News of an NCAA violation that leads to suspension is never good, but Yellow Jackets fans will likely be thinking this one could have been much worse.
Georgia Tech (0-1) lost their opener a world away in China over the weekend, and Monday evening they learned the team had lost much more, at least temporarily.
According to the Associate Press, the Jackets will lose star sophomore guard Josh Okogie for six games and senior Tadric Jackson for three games. Each player has already missed a game, having sat out against UCLA.
As reported last week, Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner self reported to the NCAA that the pair had violated rules by accepting money. Both players have been ineligible since October 6 while awaiting Monday’s ruling.
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Having already sat out in Shanghai, Jackson will miss two more games and will be eligible to return to the team for the North Texas game on November 24. Okogie will miss five more game and is set to return on December 3 versus Tennessee.
Okogie and Jackson were both a big part of Georgia Tech’s success last season in Pasnter’s first year on the Flats. Okogie averaged 16.1 points-per-game and 5.4 rebounds as a freshman, earning ACC honors. Jackson had five starts as a junior for Tech last season averaging 12.1 points through 36 appearances.
In what should be a relief to Jackets fans, the NCAA has concluded that the payments took place without the knowledge of head coach Josh Pastner or any member of his staff.
Georgia Tech gets back to action Sunday, taking on Bethune Cookman at home in the Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase at 2 p.m. ET.