Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith Discusses Chase Young Suspension, Investigation

By November 13, 2019 (5:58 pm)Football
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Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith met with the media for about 25 minutes on Wednesday to discuss junior defensive end Chase Young’s two-game suspension and the details of the investigation into the loan he received from a family friend.

Here’s a bullet-point recap of what Smith had to say:

  • Smith thanked a number of people, including the university’s compliance department, for putting together the reinstatement request and submitting it.
  • “Chase took the high road and was highly cooperative throughout this process,” Smith said.
  • Smith said they interviewed numerous people to ascertain the facts. “I was really appreciative of Chase and his family of how they worked with us.”
  • Smith said they submitted the request on Tuesday and they got the response this morning.
  • Smith said they were made aware of the violation (preferential treatment) and submitted it to the staff.
  • “We chose not to appeal,” Smith said.
  • Smith said the penalty structure ranged from zero to four games.
  • “I want to be clear that the accusations did not come from Maryland, Penn State or any other school in the Big Ten Conference,” Smith said.
  • Smith said the violation was reported to Ohio State, not the NCAA. “We received an accusation and we do what we always do: run it into the ground (and do our due diligence).” Would not comment on whether it was anonymously reported.
  • Smith said Young is “the top of the pyramid” when it comes to his character, which allowed the process to go much faster.
  • Smith called it an honest mistake on Young’s part.
  • Smith said there is “no question” they’ll continue to educate the players on such situations, though he acknowledged they can do better.
  • Smith said Young apologized to his teammates right off the bat.
  • Although teams that make the playoff get a fund for players’ families to travel to those games, Smith doesn’t believe there is a plan for that to extend to other bowls.
  • Smith said they knew Young was going to miss games no matter, so they thought about other players and the team when making the decision to suspend him. “It was a matter of when and how many.”
  • Smith said they were made away of the violation on Oct. 27, the day after the Wisconsin game.
  • Smith said they never considered covering up Young’s violation. “You own certain things in life. We’re going to do it the right way, regardless of the circumstances or outcome.”
  • Smith said we can debate whether or not the rule is still applicable, but the NCAA and Ohio State operated within the rules and commended both for the speedy process.
  • Smith said they requested a one game suspension be enough, but the NCAA levied two games. There was no appeal during the process.
  • Smith said head coach Ryan Day is “a stud.” Commended him for his effort in keeping the team focused through the adversity.
  • Smith said he asked Young if he wanted to come back from his suspension to finish out the season at Ohio State, and Young said he did, so Smith fought even harder for his reinstatement.
  • Smith said Young deserves to be in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony at the end of the season. “You’re talking about the best player in all of college football.”

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