Just a few days ago, Ohio State linebacker Palaie Gaoteote’s waiver for immediate eligibility was denied by the NCAA. In a surprising turn of events, though, the NCAA has reversed its decision.
On Friday, the Buckeyes found out that Gaoteote is officially eligible to play this season.
Gaoteote, a former five-star recruit and USC transfer, has been dealing with eligibility issues since this summer. Earlier this week, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said Gaoteote was frustrated with the NCAA’s initial decision.
“We’re going to try to figure out what’s next,” Day said, via The Columbus Dispatch. “He’s very, very disappointed he wasn’t granted an opportunity to play this season. We’ll kind of regroup and see what’s next here.”
We’d imagine Gaoteote is awfully happy that he’s eligible to suit up for the Buckeyes as early as this weekend.
Palaie Gaoteote has been cleared by the NCAA to play for Ohio State this season. https://t.co/gXTgQvyOdy
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) September 10, 2021
During his USC career, Gaoteote had 105 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Ohio State can use that type of production on its defense.
Gaoteote has two years of eligibility remaining and should see the field in the near future for the Buckeyes. That being said, it’s probably unlikely that he’ll have a large role against the Oregon Ducks this Saturday.