would only have to sit out one more game before being reinstated in time for next week’s game against Penn State, Ryan Day is grateful.
Specifically, Ohio State’s head coach expressed his gratitude to the university’s compliance department on Thursday, in his first press conference since the Young situation was resolved, for their efforts in handling the situation over the past two weeks to ensure that Ohio State remained compliant with the NCAA while also working to get Young back on the field in a timely fashion.
“I can’t say enough about our compliance department here with Doug (Archie) and Paia (LaPalombara) and Justin (Kume) and obviously Gene (Smith) overseeing the whole thing,” Day said. “Just how professional it was all done, I just really think that they did an unbelievable job with this whole process and their communication. They were unbelievably professional. And so I just, going through this for the first time (as a head coach) and seeing them operate like that, they were operating at a high, high level.”
As Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith outlined in a press conference of his own on Wednesday, Ohio State was made aware two Sundays ago – one day after Young’s four-sack game against Wisconsin – that Young had committed a violation of NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199.6, which states that student-athletes cannot receive “preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual’s athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete, unless such treatment, benefits or services are specifically permitted under NCAA legislation.”
Ohio State’s compliance department reached out that day to Young, who admitted that he was guilty of the violation, and quickly began the process of working with the NCAA to reinstate Young, who was suspended immediately by Ohio State until the NCAA could make a ruling on his eligibility.
Young sat out last week’s game against Maryland, and the NCAA ruled that he must also sit out this weekend’s game against Rutgers. Ohio State had sought immediate reinstatement for Young to be able to play this week, but both the university and the Young family decided not to appeal the NCAA’s ruling.
Day gave credit to Young, who has continued to practice with the team for the past two weeks, for how he has dealt with the situation.
“The way Chase handled himself through all this is really admirable,” Day said.
Ohio State will have to play one more game without Young, who will not make the trip with the team to Rutgers. While Ohio State has received waivers from the NCAA for fellow captains Jonathon Cooper and C.J. Saunders to travel with the team and not count against the 74-man travel roster limit for games they have been unable to play in due to injuries, Ohio State did not pursue a waiver for Young to do the same this week.
“He just wants to stay here, and I think that’s the right thing to do for us,” Day said. “We’ve traveled a couple of those guys and gotten waivers for Coop and for C.J., who have been injured, they wanted to be with the team. But he’s gonna kind of stay back here and lift and get himself ready for Sunday (when the Buckeyes will begin practicing for Penn State).”
Other than his absence from this week’s game, though, Young and Ohio State can now put the situation behind them, knowing that he will be eligible to play next week and back on the field for the homestretch of the season, when the Buckeyes will really need him the most.
“Time to move forward on that,” Day said. “I know that’s a relief for Chase. We move forward and now focus on these games.”