PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Yoeli Childs return to the BYU basketball program has been put on a 9-game hold.
The NCAA upheld a 9-game suspension to Childs after determining Childs was not in compliance with the new rules instituted during the 2018-19 season regarding hiring agents and maintaining college eligibility.
In March, after head coach Dave Rose retired and before Mark Pope was hired, Childs declared for the 2019 NBA Draft and signed with an agent. As of the end of the 2018-19 season, student-athletes with remaining eligibility are permitted by the NCAA to sign with an agent and maintain their remaining eligibility while they explore their options. Agents are permitted to cover certain expenses for their clients during that time.
The NCAA determined that Childs’ signing with an agent was impermissible due to the fact that he signed before filing paperwork required by the NCAA.
“There was some confusion with this new process, and I made decisions that have caused an outcome that none of us like, Childs said at a press conference prior to the team leaving for a trip to Italy. “I just want everyone to know that my intent was never to do something wrong.”
In discussing a possible return with the new coaching staff, it became apparent there were some misunderstandings with the new rules.
“The program was without a head coach for a while and at the same time, Yoeli’s making these huge, life-changing decisions with brand-new rules,” Pope said. “All those things come together,” Pope said. “There was some real confusion. What was so impressive to me with Yoeli was, Yoeli was forthcoming with everything.”
On May 30, 2019, Childs announced his intentions to return to BYU for his senior season, and BYU commenced the process to reinstate Childs with the NCAA. It was determined that Childs received expenses not permitted by the NCAA – costs related to a basketball trainer and travel expenses. Childs promptly payed back all of the expenses, plus interest.
But Childs hired the agent before filing the proper paperwork with the NCAA.
BYU appealed the ruling a couple months ago, but the NCAA upheld its decision to suspend Childs.
Childs expressed disappointment about the NCAA ruling, but is still excited to compete overseas with his teammates.
“The excitement and intensity is at 100 percent either way,” Childs said. “That’s what has been brought here win this coaching staff. So, either way, we’re going to go rip it and give it all we got. I’m excited for every game that I get to play in.”
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe released the following statement:
“We are excited to have Yoeli Childs at BYU. He chose to test the waters of turning professional and thought he was doing what was right to maintain his eligibility, which would allow him to return for his senior year. Amid the confusion of the NCAA allowing student athletes to sign with agents and still return to school, Yoeli was caught in the transition of a changing landscape. We are disappointed with the NCAA’s decision to withhold nine games of his senior season. Yoeli was honest and forthright throughout the reinstatement process. He clearly communicated his desire to return to BYU to graduate and compete with his teammates. Yoeli Childs is an outstanding student athlete with a bright future.”
BYU has not released its schedule yet, so it is unclear what games Childs will miss. But he will almost certainly miss the December 4th game at Utah.
“I refuse to not let this be a magical season,” Childs said. “Nine games won’t determine that. These guys, they will be fine. We are working so hard right now. This coaching staff has been unbelievable, pushing everyone. They are going to be just fine.”