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Mizzou’s Logan suspended as part of academic fraud case

September 3, 2017 GMT

COLUMBIA, MO. • Missouri senior defensive tackle A.J. Logan will serve a six-game suspension as part of the ongoing review into the NCAA academic fraud allegations that came up last fall, the school announced after Saturday’s season-opening 72-43 win over Missouri State. Logan started every game for the Tigers in 2016.

Last November, former Mizzou athletics tutor Yolanda Kumar admitted to committing academic fraud with several Mizzou athletes, which prompted a university investigation into her charges. In January, Kumar met with MU compliance staff and NCAA investigators and discussed committing academic fraud with 42 student-athletes in varying degrees. She told the Post-Dispatch she took exams and completed courses and assignments for athletes.

“I am looking forward to representing Mizzou on the football field as a senior this fall, however I want to let Tiger fans know that I will not be playing during our first six games this season,” Logan said in a statement released by the university. “Please understand that I accept this penalty as a consequence of my actions and that I have fully cooperated with both the University and the NCAA throughout the review process.

“While I am saddened that I will miss six games of my senior year, I know in my heart that I have told the truth, cooperated with the University and NCAA and taken full responsibility for my actions. I believe my integrity remains intact and I am now focused on working hard in the classroom and on the field in the weeks ahead.”

Logan has 36 career tackles in 27 games. He’ll be eligible to return for Mizzou’s homecoming against Idaho on Oct. 21.

Another undisclosed football player who didn’t play Saturday is also facing possible sanctions, but his case has not been resolved. “I am proud of A.J. for being honest and transparent with our staff and the NCAA during this ongoing process,” Odom said. “He has been forthright and cooperative throughout the entire review and I look forward to watching him walk across the stage with his Mizzou degree in December. While he won’t be on the field for the first half of the season, I am confident he will be ready when he returns in mid-October.”“As has been the case since last fall when the University of Missouri began its comprehensive review, the University continues to work in concert with the NCAA and outside counsel to address these serious allegations and we look forward to having this matter resolved, and this is another step in the process,” MU athletics director Jim Sterk said. “We remain confident that this review will reveal that the university as well as its student-athletes and staff, have shown great integrity in responding to the concerns that were raised.”

CROCKETT FLAGGED FOR FLOP on would-be td

Saturday’s third quarter was eventful for Missouri running back Damarea Crockett, who had a 75-yard touchdown run waved off when he dove at the goal line and belly flopped into the end zone. He was flagged for excessive celebration, which by rule is a dead ball foul with a 15-yard penalty. The ball was marked at the 2-yard line and the Tigers later salvaged the drive with Tucker McCann’s 35-yard field goal.

Crockett said he wasn’t celebrating, but that he was trying to avoid two defenders at his heels.

“He said he broke the tackle, didn’t know where he was and wanted to make sure he got in the end zone,” Odom said. “I said, ‘Yeah, me too. Just make sure you get in the end zone.’ Lesson learned.”

Crockett finished with 202 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, becoming the first Mizzou player with consecutive 200-yard rushing games. He rushed for 225 yards last year at Tennessee before he was suspended for the finale against Arkansas.

HILTON is DONE EARLY for illegal hit

The Tigers lost free safety Cam Hilton (Webster Groves) in the third quarter when he was flagged for targeting after smashing his helmet into a Missouri State player while blocking on a punt return. Hilton was ejected and will be out for the first half of next week’s game against South Carolina.

“It was frustrating,” Odom said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re head on or coming back on a crack block, if you get anywhere close above the shoulder pads, that’s it. That is day one elementary football.”

MCCANN makes up

for rough start

Mizzou needed only one play from scrimmage to score its first touchdown on Drew Lock’s 65-yard pass to Johnathon Johnson, but the celebration was quickly muted when Tucker McCann’s woes of 2016 carried over when he missed the extra point attempt. McCann was no better on the ensuing kickoff, sending it out of bounds for the season’s first penalty. For the day he made nine of 10 PATs, drilled nine of his 12 kickoffs for touchbacks and punched two out of bounds.

“I’m glad he got back on track,” Odom said. “He had plenty of opportunities, obviously, but we can’t go down that road. We don’t have the time to do that.”NINE FRESHMEN SEE FIELD

Nine freshmen made their college debut for the Tigers, including one starter, free safety Jordan Ulmer. Freshman running back Larry Rountree III was the only offensive freshman to make his debut, carrying the ball 11 times for 41 yards and a touchdown. Other freshmen who played include defensive tackle Kobie Whiteside, defensive end Chris Turner, linebackers Jamal Brooks, Joshuah Bledsoe and Aubrey Miller, cornerback Adam Sparks and safety Tyree Gillespie.

{span class=”print_trim”}Four junior college players made their Mizzou debut: offensive tackle Yasir Durant, defensive tackles Walter Palmore and Rashad Brandon and defensive end Nate Anderson. Anderson and Brandon both tallied sacks, while Palmore led all MU linemen with six tackles.