So much for that July optimism.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the NCAA has upheld what was a two-year suspension levied on LSU’s Kristian Fulton early on in 2017. The suspension, which already cost the defensive back the entire 2017 season, stemmed from his alleged tampering with a drug-test sample in the early months of 2017.
Fulton’s legal team had requested a reconsideration of the continuation of the suspension into 2018, which the NCAA heard Thursday afternoon. With the NCAA’s denial of said reconsideration, lawyers for Fulton “will attempt to file a waiver with the NCAA to still get Fulton on the field this year,” the Times-Picayune wrote.
If that fails, which seems likely, Fulton will miss the entire 2018 season as well.
It was alleged by the NCAA that a testing administrator witnessed Fulton pouring some type of substance into his urine sample during a drug test in January of 2017. Fulton’s lawyer didn’t challenge that allegation; rather, he questioned the rule — 3.4 of The Association’s Drug-Testing protocol, to be specific — that was applied by the NCAA. Fulton’s lawyer argued that his client was instead in violation of rule 3.3, which would’ve allowed for, at most, a one-year suspension for “[failing] to provide a urine specimen according to protocol” and “[attempting] to alter the integrity of the collection process.”
Fulton, a five-star 2016 signee, played in three games as a true freshman. If the waiver appeal to the NCAA 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 of that appeal.