Les Miles selected linebacker Ryan Baker, quarterback Jordan Jefferson and wide receiver Russell Shepard to join him as representatives of LSU at SEC Media Days. One of them did not make the trip to Hoover, AL.
LSU announced Thursday that Shepard will not participate Friday due to "personal reasons." Senior offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert will take Shepard's place.
Adding intrigue to the change of plans, SportsNOLA.com has been informed by multiple sources that Shepard may be suspended in the very near future for undisclosed reasons. As a result, the junior from Houston may also miss the season opener against Oregon in Arlington, TX.
UPDATE: LSU media relations director Michael Bonnette responded Thursday to the rumors via Twitter saying "Reports that Russell Shepard has been suspended are incorrect. He will miss Media Day for personal reasons."
On Friday, Tiger Sports Digest writer Randy Rosetta backed up SportsNOLA sources via two posts on Twitter:
"TigerSportsDigest has learned the situation with #LSU's Russell Shepard is a compliance issue related to off-campus housing arrangements."
"Russell Shepard's housing situation has been ongoing perhaps since he arrived on campus, which could affect his future eligibility. #LSU"
Les Miles was asked about the Rosetta report at his SEC Media Days press conference Friday afternoon. "I don't know exactly the specifics of that. The only thing I can tell you is that was an issue where there were somethings (Shepard) had to handle in his personal life that needed an immediate resolution. So that's why he's not with us (in Hoover)," explained Miles.
On Saturday, ESPN reported that Shepard's living arrangements have led to an "NCAA compliance concern related to rent payment arrangements with a woman who he has lived with and who is also a student worker in the LSU's football office, according to a source."
Shepard shined in his high school career as quarterback and was rated the best dual-threat player at the position in the nation in the Class of 2009.
Although Shepard was heavily recruited by Texas and received interests from Florida, Michigan and USC, Shepard committed to LSU on March 3, 2008.
After spending time at running back during his freshman season, Shepard (6-1, 188) moved to wide receiver as his primary position. He played in 13 games with nine starts last season, ranking second on team with 33 catches for 254 yards and one score while adding 226 rushing yards and two TDs on 32 carries as a ball carrier in LSU's spread formation.
Shepard has been expected to be a starter in 2011 at receiver along with returning junior Rueben Randle.---
For Immediate Release
LSU TO TAKE ITS TURN AT SEC MEDIA DAY
BATON ROUGE â€“ LSU will take its turn at Southeastern Conference Media Day on Friday in Hoover, Ala., as head coach Les Miles along with three players will represent the Tigers at the event that annually attracts close to 1,000 members of the media.
SEC Media Day signals the unofficial start of the college football season. LSU reports to campus for preseason camp on Aug. 3 with its first practice scheduled for the following day.
Miles will be joined at SEC Media Day by senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson, senior offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert and senior linebacker Ryan Baker.
Russell Shepard, who was originally scheduled to be one of three Tigers to represent the team at SEC Media Day, will miss the event for personal reasons.
LSUâ€™s rotation starts at 10:50 a.m. tomorrow and runs until 1:30 p.m. Fans can watch Miles on ESPNU when he meets with the print media for 40 minutes from noon to 12:40 p.m. LSU fans can also follow updates throughout the day on Twitter and Facebook.
To become a fan of LSU Football on Facebook or to follow @LSUfball on Twitter, visit LSUSports.net/connect.
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