Les Miles, What the Hell Are You Doing? This Jeremy Hill Thing
In the spring of 2008, after a failed drug test, a sea of absences from class and repeated tardiness to practice, quarterback Ryan Perrilloux was summarily dismissed from the LSU football team by head coach Les Miles. This, just five months after Perrilloux led the Tigers to a win in the SEC Title Game.
In August 2012, almost a year ago to the day today, after numerous failed drug tests for marijuana, including one that resulted in a one-game suspension in 2011, cornerback and supreme playmaker Tyrann Mathieu, the "Honey Badger," was dismissed by Miles. This, just eight months after Mathieu was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
You know how I know these things?
Because LSU fans wouldn't shut the fuck up about them last night when I pointed out what an embarrassing sham it was that running back Jeremy Hill was welcomed back to the Tiger football team yesterday by Miles.
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Presumably clad in purple T-shirts and tiger-striped Zubaz pants, LSU fans proceeded to educate me on what a "disciplinarian" Miles was, how his track record with chronic (kronic?) offenders like Perrilloux and Mathieu should buy him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to reinstating a thug (and yes that's exactly what Hill is, a two-bit, punk-ass THUG) like Jeremy Hill.
Okay, fine. So why then, Boudreau McDrunkass, did Miles feel compelled to allow his team to vote on allowing Hill to return? Answer me that. If Les is such a rigid taskmaster, why did he divide his authority 85 ways and proxy it to a bunch of kids?
And yes, you heard that right.
Jeremy Hill, who was already on probation for "carnal knowledge" of a 14-year-old girl at age 18 (Translation: He and a friend pressured her to perform oral sex on them, according to the Baton Rouge police department.) and violated that probation when he sucker-punched Connor Baldridge in the face in April, captured on video no less, was allowed to resume activity immediately with the LSU football team on Monday when the head coach put it to a vote of his players.
Let me say that one more time -- Les Miles allowed his players to decide if their sexually deviant, sucker punching thug of a teammate would be allowed back on the team.
Why would the head coach, a seemingly responsible adult with a seven-figure salary and plenty of equity in the job-security bank (well, as much equity as one can have with the lunatic fringe in Baton Rouge), allow a bunch of 18-, 19- and 20-year-old kids to decide the fate of another 20-year-old kid, one who happens to be one of their buddies?
I know the answer, LSU Fan, but I want to hear you tell me why this was a good idea, why this was anything other than a sign of completely tone-deaf stupidity, an adult ceding a brand effecting decision to a bunch of people predisposed to doing the wrong thing?
How is this not a sign of weakness? Les Miles may not be a coward, but this was a cowardly act. Hiding behind a vote of the team? The team should have a voice in this? Why?
Not to pose the obvious question, but would Nick Saban ever in a million years put a decision of this importance to a vote of his players, a vote of the guilty player's peers? Never.
And in case you, the reader, are wondering about the exact results of the vote on Hill's fate by the LSU players, do I really need to tell you? In the history of rigged Louisiana elections, and a long and illustrious history it is, this one was the biggest lock ever.
"It was a unanimous (vote)," Miles said.
Wow, you don't say!
But really, how are we to expect teenage kids to do the right thing, make the correct choice, send a message to a dangerous sociopath, when the example being set by the adults around them who enforce the rules of society are seemingly more concerned with Jeremy Hill's football schedule being disrupted than with trying to prevent the next sucker punch or forcible sex act?
Hill's hearing for his probation violation with the Honorable Judge Bonnie Jackson (the 2012 Distinguished Alum Award winner for LSU, by the way) was originally scheduled for August 16, but was moved to August 5 so as not to interfere with his enrollment in classes and the beginning of football practice.
In the curfew restrictions imposed on Hill as "punishment," exceptions are allowed for LSU football-related activities. Of course they are!
The Louisiana justice system spoke loudly and clearly yesterday about the most important message that needed to be sent to Jeremy Hill: Don't do that again...also, practice starts this week!
Oh sure, Miles alluded to some additional "internal" punishment that Hill will face from the team, as if running a few stairs will somehow prevent Hill from intimidating the next teenage girl or sucker-punching the next prone victim.
Hide behind the vote, Les, but when you know what the outcome is going to be, all the vote represents is your decision dressed up in a shroud of unaccountability. Your decision to allow Jeremy Hill to return to this team is reckless, Les Miles. Are Jeremy Hill's skills so sublime that it's worth the damage to the LSU program and to you personally the next time he commits a violent act?
"The guy's a good college student, good person, really -- not a guy that has had constant bad behavior," Miles said. "Obviously (he) has had a lack of judgment and bad behavior in two instances, but the reality is we all see him around here as a pretty good person."
Well, that's nice, Les. Your sliding scale of what constitutes a "pretty good person" is, well, pretty warped, but okay. If it's all the same to you, we here in the real world see Jeremy Hill as a bully and a menace who uses his size and strength to intimidate others, hurt people and get his way.
Basically, the rest of us see this:
But whatever. Go ahead, reinstate Jeremy Hill. It's your program, Les.
Or is it?
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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