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Free Chase Young, and fix the dang rulebook


Any day now Buckeye Nation will find out when star defensive end Chase Young will return to the Ohio State lineup.

For those of you under a rock the last week, the Heisman hopeful was benched by the Buckeyes while the school investigated a potential rule violation that may have happened when Young took a loan from a family friend to allegedly fly his girlfriend to the Rose Bowl last year — or some other personal use depending on which blog you believe. He repaid the loan and when OSU found out about it Young was reportedly held out of practice in addition to sitting him for the Maryland game last Saturday.

There are a lot of moving parts to this saga and a lot of opinions by “experts” out there who have “sources” that say Young could be suspended two games or four games and that the person who made the loan was or was not a certified NFL agent.

Young said he knew the man prior to enrolling at OSU and the loan was not tied to him being a student-athlete.

Cue the circus music.

To me there is little difference between what Young did and going to a bank and getting a loan. Other than the current interest rate, that is. If it all checks out — and it sounds like it will — what’s with the big ado? This loan did not in any way, shape, or form influence Young to become a Buckeye. He already was.

There should be no punishment for this. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Wake up, NCAA!

There are serious rules violations taking place all over. Payola. Lots of it.

It’s past the time to update the old rule book and remove the ridiculous, antiquated rules.

There are a plethora of them.

Here are the plethorest (I know it’s not a word, but hey it works):

— Tennessee head football coach Jeremy Pruitt committed a minor NCAA violation for congratulating via Twitter his former high school after it won the basketball state championship. But in that tweet, he mentioned the name of the school and the coach. According to NCAA rules, that is endorsing the school and coach, which is not permitted. Pruitt was congratulating his former school on winning the basketball state championship. Basketball. Not football. He wasn’t openly congratulating guys he’s recruiting.

— In the early 1990s, former Ohio State basketball coach Randy Ayers violated rules by expressing condolences to recruit Damon Flint on the death of his mother, and later talking with Flint’s grandmother. Now, there were other major violations with Flint’s recruiting, but the two I mentioned allowed the NCAA to pile on the sanctions. I’m sure Flint appreciated Ayers words, but did that really impact his college decision? I doubt it.

— At one point in time, the NCAA limited the size of media guides to 208 pages to keep it from becoming a recruiting tool. I would have hated to be the compliance officer for that one.

— In 2014 UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma called Little League World Series star Mo’Ne Davis and congratulated her for her success. That was a violation because she also played basketball. The NCAA considered it a secondary violation so no actual penalty was levied.

— I saved the best for last. The father of one Oregon Ducks football recruit taking an official visit realized he’d left his shaving cream and razor at home. A member of Oregon’s game-day staff found out and bought a replacement set from a local store. Nice gesture. But in the NCAA’s opinion, it was a “breach of conduct” and a Level III rules violation. Seriously? I’m sure a cheap drug store razor was not going to make the recruit choose Oregon.

The infraction folks need to focus on those shoe deals and envelopes full of money, not razors, condolence and congratulatory calls, and tweets.

I can almost guarantee none of the above violations were meant to — and actually did — give the schools a recruiting advantage.

Open that rule book and start trimming the fat. Student-athletes shouldn’t have to worry about whether they ate too much during team meals or if their cookies had too much frosting.

Yes, those were actually potential violations years ago.

I rest my case.


By Scott Halasz

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.