Maason Smith Suspended for LSU Season Opener 

    Redshirt sophomore, Maason Smith, will not be assisting No. 5 LSU in their season opener game against No. 8 Florida State. The Tigers will be facing off against Florida State on Sept. 3 in Orlando, Florida.

    TigerDroppings on X: "Report: #LSU DT Maason Smith will serve a one-game suspension against Florida State." / X

    Photo Cred: Twitter

    NCAA Suspends Maason Smith 

    This past Thursday, the NCAA announced that they were handing a one-game suspension to the LSU sophomore. The NCAA received word that Smith accepted an improper benefit from an autograph signing in the summer of 2021. The signing took place before NIL deals went into action. 

    LSU Football: More media figures criticize Maason Smith suspensionPhoto Cred: LSU Wire  

    NIL Deals 

    NIL deals came into effect on July 1, 2021. The term NIL means name, image, and likeness. This describes what college athletes can receive financial compensation on. This allows all NCAA D1, D2, and D3 student-athletes to receive marketing and promotional endeavors through their name, image, and likeness. 

    LSU suspends DL Maason Smith for opener vs. FSU due to pre-NIL violation: Is this a long-term issue? - YouTubePhoto Cred: YouTube- OffTheHookSports 

    Smith Cooperates with NCAA 

    The NCAA completed its investigation into Smith and Kayshon Boutte after it was alleged that the two signed autographs for fans in exchange for cash. The incident took place just one month before NIL deals came into action. Boutte fulfilled his suspension last season and sat out during the Tigers’ matchup against New Mexico. However, Smith was injured at the time and was not able to complete his. Now that he is back playing, the NCAA is determined for him to accept his consequences. 

    Maason Smith Suspended for Florida State - And The Valley Shook

    Photo Cred: And The Valley Shook  

    Paul Finebaum Comments on the Situation 

    Paul Finebaum released a clip of his show on Twitter, where he commented on Smith and the NCAA. Attached to the clip was a comment saying, “With the Maason Smith case, the NCAA shows who they truly serve. No one.”

    Maason Smith: Paul Finebaum Blasts NCAA Over Suspension of LSU Standout Defensive Tackle - Sports IllustratedPhoto Cred: Sports Illustrated

    In the clip, Finebaum says, “Maason Smith was at this signing one month before it was legal. If he’d done the signing the next month, they couldn’t have investigated it. That’s where the NCAA—just use common sense. Say, ‘You know what, it may not technically be kosher here, but we’re going to show some fairness.”   

    Smith’s Comeback Season 

    The season opener against Florida State was set to be a redemption game for Smith. However, this suspension serves as only a minor setback. The defensive tackle suffered a season-ending injury during the Tigers’ matchup against the Seminoles last season in New Orleans. Although Smith is disappointed by the NCAA’s decision, he is excited to be back on the gridiron for week 2 against Grambling State.

    Report: LSU loses Maason Smith to season-ending ACL injury | Tiger Rag

    Photo Cred: Tiger Rag 

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