CFB notebook: NCAA upholds suspension of LSU's Fulton

LSU defensive back Kristian Fulton (22) forces Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) to fumble during a 2016 game.
LSU defensive back Kristian Fulton (22) forces Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) to fumble during a 2016 game.
The NCAA has upheld the two-year suspension of LSU defensive back Kristian Fulton, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Friday. Fulton, who missed the 2017 season because of the suspension for allegedly tampering with a drug-test sample early last year, hoped to have the second year waived. The NCAA denied a request by Fulton's legal team to reconsider the original penalty so he could play this season. According to the NCAA, a testing administrator witnessed Fulton pouring an unknown substance into his urine sample during a drug test in January 2017. Fulton's lawyers did not challenge that allegation but questioned the rule -- 3.4 of NCAA's Drug-Testing protocol -- that was applied. The lawyers argued that Fulton was instead in violation of rule 3.3, which would have allowed for, at most, a one-year suspension. In wake of the NCAA ruling, Fulton's lawyers "will attempt to file a waiver with the NCAA to still get Fulton on the field this year," according to the Times-Picayune. Fulton, who was a five-star recruit in 2016, will have only one year of eligibility remaining if the waiver is denied. He played in five games for the Tigers as a freshman, making one tackle and one assist. --Jeremy Foley, former athletic director at Florida, has declined to say what former Gators head coach Urban Meyer told him about assistant coach Zach Smith's domestic violence arrest in 2009. Meyer was placed on paid leave last week by Ohio State amid questions about what he knew and did about accusations of abuse made against Smith, who has been an assistant under Meyer at both schools. Smith was fired by the Buckeyes after his ex-wife, who divorced him in 2016, sought a restraining order against him. The Associated Press made a request to Florida officials for details on how Meyer and athletic department officials handled Smith's arrest 10 years ago. Foley, who is Florida's athletic director emeritus, declined comment through a university spokesman. Boston College and Marshall previously commented about what they knew before hiring Smith as an assistant. Meyer released a statement last week saying he has "always followed proper reporting protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of our staff by elevating the issues to the proper channels." Smith was arrested in 2009 on a charge of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, his wife. He was graduate assistant on Meyer's staff at the time. According to a Gainesville Police Department report, Zach and Courtney Smith got into a verbal altercation over infidelity around 3 a.m. when Zach brought a female co-worker home after a party. --University of Texas regents approved a $175 million expansion of Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, according to the Austin American Statesman. Despite the renovation, seating capacity will remain at about 100,119, even though the open portion of lower bowl of the stadium will be filled in by the addition of club seats. The Longhorns' football facility will be totally revamped as part of the construction, but a timeline was not given for when the project will be completed. The video board known as "Godzillatron" also will be expanded. The newspaper report said perhaps the biggest news coming out of the expansion announcement is that the stadium's capacity will not be increased, seeming to end a competition with rival Texas A&M. The Texas rivals have continually tried to one-up each other over the last several decades by reacting to a stadium expansion by one school with another that passed the other in seating capacity. Texas A&M's Kyle Stadium has a capacity of 102,733.

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