The Ohio State football program has just received some tough transfer-related news.
On Thursday, head coach Ryan Day told reporters that the NCAA has denied a transfer waiver for former USC linebacker Palaie Gaoteote, per Ohio State insider Joey Kaufman of the The Columbus Dispatch.
If this waiver had been cleared, Gaotote would’ve been able to play for the Buckeyes immediately. Instead, he’ll have to sit out for one year before taking the field.
Ryan Day said USC transfer linebacker Palaie Gaoteote’s waiver to play this season has been denied by the NCAA.
— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) September 9, 2021
Coming out of high school as a five-star recruit, Gaoteote joined the Trojans’ program in 2018. Through three seasons at USC, the star LB logged 105 tackles, 2.0 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss, despite playing only two games in last year’s shortened COVID-19 season.
Under the NCAA’s new transfer rules, players are now allowed to make one school change without sitting out for a year. For some reason though, Gaoteote’s situation does not apply.
Day wouldn’t specify why Gaoteote’s transfer circumstances differ from the rest.
“This one’s a little bit different. This is more of an eligibility situation,” he said back in August.
Gaoteote is currently allowed to participate in team activities, but he’s not listed as a scholarship player on the Buckeye’s roster. According to Day, the former Trojans star is “paying his own way” through his first semester in Columbus.
It’s unclear what Gaoteote’s next move will be now that he’s been denied eligibility for the 2021 season.