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BYU Basketball Star Yoeli Childs Suspended For First Nine Games

Brigham Young Cougars forward Yoeli Childs is fouled by Pacific Tigers forward Anthony Townes during NCAA basketball in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball’s star Yoeli Childs has been suspended for the first nine games of the 2019-20 season.

BYU head coach Mark Pope addressed the media on Friday in part because his team is preparing to leave for Italy next week in a European basketball tour.  Pope discussed his star forward’s current status with the team.

Following the 2018-19 season, 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.

In discussing a possible return with the new coaching staff, it became apparent there were some misunderstandings with the new rules.

Childs surprised BYU basketball fans this past May when he announced that he would be withdrawing from the NBA Draft process and returning to BYU for his senior season.

Back in May, Childs had this to say about his return to BYU for one more year.

“I’m grateful for BYU and for all the support the fans here have given me, no matter what,” Childs said. “I’m going to be able to be a pro for a really long time, but I only have one more year to do something special here. I owe it to this school, I owe it to my teammates, to come back and do something amazing. I just want to go all out and to make something special happen for BYU.”

During the NBA Draft process this past spring, Childs hired an agent but was able to return to college due to new rules that allow student-athletes more flexibility in getting back to college hoops.

Childs addressed the media on Friday and said, “My intent wasn’t to do anything wrong.”

The Cougars non-conference schedule hasn’t been released yet but some of the nine games could include contests in the Maui Invitational where BYU will face UCLA and potentially preseason No. 1 and No. 2-ranked teams Kansas and Michigan State.

Other games include a road trip to Houston on November 14th, and home games against Cal State Fullerton, San Diego State (November 9th), and Southern Utah in the first month of the season.

Last year, BYU’s first nine games extended to December 1st.  This season, BYU plays rival Utah on Wednesday, December 4th at the Huntsman Center. Coach Mark Pope did not state who the first nine games of the schedule are going to be because they are still waiting on one more game to get signed in the non-conference.

Childs was a dominant force for BYU last season.  He averaged 21.2 points and 9.7 rebounds and earned first-team All-West Coast Conference honors in his junior campaign.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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