Attrition sours the mood as Tigers report

Let the madness begin. The madness being the start of another LSU football season. Sunday evening, the Tiger football team reported for fall camp at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.

"Everybody we expected to arrive, has," Miles said Sunday evening. "We are looking forward to it. Summer is over. The Tigers have reported.


"It is time for football," Miles said. "I can't imagine anyone who doesn't look forward to it (this time of year)."


But before the players ever took the field, before the first sprint was ran or pass was thrown, there was business to tend to Sunday night as coach Les Miles met with the media.


During the Nick Saban years at LSU, seldom was there ever academic issues to speak of. Not since the days of Gerry DiNardo had the LSU coaching staff worried about recruits not qualifying or issues with the NCAA Clearinghouse.


That was most certainly the case Sunday night.


Miles reported to the media five newcomers did not report on Sunday, one of which will be ruled out for the 2006 LSU season.


Junior college offensive lineman Phillip Loadholt failed to pass a required math class at Garden City (Kansas) Community College and will not qualify to enroll at LSU this fall.

"On a sad note, Phillip Loadholt will not be on this year's team," Miles said. "He did not pass a math course. There is an SEC rule that you have to pass two math courses (in junior college)."


The SEC does have a rule in place that junior college transfers must pass two math classes to enroll at a member institution. Loadholt, who failed the math class in the spring, re-took it again this summer and came up short again. However, the rule is one pertaining to SEC schools. Loadholt would be eligible to play elsewhere at another non-SEC, Division I-A school.


"But he is immediately eligible at another school," Miles said. "He is going to re-take the math course to give himself some other options. And in that case, those options would include LSU."


It was rumored Loadholt might choose Oklahoma, the school to which he originally committed before going to Garden City. But Miles dismissed the notion.


While it was disappointing the Tigers will be without Loadholt's services this fall, that is only half the bad news.


Five players, including running backs Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy, defensive lineman Al Woods and offensive lineman Steven Singleton, did not report because their paperwork hasn't passed the NCAA Clearinghouse.


"There are some guys who are going to be stragglers," Miles said. "These guys haven't gotten through the (NCAA) Clearinghouse yet."


Miles insisted the players have passed all coursework to enroll at LSU, but their paperwork was sent in late and they cannot join the team until it passes through the proper channels. Miles said he isn't sure when that paperwork will be processed.


"It all depends on when you get your stuff in," Miles said. "They try and get to those (player's paperwork) in order (that they are received). We are going to be attentive to those dates when we review these cases."


In the meantime, those four players cannot come to Baton Rouge.


"They have to be at home," Miles said. "They can't report. But we expect all of them to be eligible once they pass the clearing house."


Of the 25 players from which Miles received letters of intent on National Signing Day, eight did not report on Sunday, this including the five abovementioned players as well as Charles Deas, Jason Teague and Shomari Clemmons. Deas, Teague and Clemmons did not qualify academically.


Another newcomer that was in limbo of sorts was New Iberia-Westgate standout Jared Mitchell. Taken in the 10th round by the Minnesota Twins, Mitchell had a decision to make regarding his future. Mitchell, who will play baseball and football at LSU, was listed on the official roster on Sunday.


As for the rest of the team, Miles said most everyone returned in good shape, except for a couple of players who are coming back from injury.


"Five guys won't be in shape when we start tomorrow," Miles said. "Only one of those isn't injury based."


Miles added that Justin Vincent is "way ahead" on returning from his ACL injury and that JaMarcus Russell is breaking team records in the weight room.


Check out throughout August for up to the minute news on LSU's Fall Camp.

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