Shepard's woes come into focus

Two LSU sources confirm that Russell Shepard missed SEC Media Days because of compliance problem related to off-campus housing, but the situation is a recent development.


Two trustworthy and reliable LSU sources filled in some blanks Saturday with the Russell Shepard story.

As TSD first reported Friday, Shepard's absence at SEC Media Days was a result of possible non-compliance with NCAA rules regading off-campus housing.

Shepard apparently moved into off-campus housing this spring (first time he'd been outside student housithe ng) with a girlfriend, who also happened to be an athletic department employee.

The payment arrangement set up may have been out of compliance with NCAA rules regulating how much money student-athletes receive and how they are supposed to spend it.

Because it's a fairly recent development and was brought to the attention of athletic department officials quickly, it shouldn't have a long-term effect on Shepard's eligibility. But he could face a short school-imposed or NCAA-imposed suspension, either from practice or in early-season games.

Had Shepard not been schedule to speak at SEC Media Days, this episode likely would've stayed under the radar. But with the ongoing situation with LSU's connection to Will Lyles and the recently resolved investigation into D.J. McCarthy, the school's athletic department and administration are being overly cautious – understandably so.

LSU officials, including coach Les Miles, declined comment about Shepard Friday, saying he was removed from the SEC Media Days lineup to deal with personal matters.

Later, though, Miles said in a short interview session after his obligations at SEC Medias Day, "I don't know if there's any way to categorize it.

"I'm not certain of any eventuality will be involved at all. ... I'm not overly concerned at all."

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