Michigan State LB and defensive leader Joe Bachie suspended after failed drug test

Nick Bromberg
EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 28: Michigan State linebacker Joe Bachie (35) celebrates a tackle during a college football game between the Michigan State Spartans and Indiana Hoosiers on September 28, 2019 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, MI. (Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Joe Bachie is Michigan State's team leader in tackles and a defensive captain. (Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Michigan State said Thursday that middle linebacker Joe Bachie had been suspended for failing a Big Ten-issued random drug test. The school is appealing the decision.

Bachie tested positive for performance-enhancing substance, according to the school.

“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 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.”

Bachie is Michigan State’s leading tackler. He has 72 tackles through eight games with 9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and an interception. He led the team with over 100 tackles in 2018 and was on pace for his third-straight season with 100 or more tackles before the suspension.

“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 the same 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.”

Michigan State did not reveal what substance caused Bachie’s positive test. Players have failed drug tests and been suspended for taking legal over-the-counter supplements in the past. Former Florida and West Virginia QB Will Grier was suspended after he took an over-the-counter supplement while he was with the Gators and three Clemson players were suspended ahead of last season’s College Football Playoff for positive tests.

Clemson appealed those suspensions and ultimately lost the appeal. The school had said it believed the three, including now-New York Giants DT Dexter Lawrence, did not knowingly ingest Ostarine, the substance they tested positive for.

Michigan State is off on Saturday. The Spartans’ next game is Nov. 9 against Illinois.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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