Getty Images

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

1 Comment

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.

Ohio State may get two defensive starters back in Week 8 vs. Purdue

Getty Images
1 Comment

Ohio State’s injury-hit defense bent but didn’t break (too much) in a closer-than-expected win over Minnesota this past weekend.  With a matchup against a more potent offense in the offing this weekend, the Buckeyes appear set to be a helluva lot healthier on that side of the ball this coming Saturday than they were the last.

Both defensive end Jonathon Cooper and linebacker Malik Harrison missed the 30-14 win over the Gophers because each was in concussion protocol.  With Purdue looming in Week 8, Cooper and Harrison have been cleared and are expected to play against the Boilermakers.

Through six games and before last Saturday, Harrison’s 25 tackles were second on the team.  Cooper replaced All-American Nick Bosa, who underwent surgery after suffering a core muscle injury in Week 3 and could be sidelined for another month at least, in the starting lineup.

Another two defensive starters could be getting healthier as well.  From the Associated Press:

In addition, starting defensive tackle Robert Landers, who has been limited by an unspecified injury, is probable for the game, while starting cornerback Damon Arnette, who was hurt in the Penn State game, is questionable, Meyer said.

Purdue is currently 42nd in scoring offense (33.5 points per game) and 10th in total offense (510.2 yards per game).

Thanks to Georgia’s loss, Ohio State moved up to No. 2 nationally in both major polls.

All-Freshman B1G TE Louis Dorsey tweets transfer from Illinois

Getty Images
Leave a comment

As he announced on Twitter, Bennett Williams left Illinois earlier this month because of a dismissal.  Because of a decidedly different reason (?), the Fighting Illini has felt yet another personnel loss.

On the same social media website utilized by his former teammate, Louis Dorsey announced that he has “decided it is in my best interest to transfer and continue my career elsewhere.” Dorsey gave no specific reason for his midseason move.

Dorsey was suspended during the spring of this year for violating unspecified violations of team rules.  He was also suspended for the first three games of the 2018 regular season for the same reason.

As a true freshman in 2017, Dorsey led the Illini with three receiving touchdowns; was second in receiving yards with 395; and fourth in receptions with 22.  His 18 yards per reception were tops on the team.  BTN.com named the 6-6, 225-pound Dorsey to its All-Freshman Team for that performance.

Because of his off-field issues, Dorsey has played in just one game and not caught a pass this season.

Tennessee loses LB Jonathan Kongbo to torn ACL

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Heading into this weekend’s rivalry game against Alabama in Knoxville, Tennessee’s linebacking corps has taken a hit that will be felt for the rest of 2018.

Late in the third quarter of Tennessee’s huge Week 7 upset of Auburn this past weekend, Jonathan Kongbo went down with an injury to his right knee and didn’t return to the game.  Over the weekend, Jeremy Pruitt confirmed that Kongbo was diagnosed with a torn ACL.

Obviously, Kongbo, who is expected to undergo surgery at some point this week to repair the damage, will miss the remainder of the 2018 season.  As this was his final year of eligibility, it also means that this effectively ends the linebacker’s collegiate playing career.

The fifth-year senior had started five of the six games this season for the Vols.  In that half of the regular season, he had accounted for 11 tackles, four quarterback hurries and an interception.  The pick came in the second quarter of the upset of the Tigers.

Last season, Kongbo started 10 games.

After throwing and landing punches on Mizzou player, Alabama DL Raekwon Davis will lose playing time

Associated Press
5 Comments

An on-field incident in Week 7 will cost Raekwon Davis on the field in the future.  Just when and how much remains to be seen.

During Alabama’s romp over Missouri this past weekend, the defensive lineman was caught by the all-seeing television broadcast eye punching (x3) Mizzou offensive lineman Kevin Pendleton.  Not only did the cameras catch him, but so did the officiating crew, who flagged Davis for unsportsmanlike conduct.

While Davis very publicly apologized to Pendelton, and the human punching bag very graciously accepted…

… there will be, after Nick Saban spoke with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey about the incident, playing-time repercussions for the lineman.

“We will have him do some things and I think it should affect his playing time in the future,” the head coach said.

Again, just what effect specifically the incident will have on Davis on the field is unclear.

Davis is currently sixth on the Crimson Tide with 27 tackles while his three tackles for loss are tied for sixth.  Alabama will face rival Tennessee, coming off a huge upset of then-No. 21 Auburn this past weekend, in Knoxville this coming Saturday.