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Old 12-22-2010, 10:37 AM   #1
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LSU's Ridley is Ineligible vs Texas A&M

2theadvocate.com | News | Ridley ineligible for Cotton Bowl; appeal planned — Baton Rouge, LA
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:19 PM   #2
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Re: LSU's Ridley is Ineligible vs Texas A&M

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LSU has ruled running back Stevan Ridley, the Tigers' leading rusher this season, ineligible for the Cotton Bowl for an violation of NCAA rules involving academics.

An LSU news release said an appeal is planned. Ridley has been practicing in advance of the Jan. 7 bowl game in Arlington, Texas against Texas A&M. Miles did not go into specifics on what caused Ridley's problem. A news release said it was a "academic issue interpreted by the NCAA as a violation of its bylaws."

“Stevan Ridley is currently in an academic issue and may not be eligible to play in the Cotton Bowl,” said LSU head coach Les Miles in an LSU news release. “We are in the appeal process now with the NCAA and we’re very hopeful that his eligibility will be restored. We’re doing everything we can as a university to help Stevan through this issue.

“Stevan is the captain of our team. He’s been a hard worker, a wonderful leader and has developed through work, time and effort not only as a player but as a student.”

The junior from Natchez, Miss. rushed for 1,042 yards on 225 carries this season, ranking him fourth in the SEC. He was a first-team all-SEC pick on the coaches' all-SEC team.

If he doesn't play, the most likely candidates to start would be freshman Michael Ford, who is third on the team behind Ridley and quarterback Jordan Jefferson with 235 yards on 41 carries. Ford, senior Richard Murphy and true freshmen Alfred Blue and Spencer Ware have all seen significant snaps at running back this season.

“It saddens me to announce that the NCAA has rescinded my eligibility to play football for LSU at the upcoming Cotton Bowl due to an academic violation,” Ridley said in the news release. “While I question their findings and think that the punishment is harsh, I did put myself in a compromising position that I deeply regret. With respect for the process, we have requested that the NCAA reconsider their findings and hope that they will expedite this review.

“I have the full support of the LSU administration and coaching staff, and trust them in assisting me with the appeals process. I hold myself to a very high standard for my performance both on and off the field. I know that my family, teammates, coaches, friends and fans share that standard, and I regret that we find ourselves facing this dilemma at this time. I remain committed to Louisiana State University and to the LSU football team and I plan to fight to maintain my eligibility. I will have no further comments until the appeals process is complete.”
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