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November 13, 2012According to a vague press release sent out by San Diego State, freshman forward Winston Shepard has been suspended for SDSU's next three games due to "a violation of NCAA preferential treatment legislation."
The release states that the suspension "is a result of Shepard inadvertently violating an NCAA rule. Upon becoming aware of the situation, the San Diego State coaching staff immediately reported the situation to the compliance staff, which self-reported the issue to the NCAA."
Shepard and SDSU head coach Steve Fisher were not immediately available for comment.
The suspension will begin Tuesday night when the Aztecs host San Diego Christian in the home opener. This appears to be the best-case scenario in this situation for SDSU, as Shepard was allowed to play in the Battle on the Midway against Syracuse and will only miss the games against SD Christian, Missouri State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff -- not exactly a murderer's row of opponents. He'll be able to return to game action when the Aztecs take on USC and UCLA on the road.
Shepard will still be able to practice with the team, but he won't be allowed to travel when SDSU goes to Springfield, Mo. to take on Missouri State on Saturday.
The university has appealed the suspension and "hopes that a final decision will be reached shortly."
This is the second disciplinary incident of Shepard's collegiate career at SDSU. The 6-foot-8 forward was cited for marijuana possession back in June while he was sitting in his car in an on-campus parking lot.
Before the season, when Fisher was asked if he had taken disciplinary action on Shepard for the incident, the head coach replied, "We have and it's on-going," but didn't go into specifics.
Shepard scored four points and pulled down seven rebounds in 21 minutes coming off the bench against Syracuse on Sunday. He's expected to be a vital contributor for the Aztecs this season.
San Diego State NEWS