What the heck is going on at LSU?
The question has to be asked, and it can be argued, should have been asked a long time ago.
Jeremy Hill’s off-the-field shenanigans are only the latest in a torrent of bad publicity during the past few years of Les Miles’ tenure.
Hill, who already was on probation in connection with a 2011 arrest, was arrested Saturday for allegedly punching another man outside of a Baton Rouge bar.
Add his dustup to what turned into a season-long saga with Jordan Jefferson in 2011, the multi-year story of Tyrann Mathieu and what seems like the more than occasional failed drug test and subsequent suspension and you have to wonder about things.
Does Miles have control over his players and, more importantly, do his players even respect him?
Because if they did respect him, they wouldn’t constantly put him in tough situations where he either has to suspend them on his own or let the justice system do its work.
The theory goes that as long as a program is producing winning teams, pretty much anything goes. Because with wins comes money and with money comes facilities and with facilities comes players and coming full circle, with players comes wins.
And certainly LSU has consistently been one of the top programs under Miles. This past weekend, nine players went in the NFL draft, including three in the first two rounds. Since Miles got to LSU in 2005, in fact, 49 players have been drafted, including 10 first-rounders.
At what point, however, do the free passes stop.
Not that a lot of people care (because again, it’s all about winning), but all of the issues don’t make LSU look any better.
What these players are doing is taking advantage of Miles for being Miles. He’s a loyal man, one of the nicest in the business.
His uniqueness – the thing that makes him Les Miles and the thing that we love – also makes him an easy target to be abused by young people who don’t care that he has their best interest in mind.
I’m certainly not naïve and know that LSU isn’t the only school where this happening. And it’s not like it’s happening with the entirety of the roster.
But that doesn’t make it right and any less confounding.
The question is this – when do we begin to wonder if it’s finally too much?