news 4 days ago

'Free Chase Young': Criticism of the NCAA trends on social media after Ohio State star's suspension

Sporting News — (Jordan Heck)

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 Unfair and outdated [NCAA] rules punish athletes for making ends meet while enriching everyone else."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.

MORE: How Chase Young ruling could impact Big Ten, CFP, Heisman races

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.

This article has been updated with the reported nature of the loan Young received.