If there is one positive to come from an NCAA appeals committee upholding LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton’s two-year suspension, it’s that yet another tidal wave of angry fans will crash upon its shore, further eroding the organization’s credibility and moving one day closer to its inevitable extinction.
For those unfamiliar with the story, here is a quick catch-up. Fulton signed with LSU in 2016 as a five-star cornerback out of Archbishop Rummel in Metairie, LA. He played in three games as a true freshman mostly because of a logjam at the position that included future first round pick Tre’Davious White.
Fulton did not see the field in 2017 and no explanation was given as to why.
Ross Dellenger—then covering LSU for The Advocate—reported in March that Fulton was serving a two-year suspension for attempting to submit a fraudulent drug test sample. In June, Dellenger would write an extensive piece for Sports Illustrated detailing the Fulton case.
Essentially, Fulton was randomly selected to be tested for performance enhancing drugs by the NCAA. Because he had smoked marijuana—a substance for which he was not being tested—he tried to use some else’s urine to pass the test. He was caught, submitted his own urine and passed the test.
According to NCAA rules, it would have been better for Fulton to have actually been abusing performance enhancing drugs and test positive than to try—and fail—to submit a fraudulent sample.
Oh, I can hear the holier-than-thou crowd shouting at their screens. He broke a rule! It’s black and white!
While that is true, those angry fist-shakers are ignoring that the NCAA has operated in the gray area for as long as it has been in existence. When it comes to legislating its member institutions, the NCAA is as consistent as the weather during Louisiana summer days. (The old saying is, “If you don’t like the weather here, wait five minutes…”)
Remember when Alabama defensive back Tony Brown was suspended six games for failing a drug test before the College Football Playoff in 2016? That is, until his suspension was reduced to four games. Oh, and he was still allowed to run track because that wasn’t the sport for which he tested positive. Got it?
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