The NCAA has suspended BYU forward Yoeli Childs for nine games after he "did not submit appropriate paperwork and received impermissible expenses when he worked with an agent while testing his NBA draft prospects," according to ESPN.
Childs made the decision in May to return to BYU for his senior season.
"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," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a statement.
BYU appealed the suspension but was unable to get Childs' suspension overturned.
"There was some confusion with this new process, and I made decisions that have caused an outcome that none of us like," Childs said Friday. "I just want everyone to know that my intent was never to do something wrong."
Greg Wrubell @gregwrubell
Yoeli Childs will travel to Italy and play w/ his teammates overseas; he said today that "I'm just grateful to be here. I'm excited to go to Italy and play in these games, to play in these preseason games...and I'm excited for when I get to get back, but these guys will be fine."
Childs was BYU's best player in the 2018-19 season, leading the team in points (21.2 PPG) and rebounds (9.7). He also averaged a block and a steal per game and shot 70.8 from the charity stripe, 50.7 percent from the field and 32.3 percent from three.
His suspension was stiff for what appears to have essentially been a clerical error; Childs signed with an agent before filing the required paperwork with the NCAA, and the severity of the punishment was met with surprise:
"Nine games wasn't a number any of us were expecting, but that's life,” Childs said, per Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune. "I am not going to say this hasn't been an extremely emotional process, because it has been. For the past day or so I have wrestled between being so mad and being accepting of what is happening."
The NCAA changed its rules regarding basketball players hiring agents ahead of the 2018-19 season. Previously, if a college basketball player hired an agent, they would lose their eligibility. But last season, players were allowed to hire an agent and explore their NBA prospects but could still return to school before the May 29 deadline.
Under the new rule, agents are allowed to cover certain expenses for their clients during the draft process, such as meals and transportation. But if players choose to return to school, they must end their partnership with the agent.