BATON ROUGE - LSU running back Stevan Ridley has been ruled ineligible for the Tigers' Cotton Bowl appearance on January 7 as a result of an academic issue interpreted by the NCAA as a violation of its bylaws.
LSU is appealing to have Ridley reinstated to play.
"Stevan Ridley is currently in an academic issue and may not be eligible to play in the Cotton Bowl," said LSU head coach Les Miles. "We are in the appeal process now with the NCAA and we're very hopeful that his eligibility will be restored. We're doing everything we can as a university to help Stevan through this issue.
"Stevan is the captain of our team. He's been a hard worker, a wonderful leader and has developed through work, time and effort not only as a player but as a student."
Ridley played in all 12 games during LSU's 2010 regular season and leads the team in rushing with 1,042 yards on 225 carries while rushing for 14 touchdowns, averaging 86.8 yards per game. He is ranked fourth in the Southeastern Conference in rushing yards per game.
"It saddens me to announce that the NCAA has rescinded my eligibility to play football for LSU at the upcoming Cotton Bowl due to an academic violation," Ridley said. "While I question their findings and think that the punishment is harsh, I did put myself in a compromising position that I deeply regret. With respect for the process, we have requested that the NCAA reconsider their findings and hope that they will expedite this review.
"I have the full support of the LSU administration and coaching staff, and trust them in assisting me with the appeals process. I hold myself to a very high standard for my performance both on and off the field. I know that my family, teammates, coaches, friends and fans share that standard, and I regret that we find ourselves facing this dilemma at this time. I remain committed to Louisiana State University and to the LSU football team and I plan to fight to maintain my eligibility. I will have no further comments until the appeals process is complete."