Upsets happen almost every Saturday on the NCAA landscape. But the NCAA's authoritarian tactics are undefeated.
Such endeavors claimed another victim this weekend, as star Ohio State defender Chase Young was ruled to be ineligible for Saturday's game against Maryland for reported improper benefits. It was later reported that the suspension likely stemmed from Young taking out a promptly redeemed loan to fly out his girlfriend out to California to see him player in the Rose Bowl.
It's expected that Young will miss the final four regular season games for such an "infraction".
While the Buckeyes may not truly need Young to pull off a win over the next two weekends-- woeful Rutgers follows up the visit from the Terrapins-- no one, not even the mighty NCAA, emerges victorious in a bizarre, ugly situation.
Young did little, if anything, wrong. He asked for a loan from a family friend and paid back the amount in a timely fashion. In a perfect world, his name would be etched in permanent marker atop of NFL Draft big boards. But, in this era of "red flags" and "character issues", you know somebody in some scouting department is going to lower Young's a few rungs down on the draft ladder. This is a world the draft-obsessed culture has created, but that's another discussion entirely.
The Buckeyes certainly don't win either as, remember, in the midst of this malarkey, there's still football to be played. The Maryland and Rutgers contests shouldn't present too much of an issue for the College Football Playoff chart-topping Buckeyes, but matchups with Penn State and Michigan, each of whom are equally starved and tired of the B1G supremacy in Columbus, loom large on the remaining slate. Time will only tell if postseason punishment awaits, but the Buckeyes task is far more Herculean than it was entering the weekend.
Even the NCAA, who had the worst start of the weekend one could possibly imagine with another escalating situation with James Wiseman and Memphis basketball, doesn't come out clean. Sure, they win in the short term, exerting their will on a poor college kid trying to help his personal life out, but this could be one of the turning points in their war against compensation.
The NCAA is slowly eliminating any remaining doubt that they're the bad guys here. Powerful figures within the industry like LeBron James and Jay Bilas are already waging a battle against them, and this could finally turn over any parties that were still somehow neutral in this debate.
The fact it includes high-profile faces like Young and Wiseman, each of whom could be young faces of their respective professional leagues this time next season, only exacerbates the situation and depicts the NCAA in an even harsher and more evil light. A crusade toward nefarious amateurism could be the one thing that takes down the cartel that is the NCAA. The true impacts of this war could be felt in several years, when the top prospects elect to spend their supposed "gap" years overseas or, potentially, the G-League, rather than be swept up in this never-ending cyclone.
Late autumn should be a time of triumph and victory in major college sports. Instead, the NCAA is doing what they can to do away with that tradition as they continue to fight a losing, immoral battle.