BYU will be without its leading scorer from a year ago for the first nine games of the 2019-20 college basketball season.
Forward Yoeli Childs was suspended after failing to comply with the NCAA’s new rules regarding how student-athletes can sign with an agent for the NBA draft and maintain their collegiate eligibility. Childs reportedly hired an agent before filing the necessary paperwork with the NCAA.
After the NCAA made the initial ruling on Childs a few months ago, BYU appealed the decision. The NCAA officially denied the appeal on Thursday.
“There was some confusion with this new process, and I made decisions that have caused an outcome that none of us like,” Childs said in a press conference on Friday. “I just want everyone to know that my intent was never to do something wrong.”
Childs declared for the NBA draft in March and signed with an agent to assist him in the process. The specifics regarding agents was fuzzy this year due to rule changes that were being made.
“There is never going to be a situation like this in the future, because the way these rules were changed, they are only for this year,” Childs said. “There are certain certifications and certain processes that will happen in the future.”
After going through part of the NBA draft process, Childs decided to return to BYU on May 29. The Cougars are entering their first season under head coach Mark Pope after previous head coach Dave Rose retired.
Pope will now have to face life without his best player for the first nine games of the season.
Childs, who is entering his senior year, averaged 21.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game last season. He is averaging 16.1 points and 8.8 RPG over his career.
BYU is a 750/1 longshot to win the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
“I refuse to not let this be a magical season,” Childs said. “Nine games isn’t going to stop that. Nothing on earth is going to stop that, whether it is injuries or challenges outside of basketball. I refuse to let that happen.”