Ed Orgeron announced Thursday that defensive back Kristian Fulton has been ruled immediately eligible by the NCAA. Fulton had been serving a two-year suspension for attempting to submit a fraudulent urine sample during an NCAA drug test following his freshman season in 2016. He missed the entire 2017 season and had seemingly exhausted all appeal option when an NCAA committee denied an appeal earlier this month.
“We filed another appeal,” LSU athletics director Joe Alleva said Thursday night on Hangin’ with Hester on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge. “We studied the infractions and what they said and they didn’t line up with a two-year penalty. They really lined up with a one-year penalty and we felt like they had interpreted it wrong. So we appealed it to another committee, and they agreed with us.”
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported that Alleva sent a four page letter to the NCAA outlining the reasons for reinstating Fulton. Dellenger tweeted that “tampering” is a two-year penalty while “urine substitution” is a one-year ban.
“He is such a great kid,” Alleva said. “Obviously he made a mistake, but he paid for it for a whole year and now he’s going to be eligible to play and I couldn’t be more happy for the kid.”
Fulton was a five-star signee in the 2016 class, ranked as the No. 3 cornerback and No. 22 overall prospect. He played in just three games during his freshman season.
While serving his suspension, Fulton has been able to practice with the team and is expected to compete for significant playing time opposite All-American Greedy Williams in 2018.
LSU opens the season Sept. 2 in Arlington against Miami (FL).
(You can follow Matt Moscona on Twitter @MattMoscona)
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