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Ohio State superstar Chase Young's suspension comes against 2 of the Big Ten's worst teams, and many are wondering why the NCAA even bothered

Business Insider logo Business Insider 11/13/2019 Meredith Cash
a football player wearing a helmet © Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
  • The NCAA has suspended Ohio State Buckeyes star pass rusher Chase Young for a pair of games due to a violation involving accepting a loan to pay for his girlfriend's flight to watch him play.
  • Though losing a star player at the tail end of a competitive season would spell disaster for most teams, the Buckeyes were fortunate to lose Young for two of its lowest-stakes games of the season.
  • While Young's punishment itself has been controversial since it was announced, some people have questioned the NCAA's timing and accused the organization of showing Ohio State preferential treatment.
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The NCAA has suspended Ohio State Buckeyes star pass rusher Chase Young for a pair of games due to a violation involving accepting a loan to pay for his girlfriend's flight to watch him play.

With the season winding down and a tight race for a spot in the College Football Playoff heating up, the loss of the potential No. 1 2020 NFL Draft pick would ordinarily be a huge blow for any team, nonetheless a title contender.

But the Buckeyes got lucky; Their two games without Young happen to be against the absolute worst of the Big Ten, and he'll return just in time for the team's biggest test of the season thus far.

a person wearing a red hat © Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end already sat out of Saturday's 73-14 rout of the Maryland Terrapins - who were more than 40-point underdogs even without Young lining up against them and currently sit at a meager 1-6 in conference play. And this week, No. 2 Ohio State will travel to New Jersey to take on the laughing stock of the Big Ten - the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

The Knights have not won a single game against a conference opponent in either of the past two seasons. They've given up an average of 36.7 points per game on the season and have been held scoreless by all but one ranked foe they have faced thus far this year. Even without Young suiting up, Ohio State is a 52-point favorite heading into the weekend. Needless to say, the Buckeyes - who are undefeated on the season - should have no problem handling Rutgers.

Young will rejoin his squad in advance of their high-stakes second-to-last game of the season against the Penn State Nittany Lions. While the NCAA's decision to punish Young was controversial from the get-go, the fact that the only games he'll be missing are low to no-stakes matchups has some critics questioning why the NCAA even bothered going after him in the first place.

Even though Young's absence may not have had a major impact on his team, they artificially suppressed his stats on the season. The junior leads the nation with 13.5 sacks on the season, ranks second with five forced fumbles, and sits at third with 1.9 tackles for loss per game. There's little doubt that, against opponents like Maryland and Rutgers, Young would have had a chance to pad those already incredible marks. a group of football players playing a football game © David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Those games also would have given him an opportunity to further bolster his chances of winning certain postseason honors. Though he was already a longshot to win the Heisman Trophy - no defensive player has won the award since 2000 - Young is in the running for multiple outstanding player and top defensive player awards. The additional sacks, tackles, forced fumbles, and more that he could have racked up against the Terrapins and Scarlet Knights certainly wouldn't have hurt those efforts.

Still, Young's suspension could have packed much more of a punch at any other point during the season, and many of Ohio State's naysayers have used the "light" sentence as evidence that the program receives preferential treatment from the NCAA.

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