A Georgia Tech football player faces suspension for selling tickets to the Tech-Georgia game last November. School officials would not identify the player or offer comment. Evidence from a redacted self-violation report from Tech to the NCAA, obtained through an open records request, points to cornerback Louis Young.
“We’ve got some guys that will be sitting out the first game,” coach Paul Johnson said. “We’ll let you know who they are about a week from the game.”
Asked specifically if Young would play against Virginia Tech in the season opener, Johnson replied, “I’m not going to tell Virginia Tech who we’re not going to have.”
Tech’s report to the NCAA states that the student-athlete “has satisfied one contest toward his respective reinstatement condition” by being withheld “from the Georgia Tech [redacted]” and that he “did not travel to [redacted] associated with the team’s participation.” The Sun Bowl is the only game that Tech has played since the Georgia game. Young did not make the trip and was the only player suspended for the game, not counting a player sent home for an on-site violation of team rules.
Asked about the matter Saturday following the team’s fan day event, Young said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ve got to talk to Coach Johnson.”
By NCAA rule, a student-athlete may not sell complimentary tickets to anyone. The report explained that the player sold the tickets to a friend, thinking that he was prohibited only from selling them to a donor, booster, alumnus or agent. The infraction was discovered when the friend, when picking up the tickets at the player-guest table, commented on the price of the tickets. A former Tech athlete working at the table reported the violation to the athletic department.
When his suspension was made public Dec. 19, Young sent out a message on Twitter stating that “I’m young and I made a bad decision and I will grow from this situation. I’m humbled but I’m not defeated by it.”
Young, a junior, started 12 games for the Yellow Jackets last season, making 52 tackles with one interception. He is part of a highly-regarded secondary that returns four of its top five players from 2011.
The self-violation report stated that the student-athlete received $360 for two tickets. The NCAA requirement for reinstatement for receiving impermissible benefits valued between $300 and $500 is repayment and missing 20 percent of a season, 2.4 games.
To satisfy the 20 percent reinstatement rule, the report stated that the team member “will be withheld from Georgia Tech’s [redacted].” It is possible the player could be suspended for a different game or games other than the Sept. 3 game against the rival Hokies, a prime-time, nationally-televised game.
The report also noted that the player met with Johnson about the incident.
“It was a mistake,” Johnson said. “He should know better than you can’t do that.”
Linebacker Daniel Drummond is already suspended for the game after pleading guilty in April to boating under the influence. He will also miss the first half of the Presbyterian game to meet the required suspension of 10 percent of games for violating the school’s student-athlete conduct penalty.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog