Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson, two of Georgia Tech’s best players, will miss time after allegedly accepting extra benefits from a booster.
Last week, CBS Sports reported that Ron Bell, a personal friend of head coach Josh Pastner, had provided benefits to Okogie and Jackson, the dollar amounts of which exceeded the numbers that the school had self-reported.
Bell turned on Pastner, who had previously referred to him as “part of the Georgia Tech family,” for a number of reasons, including a lack of respect, siding with the program’s operations manager over him in disputes, and somewhat comically, not calling him on his birthday.
While Pastner, who Bell says was aware of the payments, is not subject to any penalties yet, the two players have been suspended.
Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie will be suspended six games for accepting extra benefits from Ron Bell. Tadric Jackson will be suspended three.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) November 15, 2017
Okogie, who is also recovering from a dislocated finger, was a preseason second team All-ACC player for the Yellow Jackets. He averaged 16.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore last year. Jackson, a senior guard, averaged 12.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in 2016-17.
Neither player has appeared for the Yellow Jackets yet this season. The team opened with a 63-60 loss to UCLA in China on Friday.
Tech’s next six games are all at home, with the four mid-major match-ups as part of the Ramblin’ Wreck Showcase: Bethune Cookman (11/19), Texas-Rio Grande Valley (11/22), North Texas (11/24), Northwestern (Big Ten/ACC Challenge, 11/28), Grambling State (12/1), and Tennessee (12/3). Jackson should return for Northwestern, while Okogie will be eligible to come back for the December 6 game at Wofford.