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Fulton’s Suspension Upheld

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NCAA wastes everybody’s time, keeps LSU cornerback on the shelf.

Terrill Weil

LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton remains suspended by the NCAA, and will miss the 2018 season, after his appeal was denied by college football’s ruling organization today.

Fulton was suspended for two seasons for attempting to falsify a drug test during the 2016 season. The NCAA had agreed to hear Fulton’s appeal this summer, but apparently must have decided they just wanted to waste his and his family’s time and money.

Fulton, a former five-star prospect that LSU had hoped would be able to start at cornerback, was working with attorney Don Jackson. Ross Dellenger has more on the issue in Sports Illustrated:

Jackson, the Alabama-based attorney representing the Fulton family who’s spent a year working the case, got the NCAA to reopen the case after an LSU-led appeal last spring failed. He drafted what’s referred to as a “reconsideration,” arguing on three fronts: (1) the absence of due process in the drug-testing appeals structure, (2) the lack of drug-testing education given to Fulton and (3) presenting new evidence that calls into question the credibility of the drug-testing procedure.

The new evidence that helped prompt a reopening of Fulton’s case was a toxicology analysis from The Forensic Panel, a forensic science practice based in New York. Sports Illustrated obtained a copy of the analysis, in which The Forensic Panel found that the NCAA’s testing procedure in the Fulton case lacked a “valid chain of custody,” legal jargon that refers to the transferring of physical evidence, in this case, a drug sample.

In a letter Fulton wrote last spring urging the NCAA to overturn the suspension, Fulton expressed regret for his decision, calling it “horrible” and claiming he “panicked” because he was not aware of the stiff punishment for attempting to cheat.

Since his initial test 17 months ago, LSU has tested Fulton 30 times, Jackson said. In just one of those tests, in April of this year, did he register a THC count. LSU has honored Fulton’s scholarship over the last 18 months, and he continued to attend workouts, meetings and other team-related functions.

This is a major blow, just a day after LSU lost linebacker Tyler Taylor to an indefinite suspension. The Tigers weren’t counting on Fulton, but they were hopeful that he’d be able to step in and start at cornerback opposite Greedy Williams. Most felt that the NCAA agreeing to hear the appeal was a good sign, although when it comes to keeping its thumb on a player, there is no hill the NCAA is afraid to die on.

This is bullshit.