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Kristian Fulton’s lawyer: ‘Optimistic’ decision on reduction of LSU CB’s two-year suspension is coming soon

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At some point in the next couple of weeks, LSU could find out, once and for all, whether one of the most talented members of its defensive secondary will be available for the upcoming season.

In mid-March, it was confirmed that Kristian Fulton is in the midst of serving a two-year suspension levied by the NCAA, which stemmed from his alleged tampering with a drug-test sample in the early months of 2017. The suspension has already cost the cornerback the entire 2017 season, and could also sideline him for all of 2018 as well.

Fulton’s family had previously retained outside counsel, who then asked the NCAA for reconsideration of the two-year suspension. Tuesday, that counsel, Alabama-based lawyer Don Jackson, confirmed to the New Orleans Times-Picayune that “a ‘request for reconsideration based on new evidence’ was officially filed with the NCAA a few weeks ago and an answer could come in 2-3 weeks, possibly sooner.”

It’s alleged by the NCAA that a testing administrator witnessed Fulton pouring some type of substance into his urine sample during a drug test. It appears Fulton’s lawyer isn’t challenging that allegation; rather, he’s questioning the rule — 3.4 of The Association’s Drug-Testing protocol, to be specific — that was applied by the NCAA.

From the Times-Picayune‘s report:

The rule states, “A student-athlete who is involved in a case of clearly observed tampering with an NCAA drug-test sample, as documented per NCAA drug-testing protocol by a drug-testing crew member, shall be charged with the loss of a minimum of two seasons of competition in all sports and shall remain ineligible for all regular-season and postseason competition during the time period ending two calendar years (730 days) from the date of the tampering.”

Jackson feels that Fulton violated rule 3.3 which says, “a student-athlete will be in breach of protocol and treated as if there was a positive test for a banned substance other than a street/illicit drug as denied in Bylaw 31.2.3 if the student-athlete:

* refuses to sign the notification form or custody and control form;

* fails to arrive at the collection station without justification as determined by Drug-Free Sport;

* fails to provide a urine specimen according to protocol;

* leaves the collection station without authorization from the certified collector before providing a specimen according to protocol; or

* attempts to alter the integrity of the collection process.”

Under rule 3.3, Fulton would not have been suspended if he tested positive for a street drug and would have only been suspended for a year if he would have tested positive for any performance-enhancing drugs, which means he’d be eligible now if he tested positive for either substance.

If the reconsideration is successful and the last few months of the two-year ban are dropped, Jackson could resume on-field activities with the Tigers at some point during summer camp, perhaps even from the start of camp if it’s the earlier portion of the 2-3 week timeline laid out by the attorney.

Fulton, a five-star 2016 signee, played in three games as a true freshman. If the reconsideration is denied, it would leave Fulton with one season of collegiate eligibility he could use in 2019. He could also make himself available for the 2019 NFL draft, regardless of the outcome.

Washington transfer K.J. Carta-Samuels earns starting QB job at Colorado State

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Nearly five months after landing in Fort Collins, K.J. Carta-Samuels has, as expected, been handed the keys to Colorado State’s offense.

On the depth chart released ahead of CSU’s opener against Hawaii Aug. 25, Carta-Samuels was listed as the Rams’ starting quarterback. Carta-Samuels’ backups are listed as Justice McCoy OR Collin Hill.

Hill suffered a torn ACL in mid-March playing a game of pickup basketball, but has been ahead of schedule in his rehab.

In early December of last year, Carta-Samuels announced that he would be leaving Chris Petersen‘s Washington football program. In January, it was reported that Carta-Samuels would transfer to UCLA, although he ended up at Colorado State two months later as a graduate transfer.

A four-star member of UW’s 2014 recruiting class, Carta-Samuels was rated as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 24 player at any position in the state of California. Budda Baker, a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, was the only signee in the Huskies’ class that year rated higher than Carta-Samuels.

Carta-Samuels played in 25 games over the past three seasons. He ended the Huskies portion of his collegiate playing career with 310 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in completing 27-of-47 passes.

West Virginia postpones Fan Day because of mini-outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease

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Almost Heaven, y’all!

West Virginia had been set to play host to Fan Day Sunday afternoon. However, because of five cases of hand, foot and mouth disease being diagnosed within the program recently, Fan Day has been canceled.

From the football program’s press release:

Hand, foot and mouth is a mild but highly contagious viral infection that is very common among children but can spread to adults. The virus usually goes away on its own in a period of less than a week, and there is no specific treatment, just steps to ease the symptoms.

Because it is highly contagious, it is in the best interest of the general public to postpone the event. WVU’s medical staff continues to monitor the situation, taking proper steps to control the virus and communicating with the proper campus personnel.

“I know fans who were planning on attending Fan Day will be disappointed, but this is in the best interest of all involved,” WVU athletic director Shane Lyons said in a statement. “Our medical staff is doing an excellent job of addressing the matter. However, there is no reason to put the general public at risk.”

According to the program, a new date for Fan Day will be announced when it becomes available.

Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus taking leave of absence as he deals with pending legal issue

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Wisconsin’s passing game has taken hit, although it remains to be seen how long its effects will linger.

On his personal Twitter account Saturday night, Quintez Cephus announced that he has been “forced to take a leave of absence from the team in order to focus all of my attention on clearing my name.” In his social media statement, the wide receiver stated he was informed by his lawyers Friday afternoon that the Dane County (WI) District Attorney’s office will pursue unspecified charges against him for an incident that occurred back in April of this year.

“I have been wrongfully accused of unlawful conduct and I am innocent of any allegations associated with this consensual relationship,” Cephus wrote, adding that the pending charges are the result of a three-month investigation.

No details of what led to this situation have been divulged.

While UW has yet to publicly address the development, they are expected to release a statement on the situation in the not-too-distant future.

Last season, Cephus led the run-centric Badgers in receiving touchdowns with six and yards per catch at 16.7.  His 501 receiving yards were good for second, while his 30 receptions were third on the team.

In April of last year, Cephus’ father was murdered after being shot in the head execution-style.

Georgia’s Zamir White, nation’s No. 1 running back in 2018, suffers torn ACL

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One of the crown jewels of Georgia’s top-ranked 2018 recruiting class will have to bounce back from a significant injury yet again.

Kirby Smart confirmed Saturday that Zamir White suffered an injury to his left knee during the second scrimmage of summer camp earlier in the day. The non-contact injury occurred when the true freshman was taking part in punt coverage.

While the head coach didn’t initially know the extent of the injury, a subsequent MRI revealed that White sustained a torn ACL in the left knee. The school has not yet confirmed the Athens Banner-Herald‘s initial report.

White suffered a torn ACL last November during his North Carolina high school team’s playoff run, but had been given the all-clear medically to fully participate in practice. That ACL injury, incidentally, was in his right knee.

A consensus five-star signee, White was the No. 1 running back on 247Sports.com‘s composite board and was the No. 9 player overall. Only one member of the Bulldogs’ class this year, quarterback Justin Fields, was rated higher than White.

White had been expected to help replace the production lost with the departures of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to the NFL.