Chase Young will not play for Ohio State on Saturday because of, in his own words, "an NCAA eligibility issue."
Ohio State initially shared the news of Young's indefinite suspension Friday morning, and Young elaborated on the news a few hours later. According to the star pass rusher, he accepted a loan from a family friend and repaid it in full last summer.
Young's lawyer Tim Nevius also released a statement on Twitter, saying: "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 Unfair and outdated [NCAA] rules punish athletes for making ends meet while enriching everyone else."
The Athletic's Bruce Feldman reported late Friday (subscription required) that Young borrowed the money last December to fly his girlfriend to California for the Buckeyes' Rose Bowl game vs. Washington.
As of now, all we know for sure is Young will miss Ohio State's game against Maryland on Saturday. There's a chance he misses more than that, but there's also a chance he simply misses one game. Feldman spoke with an NCAA compliance expert who said, "If it is a loan he repaid and can prove it, a one-game suspension might be enough."
A potential case that's comparable is Kentucky's Denzil Ware, who took $1,628 from an agent in 2017. Kentucky self-reported the exchange and suspended him one game. The SEC and NCAA determined this was enough punishment.
But any missed games for Young this season is big news, as he is a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender this season. So shortly after it was announced that Young is looking at an indefinite suspension, college football analysts and fans had strong reactions. Most of those reactions were calling out the NCAA.
The hashtags "#FreeChase" and "#FreeChaseYoung" even started trending on Twitter.
Why can’t an American citizen accept a loan? https://t.co/TfCt0wB2LE
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) November 8, 2019
under the NCAA, a loan from a friend costs you your eligibilty, but sexually assaulting a classmate gets you volunteer coaching jobs on men's and women's tennis teamshttps://t.co/5GfBn3wIlO
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) November 8, 2019
Damn I love this sport. Love seeing the NCAA keeping its hands in athletes’ pockets. Totally healthy when the best player gets suspended because of something that’s normal to the rest of us. Next up, Joe Burrow kicked off the team after someone holds a door for him https://t.co/jK45wuAJLf
— Adam Jacobi (@Adam_Jacobi) November 8, 2019
College athletes not being allowed to do things anyone else in the world is allowed to do, exhibit a million: https://t.co/ixZlHf7xj2
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) November 8, 2019
What I know:
I won’t be engaging in speculation about things I don’t know. Length, etc.
If you know Chase Young, you know this is killing him. Killing him.
Stuff like this happens because the a large % of ”agents" don’t care about rules and are scumbags.
— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) November 8, 2019
Thankfully these stupid NCAA rules will be over soon https://t.co/rBY1JM9wZu
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) November 8, 2019
The NCAA’s message: Put in countless hours a week on football for free. Go to class. You can’t have a job. And by all means, don’t borrow money from anyone. https://t.co/pQpy7pF304
— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) November 8, 2019
And some of you all still defend this system. https://t.co/s69zAhda5u
— Frank Schwab (@YahooSchwab) November 8, 2019
This article has been updated with the reported nature of the loan Young received.