Colorado State junior Fred Richardson, a transfer out of Lee College, will serve a nine-game suspension to start the season.
The suspension comes as a result of his time as a freshman at the University of Oregon, where Richardson, along with teammates Carlos Emory and Willie Moore, sold program-exclusive sneakers for some extra cash. This is, of course, a major violation of NCAA rules; and because players are unable to serve NCAA-mandated penalties in junior college, Richardson was forced to wait until now to serve his time.
Unfortunately for Richardson, this all may seem like a slap on the wrist in comparison to another problem the athlete is facing. According to The Coloradoan, Richardson is currently facing DUI charges after being arrested back in September. This is a far more serious matter than the shoe deal and Colorado State will likely opt to add on to his nine-game suspension, in addition to all the other ramifications a DUI charge brings with it.
"The deal is, he violated team rules and when it gets through the court system, we'll figure out the punishment," head coach Larry Eustachy said. "The nine games is from the shoe deal."
For the Rams, this is a tough but survivable blow. Richardson averaged 15.7 points and 7.1 rebounds during his time at Lee College and has a chance to make an immediate impact for Colorado State when he does eventually step on the court. His 6-foot-7 size, mixed with his athleticism would give the Rams an always-welcomed presence as a versatile wing.
The team has always been expected to get by on depth, however, and losing Richardson for, perhaps, the first half of the season is hardly damning. During the Rams' 85-54 exhibition win over Fort Lewis on Monday, nine different players received 14-plus minutes. Yes, it was just a scrimmage game, but it served a decent look at how the Rams will operate this year: with depth and more depth.