LSU football star suspended vs. Florida State for highly questionable reason

Maason Smith will miss the highly-anticipated LSU season opener.
LSU defensive lineman Maason Smith
LSU defensive lineman Maason Smith / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

It's been a long road for Maason Smith to get back onto the football field after suffering a season-ending injury against Florida State in last year's LSU season opener. And now it's going to be a week longer than expected.

Smith has been suspended by the NCAA for this year's season opening rematch against Florida State, according to The Advocate and others.

The suspension apparently stems from a 2021 violation committed by Smith and then-LSU teammate Kayshon Boutte. The two participated in an autograph signing just before new NCAA legislation gave players the ability to profit off their Name, Image and Likeness. Since the signing technically predated the new rules, Smith and Boutte faced NCAA punishment.

It turns out Boutte served his one-game suspension in secret last season. However, Smith was out with injury all year, so he couldn't technically serve his. Now he's missing the 2023 opener.

Maason Smith suspension is more proof of NCAA silliness

This whole thing is stupid.

Smith participated in an activity the NCAA made completely legal within days or weeks. If the NCAA had any sense, they would have given the LSU players a stern talking to and a warning about stepping out of line in the future while forcing them to repay any money they may. Instead, they hit them with a penalty that is now going to mar the biggest game on the opening weekend of college football action.

This just falls in line with ridiculous rulings from the NCAA over transfer eligibility. They can't help themselves. If there's an opportunity to be the bad guy, you can bet the NCAA will jump at it.

Smith was a five-star prospect coming out of high school. He signed with LSU in 2021 and started four times as a true freshman. He earned Freshman All-America honors, building high expectations for his sophomore campaign. Unfortunately, that was cut short right as it began.

LSU is a narrow favorite in the Camping World Kickoff against Florida State, which will be played on Sunday, Sept. 3. It's the kind of big game that can be effected by the absence of a singular player. The Tigers lost to the Seminoles last year's meeting and are out for revenge. They'll have to find a way to get it without a key starter on defense.

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