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Russell Shepard Declared Ineligible, Will Miss At Least Opener Against Oregon

LSU has declared wide receiver Russell Shepard ineligible, and he will miss at least the season opener against Oregon. LSU found that he "discussed an NCAA inquiry with a teammate who was scheduled to meet with an NCAA representative and his actions were deemed to have violated NCAA protocol." That is a violation of NCAA bylaw 32.1.4.

The AP report on the situation says that the investigation in question was the NCAA's probe of LSU's dealings with Will Lyles. We previously had heard about the NCAA having questions about his off-campus housing situation, but Les Miles initially waved off the possibility of Shepard missing time. Miles changed his tune more recently, opening the door for Shepard missing time. He was purposefully vague about the situation, however. At no point did Miles really address Shepard's situation directly.

If Shepard's violation sounds familiar, it should. Staff members at Georgia Tech broke bylaw 32.1.4 when they tipped off a football player about an upcoming interview and coached him how to answer questions. That bylaw is about preserving the integrity of investigations. If you interfere with any part of an NCAA investigation, then you break 32.1.4.

The AP engaged in some weasel words by saying that Shepard "is expected to miss a number of games while the university seeks his reinstatement" without picking a specific number or saying who was expecting that. Regardless, LSU has had a lot better weeks in its football history.