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Michigan State LB Joe Bachie tests positive for banned substance, ruled ineligible by Big Ten

Big Ten officials say Bachie failed random drug test

Joe Bachie #35 of the Michigan State Spartans chases Aidan Smith #11 of the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on September 21, 2019 in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan State defeated Northwestern 31-10.
Joe Bachie #35 of the Michigan State Spartans chases Aidan Smith #11 of the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on September 21, 2019 in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan State defeated Northwestern 31-10. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State linebacker Joe Bachie has been declared ineligible by the Big Ten Conference after testing positive for a banned substance, MSU announced.

Bachie failed a random drug test conducted by Big Ten officials, according to an MSU release. He tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance that’s banned by the Big Ten, officials said.

“All my career I’ve done my very best to represent Michigan State in a positive manner on and off the field,” Bachie said in a statement. “I plan to appeal, but to all of those affected -- from my coaches to my teammates and to the fans -- I apologize for putting them through this situation. I will always be a Spartan.”

The appeal will be filed immediately with the Big Ten, MSU announced.

Bachie earned first-team All-Big Ten honors last year as a junior. He led the team in tackles in 2017 and 2018.

He was named a team captain for the second year in a row this season and earned first-team All-American honors in the preseason.

“Joe Bachie has built himself into an All-Big Ten middle linebacker and two-time team captain through his incredible work ethic and leadership skills,” Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement. “This situation breaks my heart, but I know Joe is resilient and accountable. No one feels worse than Joe does, a sentiment he expressed when he spoke to the team earlier today. This does not define Joe as a player, and more importantly, as a man. He will graduate in December and has a very bright future ahead of him, both on and off the field. As a program, we plan to appeal immediately, and will continue to support Joe however we can. He will forever be a Spartan.”

In eight games this season, Bachie has made 72 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He also has an interception and four defended passes. He leads the team in total tackles and ranks second in sacks and tackles for loss.

If Bachie’s suspension is upheld, he’ll finish his Michigan State career with 285 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, seven sacks, five interceptions and 11 passes defended in 36 games.

Michigan State owns the No. 23 total defense in the nation, allowing 312.8 yards per game. The Spartans rank 20th in terms of yards allowed per play and are in the top 25 nationally in terms of both rushing and passing defense.

Michigan State has a bye this weekend and will return to action Nov. 9 against Illinois in East Lansing.


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