Blog Entry

Les Miles is in an impossible position

Posted on: August 26, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: August 26, 2011 12:11 pm
 
LSU football coach Les Miles is in a brutal position, the kind of situation they don't teach anywhere. This is on-the-job learning right here -- and whatever Les Miles does, he's wrong.

If he suspends star quarterback Jordan Jefferson because of reports that Jefferson did (but maybe did not) kick a prone victim during a fight outside a Baton Rouge bar, Miles runs the risk of hurting his player, his team and his school for something Jefferson never did.

If he doesn't suspend Jefferson, as he has not done so far, Miles runs the risk of allowing a potential felon to play, and all the national tut-tutting that such leniency produces.

Meantime, no charges have been filed. Forgive Les Miles for not knowing what happened outside that bar, seeing how the cops themselves still don't seem to have a grasp on it. Witnesses are offering contradictory accounts, but what's known is this: Jefferson and a large handful of teammates were out too late, busting curfew, hanging out at a bar. It was a stupid move, and it deserves punishment.

But how much punishment? What would be fair? Maybe we should let the facts come in, shall we? This isn't a case like -- to name just one -- Miami football, where the alleged scumbag isn't an alleged scumbag. He's an admitted scumbag. Nevin Shapiro says he helped scores of UM players violate NCAA rules. It's up to the school and the NCAA to figure out just how truthful Shapiro has been, but in the meantime it seems reasonable to believe the worst. Or even a fraction of the worst. Because a fraction of the worst would still be pretty damn bad.

As for LSU, well, shoot. Believing the worst -- believing that Jefferson is the reason a man has cracked vertebra after that fight -- would mean suspending Jefferson before the police have done their job. It would mean suspending Jefferson for something he possibly didn't do.

One of these days the cops will figure out what (they think) happened. And when charges come down -- as charges surely will come down against someone, or multiple someones, on the LSU football team -- Miles must act decisively. And I'm sure he will. Until then, though, I'm not sure he should suspend Jordan Jefferson.

Not sure I could do that, if I were Les Miles.

Go ahead. Call me an SEC shill. But you better ignore this story.

And this one.

And this one.

And ...

UPDATE, 11:52 a.m.: An arrest warrant has been issued for Jefferson (and linebacker Josh Johns). Now, it is absolutely time for Les Miles to suspended Jefferson (and Johns).

UPDATE, 12:12 p.m. And now there are reports (on Twitter!) that Jefferson and Johns have been suspended indefinitely. So it all worked out as it should have, in the end.









Comments

Since: Aug 27, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Les Miles is in an impossible position

Regarding Yahoo! and Charles Robinson and your recent podcast. You stated that the "Reggie Bush case would have never happened without Yahoo."

99.9 percent incorrect.

Lloyd Lake/Michael Michaels contacted Yahoo because, as you know, Reggie Bush's stepfather tried to discontinue their "illegal" relationship in San Diego. I would say with 100 percent certainty that if Yahoo had ignored Lake that Lake would have taken his allegations to another media outlet.

Nice podcast you have going.






Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 9:13 am
 

Railroad job...

Why is this kid being railroaded when the bar staff told the police that the "victim" threw the first punch?  When someone is being attacked, it isn't his job to adhere to the Marquess of Queensbury rules.  Why isn't the "victim" being charged or arrested?  This is another case of selective "justice" by good ol' boys in a big ol' small town.



Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posted on: August 26, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Les Miles is in an impossible position

Les never said he was going to play Jefferson. There was a reason that Jarrett Lee started taking 50% of the reps. At the time Les Miles had just as much info as any average fan. There were conflicting stories and no one new the truth. Now that Les knows the truth, JJ isn't playing. How is the integrity of Les Miles even a question in a situation like this. What if this goes to court and some other video comes out showing that JJ isn't the one that did it. Now, I'm not taking JJ's back here, if he did it than he deserves to be punished but you can't sit here and call Les Miles' decision laughable when it's his responsiblity to be a type of gaurdian for all of his players. He has some tough decisions to make as the head coach of a Div I college football team. At least give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to making a decision of how to punish one of his players. Especially since not even the detectives of a police dept had not made a decision of who was at fault. When the police were finally able to point fingers at the suspect than Les suspended those players. If found guilty in a court of law, he'll have to make the decision whether or not to kick these guys off of his team. So before we bash anybody, why don't we look at this in a much broader perspective.



Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: August 26, 2011 5:58 pm
 

Exactly.

Jim Tressel played guys who sold their own stuff.  Les wants to play someone who probably kicked an innocent victim in the head. No comparison.



Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posted on: August 26, 2011 11:27 am
 

Les Miles is in an impossible position

Oregon made a difficult decision prior to last season, dumping returning starter Jeremiah Masoli after repeated run-ins with the law. Coach Chip Kelly did the same this offseason when star corner Cliff Harris embarrassed the program with that 118-mph traffic incident. I've banged on Kelly when I thought he was too soft, or inconsistent, or sending a poor message. But what I'm hearing from Miles right now is laughable.




Laughable????????????? I would like for you to name just 1 other off of the field incident by Jordan Jefferson. Just 1. Your pretty much saying that Jordan Jefferson should be thrown under the bus for an incident that has very conflicting stories and no one as of yet knows the truth. Let's not forget, that as a head coach of a program, it is also your job to protect the future of every one of your players. Too be a secondary father figure in there lives. If you were to throw JJ under the bus and it comes back that all he did was break curfew, on a day that breaking kerfew has been an LSU tradition for the las 40 yrs, and only days before his 21st birthday, for his very first rule violation, how would that make him look?



Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posted on: August 26, 2011 11:26 am
 

Les Miles is in an impossible position

Oregon made a difficult decision prior to last season, dumping returning starter Jeremiah Masoli after repeated run-ins with the law. Coach Chip Kelly did the same this offseason when star corner Cliff Harris embarrassed the program with that 118-mph traffic incident. I've banged on Kelly when I thought he was too soft, or inconsistent, or sending a poor message. But what I'm hearing from Miles right now is laughable.




Laughable????????????? I would like for you to name just 1 other off of the field incident by Jordan Jefferson. Just 1. Your pretty much saying that Jordan Jefferson should be thrown under the bus for an incident that has very conflicting stories and no one as of yet knows the truth. Let's not forget, that as a head coach of a program, it is also your job to protect the future of every one of your players. Too be a secondary father figure in there lives. If you were to throw JJ under the bus and it comes back that all he did was break curfew, on a day that breaking kerfew has been an LSU tradition for the las 40 yrs, and only days before his 21st birthday, for his very first rule violation, how would that make him look?



Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posted on: August 26, 2011 11:20 am
 

Les Miles is in an impossible position

I'm so tired of people comparing Miles to Tressel when Tressel knowingly lied to the NCAA and played ineligible players for a full season. Les Miles may not know how to tell time but it's not like he has broken any NCAA rules or even gotten fired for lying.



Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2011 10:55 am
 

Les Miles is in an impossible position

Tressel admitted to playing an ineligible player. Are you really comparing the two? That's silly.



Since: Jun 6, 2011
Posted on: August 26, 2011 10:46 am
 

Les Miles is in an impossible position

Les Miles has a 62-17 record at LSU but an uneasy relationship with some fans.<!-- IE6 HACK --><!-- IE6 HACK -->The police in Baton Rouge say they've gathered enough evidence in the apartment of LSU quarterback to either soon bring charges or drop the whole matter entirely.

But I've already seen enough evidence from LSU football to indict on warped mentality.

Tigers coach Les Miles has refused to suspend his starting quarterback, or any of the other players involved in an after-hours incident outside a local bar. More than 20 LSU players were present at the and broke curfew bar, according to published reports. Jefferson has been accused by multiple witnesses, including a victim who has three broken vertebrae, of kicking a victim in the head.

For this, Miles said he's disappointed. He's apologized to the community. He's apparently made the players run. But the guy charged with winning games, and also, being in control of an NCAA-regulated program, refuses to take any official action until the police move first.

Lame.

Also, revealing.

Jefferson, and the others involved, should be suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation. The threshold of expectations has to be higher at LSU. Jefferson broke team rules. He's the subject of a serious criminal investigation. It looks bad. Playing college football isn't a right, rather, an honor, even in Baton Rouge, where football is king.

Police say they're having a difficult time finding unbiased witnesses. There's a line of people who saw what happened that understand that charges against Jefferson jeopardize a possible dream football season. If Miles doesn't realize that he's complicit in drumming up public sentiment here, he should have realized it when someone dared to ask about suspensions during his weekly radio appearance.

The mob of LSU fans booed the question.

I'm sure Jefferson will get a fair investigation. I have faith the justice system will deal with him the same it would any old regular citizen around campus. Miles isn't just making the investigators do their jobs, but also his. Because instead of setting a precedent for his program, and asking his star players to abide by rules and not embarrass the program, he's left the job solely to police.

Too much pressure for Miles to win at all costs? 

LSU won 11 games and lost two last season, yet there were those in Baton Rouge who thought Miles should have been fired in midseason after the Tennessee game -- even though LSU won. Despite in six years at LSU, Miles has an uneasy relationship with the Tigers' rabid fans, who demand a victory over in Arlington, Texas.

But that should not be an excuse to be afraid to take a stand.

Police collected shoes from Jefferson's apartment. They say they'll make a decision on charges shortly. But fans nationally are snickering, and making jokes about Southeastern Conference justice.

Everyone knows where the SEC stood on Cam Newton's NCAA investigation. And where the conference places its values in big games. But we've been told that Miles touts good values and inspired vision in his recruiting pitch.

It's becoming more and more difficult to believe in college athletics. NCAA investigators have been tied up with shady relatives, and eligibility issues, and scouting services, and a college football landscape that looks like Booster-palooza. It's why Miles whole act when it comes to team discipline feels tired and woefully transparent.

Miles said he's not ready to announce any punishment for Jefferson and others. Miles did say, when asked that important question about possible suspensions on his radio program: "Yeah, I think there are some possibilities of roster changes."

He's apparently waiting on police before he does a thing.

Discipline isn't a totally foreign concept for Miles. In 2008, he booted quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, a projected starter, from the team after a violation of team rules. That came after several Perrilloux incidents including a bar fight and a 2007 misdemeanor when he tried to use his brother’s driver’s license to get into a casino gambling boat.
   
It should be noted that, after the ID incident, Miles reinstated Perrilloux in time for preseason practice.

Has Miles not learned anything?
   
I know. The call on Jefferson is a difficult one, given the circumstances. But football coaches are well paid to make high-pressure decisions.

Oregon made a difficult decision prior to last season, dumping returning starter Jeremiah Masoli after repeated run-ins with the law. Coach Chip Kelly did the same this offseason when star corner Cliff Harris embarrassed the program with that 118-mph traffic incident. I've banged on Kelly when I thought he was too soft, or inconsistent, or sending a poor message. But what I'm hearing from Miles right now is laughable.

What we're really talking about is a program's willingness to announce to the rest of us that no one player stands above the program.

Anyone think that's true at LSU today?

;




Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2011 10:41 am
 

Les Miles is in an impossible position

I wish Doyel were so sympathetic to Jim Tressel.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com