Mississippi v LSU

Russell Shepard out for opening game against UO, maybe more


While we’re still trying to find out the eligibility status of four other LSU players, including quarterback Jordan Jefferson, after their alleged involvement in a highly controversial bar fight, we do know the status of another Tiger who was facing questions from the NCAA.

Word has officially come that receiver Russell Shepard will be suspended for the Tigers’ season-opening game against Oregon — at least — because of a “compliance issue”.

Specifically, bylaw 32.1.4

The school later confirmed the suspension, although it’s now known that it was for reasons other than a supposed “housing arrangement” for which Shepard was being investigated.

“Shepard was determined to have discussed an NCAA inquiry with a teammate who was scheduled to meet with an NCAA representative and his actions were deemed to have violated NCAA protocol,” team spokesperson Michael Bonnette said in a release.

It is expected that LSU will seek team reinstatement for Shepard, but that could span multiple games. Shepard will still be allowed to practice with the team.

Obviously, the investigation between Shepard and the NCAA is still ongoing. What future penalties Shepard would face, if any, because of his inquiry are still unknown.

Regardless of how long Shepard will be out, it’ll be far too long for coach Les Miles. One of the highest-rated recruits in the 2009 class, Shepard was second on the team with 33 catches for 254 yards and one score last season, and was the fourth-leading rusher with 226 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Video: There’s nothing wrong with Cardale Jones

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In the minds of some in the media and even more in the fan base, Ohio State in general and Cardale Jones specifically have been underwhelming through the first five games of the 2015 season.

Jones, in particular, has been a rather large target of much of the angst.  Coming off a Cinderella-like three-game postseason run that helped OSU to a national championship, the perception is that Jones has been underwhelming and underperforming; even head coach Urban Meyer appeared to be leaning in that direction as he considered making the switch to J.T. Barrett prior to the Western Michigan win before reaffirming his commitment to the redshirt junior.

Is that perception valid?  Statistically, he’s not that far off from where he was in the 2014 postseason, at least in a couple of categories.

He’s completing 61.3 percent of his passes this season compared to 59.4 percent in the games against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon.  It was 9.9 yards per attempt in that three-game stretch last season, 8.2 in five games this season.  When it comes to scoring and turning the ball over, however, that’s another matter entirely.

He threw a touchdown pass every 15 pass attempts in the 2014 postseason; this season, it’s one every 21 attempts.  Even more glaring, he’s currently throwing an interception every 21 attempts as well.  During the run that made him a household name, it was one pick every 37.5 throws.

So, fewer touchdowns plus more turnovers equals validation of the angst, right?  Not so fast, at least as far as the college arm of Pro Football Focus goes.

UCLA suspends P Adam Searl following arrest on rape charges

Tre' Hale, Adam Searl
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A very serious allegation has triggered the latest resetting of the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker.

UCLA confirmed in a statement that Adam Searl (pictured, No. 39) has been indefinitely suspended from the football program.  The move comes nearly a day after the punter was arrested on three counts of rape.

He was released a handful of hours after his arrest on a $300,000 bond.

“We have been informed of the situation involving Adam Searl, and we take these accusations very seriously,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said in a statement. “Adam has been suspended from the team indefinitely while the legal process runs its course. Due to the ongoing police investigation, we are unable to discuss this matter further at this time.”

The arrest stems from an incident that allegedly occurred in the middle of last October, and is the result what the Los Angeles Police Department described as “an exhaustive investigation.” As for what led to the charges, here’s the Los Angeles Daily News‘ account of the alleged incident:

The victim, a student at UCLA, reported the alleged assault to the LAPD on Oct. 14, 2014. She told police that she had met the suspect outside of an off-campus house party in Westwood. They went to another residence, where she fell asleep and awoke to find him assaulting her. She was able to identify Searl following the police investigation.

Searl punted 11 times as a redshirt freshman last season. He had punted five times this season as the backup to Matt Mengel.