COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State linebacker Palaie Gaoteote’s request for eligibility has been denied by the NCAA, but OSU is continuing to work on his petition with the hopes of having the transfer play this season.
In a news conference Thursday, Ohio State coach Ryan Day revealed Gaoteote’s eligibility was denied and it was thought he wouldn’t be available for the season. But a spokesperson said Ohio State is continuing to work with the NCAA to appeal the decision.
“Really, what I know that it was denied,” Day said. “We are going to look back into it and see if there possibly can be some kind of appeal.”
Gaoteote, who spent two seasons with Southern California, appeared on Ohio State’s student directory in June after entering the transfer portal in December. He played in 20 games, including 14 starts, and recorded 105 tackles in three years at USC but only played two games during the 2020 season.
The Las Vegas native is the cousin and former high school teammate of fifth-year senior defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, who was named a preseason All-American by Sporting News.
Gaoteote was the 15th-best player in the country in the class of 2018 and the top-ranked inside linebacker, according to 247Sports.
Linebacker is a position where Ohio State can use all the help it can get after losing Pete Werner, Justin Hilliard, Baron Browning, and Tuf Borland to the NFL.