The news surrounding LSU’s Maason Smith cannot remain positive. On Wednesday, news broke that the Tigers’ defensive tackle is suspended for Week 1.
According to reports, LSU Tigers defensive tackle Maason Smith is suspended for one game because he received an improper benefit. As such, Smith is ineligible to play against Florida State on September 3rd.
Smith’s absence is a massive blow to the No. 5 ranked Tigers before they lock horns with the No. 8 Seminoles from a neutral site in primetime. Nevertheless, I wonder how in the heck a college football player can receive an improper benefit in a world where profiting from NIL is legal.
Indeed, Maason Smith receiving compensation for his celebrity is well within the rules. Then again, there is the potential that he did such under the table and without informing the powers that be. I hope that is not the case because it opens the door for criticism that LSU doesn’t need in 2023.
Either way, Smith’s transgression isn’t overly critical because a one-game suspension is the NCAA’s version of a slap on the hand.
Still, I’m dying to know more. Did Maason Smith take a free car without running by the NILSU compliance office? Did he receive something embarrassing like a free gentlemen’s club punch card? What did he do?
Indeed, the situation regarding Smith’s suspension is sudden; and it sucks. The LSU Tigers will head to Orlando to face Florida State without a vital piece of their defense. Such places a ton of pressure on Mekhi Wingo as I expect the Seminoles to try and take advantage of the void left by Smith’s absence.
Cue Harold Perkins, working the inside linebacker position, to step up and help fill the void on defense.
Maason Smith was lost for the season after tearing his ACL early in LSU’s Week 1 game against Florida State in 2022. He worked his way back this offseason and is expected to pair with Wingo to form one of college football’s top interior defensive lines.
As far as I know, Smith is the first major FBS player suspended by the NCAA for receiving an improper benefit since the NIL rule-change.