BYU's top scorer Yoeli Childs suspended 9 games over improper NBA draft paperwork

Sporting News

The NCAA has suspended BYU star forward Yoeli Childs for the first nine games of the 2019-20 season after there was confusion with a new NBA draft rule.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, it was determined Childs hired an agent before filing the proper paperwork with the NCAA, and he received impermissible expenses. The way Childs went about hiring an agent wasn't in compliance with the new rule that was put into place last season.

“There was some confusion with this new process, and I made decisions that have caused an outcome that none of us like,” Childs said at a news conference Friday. “I just want everyone to know that my intent was never to do something wrong."

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The new rule regulates how athletes can sign with an agent, and keep their eligibility if they returned before the May 29 deadline. In years past, college basketball players would lose their eligibility if they hired an agent.

BYU appealed the suspension, but it was upheld by the NCAA.

"Amid the confusion of the NCAA allowing student athletes to sign with agents and still return to school, Yoeli was caught in the transition of a changing landscape," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a statement.

Childs ultimately decided to return to BYU for his senior season in May after discussing it with newly hired head coach Mark Pope, but there was a period of time where he was weighing his options with the NBA draft while the Cougars were searching for a new coach after Dave Rose retired.

“The program was without a head coach for a while and at the same time, Yoeli’s making these huge, life-changing decisions with brand-new rules. All those things come together,” Pope said. “There was some real confusion. What was so impressive to me with Yoeli was, Yoeli was forthcoming with everything.”

Childs said he knew there was a chance he would face a suspension, but decided to return to BYU anyway.

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“Nine games wasn’t a number any of us were expecting, but that’s life,” Childs said. “I am not going to say this hasn’t been an extremely emotional process, because it has been. For the past day or so I have wrestled between being so mad and being accepting of what is happening.”

Childs was BYU's leading scorer last season with 21.2 points per game and led the team with 9.7 rebounds.

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