A report by Ross Dellenger in The Advocate today partially answered the lingering question of LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton’s eligibility:
Fulton is halfway through serving a two-year suspension imposed last winter by the NCAA, said Don Jackson, an Alabama-based attorney representing the Fulton family who spoke to The Advocate on Sunday.
Fulton’s suspension kept him from playing the 2017 season. If not overturned, the suspension will prevent him from playing in, at least, the regular season of 2018, too. His eligibility would be reinstated for 2019. The 730-day suspension, Jackson said, is tied to a drug examination the NCAA conducted on Fulton late in fall 2016, Fulton’s true freshman season.
Fulton’s absence was a mystery for much of the 2017 season, and his status for 2018 has been left unclear by Ed Orgeron in multiple press briefings. A suspension and his nature had been bandied about on various message boards, but nothing was every truly made clear — personally, I suspected some sort of NCAA situation, given that Fulton was never rumored to be considering a transfer.
We’ll have some more on this later in the week, but to me, personally, a two-year suspension for any college athlete seems ridiculous. If you’re going to take away half of a student-athlete’s eligibility, you might as well go whole hog and take the rest away. And while the NCAA’s policy on drug testing is laid out pretty clearly, the penalty still seems ridiculous compared to the discipline the organization has handed out in the Joe Mixon and Baylor University team cases.
But Fulton’s family is fighting, with the help of a lawyer who specializes in NCAA matters. We’ll stay on top of the situation as we hear updates. Obviously, getting Fulton back for 2018 would be a key development for LSU, as he is the odds-on favorite to start opposite Greedy Williams.