Jared Foster is back.
LSU starting second baseman Foster had his eligibility restored after winning an appeal battle with LSU and has been reinstated to the baseball team.
Foster received the news Tuesday after an appeal meeting earlier in the day, and the senior will travel with the team to the final regular season road series at South Carolina.
He won his appeal based on what coach Paul Maineri termed an “obscure” NCAA rule. A student athlete must pass six hours of classes in the semester to remain eligible for the postseason. The hours, it was first thought, must only go toward that player’s specific major.
That’s not necessarily the case, the coach said.
“He passed the classes,” Mainieri said of Foster, a sports administration major. “He just didn’t pass them with a high enough grade in his specific major, but because he passed the classes and because those classes would be accepted by other majors at our institution, they still count as having passed credits in the six-hour rule thing.”
LSU “confirmed” the ruling with the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference, Mainieri said after the Tigers (44-8, 19-7) beat UNO 9-1 on Tuesday night without Foster.
“Both told us absolutely,” the coach said. “He, basically, was never ineligible.”
Mainieri said Foster will “most probably” return to the starting lineup against the Gamecocks (30-22, 12-15).
Foster had been ruled academically ineligible for the rest of the season – stunning, career-ending news that surfaced on the day of LSU’s series opener against Missouri on Friday.
Foster’s return is a massive boost for a team ranked as the consensus No. 1-ranked squad in the nation for the fourth straight week.