If the spring wasn't eventful enough for Coach Les Miles and the LSU football team, there was more police blotter action last week.
Miles was faced with a difficult decision last spring when he was forced to kick three players off the team for conduct unbecoming. Troy Giddens and Zhamal Thomas were both booted off the LSU team after being arrested for burglarizing an on-campus apartment.
Offensive lineman Kyle Anderson may have been more impacted by poor timing than his arrest following a TigerLand bar fight. Anderson slugged a guy in a bar – a la Chase Pittman – but did so the same week Thomas and Giddens were incarcerated.
Miles was forced to act swiftly and harshly and sufficiently removed all three players from the team.
Two months later, Ryan Perrilloux was cited in a Baton Rouge area casino for trying to gain access to the gambling establishment using false identification. Already under investigation by the federal government for his association with a St. John the Baptist Parish counterfeiting ring, Perrilloux had been placed on a zero-tolerance policy by Miles.
Perrilloux was spared dismissal when he agreed to undisclosed terms of restitution set forth by Miles and was allowed to rejoin the team at the start of Fall Camp.
However, just prior to Perrilloux's reinstatement on Aug. 2, third-string outside linebacker Derrick Odom and reserve linebacker Ryan "Ace" Foyil got into an altercation at a Brightside Drive apartment complex with a 20-year-old resident on July 28.
News of Odom's brush with the law wasn't made public until Baton Rouge Police issued a warrant for his arrest last Thursday. Odom surrendered to the police on charges of attempted unauthorized access to an inhabited dwelling as well as two counts of simple destruction of property.
Foyil was cited for his role in the altercation back on July 28 for simple assault and public intoxication.
Odom was suspended indefinitely last week as Miles gathered more information. By week's end, it appeared Odom's attorney, Nathan Fisher, and the plaintiff's lawyer were closing in on an agreement that would allow charges to be dropped.
There has been lots of discussion swirling about TigerTown surrounding these discipline issues and how Miles dispenses justice on the team. There are those that want to stir up debate that Miles had discipline issues at Oklahoma State.
But in this reporter's opinion, every school has discipline issues. It is a matter of how much information leaks out of a program and how, from that point, matters are handled. Miles has been quite deliberate in his handling of these previous matters. Only time will tell if Odom is allowed to rejoin the team if the charges are dropped.
A good example of these discipline problems being common within most football programs is Alabama. For the most part, Coach Nick Saban had a very uneventful tenure at LSU in terms of player run-ins with the law. But since he has arrived at Alabama, Saban has had five players arrested over the summer alone, including All-SEC defensive back Simeon Castille.
It is pretty easy to surmise that these coaches can go to extreme measures to make sure players behave, but the real responsibility lies with the players to keep their noses clean.
We'll expound on this topic, and much more, in our latest rant.
What are you doing, Derrick Odom? Your team is about to open Fall Camp to prepare for a possible run at a national championship, and you go trying to kick in doors at an apartment complex. Didn't you learn anything from Kyle Anderson? Slugging a student gets you nowhere but kicked off the team. Hopefully the charges are dropped and you are allowed to reconcile with the other parties involved. But expect a stiff list of goals you will be expected to accomplish to climb out of Les Miles' dog house.
It's game week. After waiting almost nine months for the 2007 season to arrive, it's officially here. The last time LSU stepped off the field, they were the No. 3 ranked team in the country after ripping apart the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 41-14 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Tigers will take the field Thursday in Starkville, Miss., in the season opener and will do so ranked No. 2 in the nation. Can LSU ride its impressive defense all the way to a possible No. 1 ranking come Jan. 7?
To LSU's upcoming basketball schedule. While Coach John Brady may have his hands full with a tough non-conference slate, he won't be criticized for playing too many crème puffs. Included on LSU's schedule are the likes of Washington, Oregon State, Villanova, Wichita State, Marquette and Oklahoma State. LSU opens the season on the road in Hawaii, taking part in the prestigious Maui Invitational. Check out TigerRag.com in the coming weeks as we prepare to cover the Tigers' upcoming practices.
To the LSU Volleyball team. The 23rd-ranked LSU volleyball team earned the Mizuno Tiger Classic title with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Saint Louis in the tournament finale after sweeping past UL-Monroe to open play on Saturday in the Maravich Center. With the wins, a 30-26, 21-30, 30-27, 22-30, 15-7 win over the Billikens and a 30-16, 30-19, 30-21, win over the Warhawks, the Tigers improved to 3-0 on the season. Saint Louis dropped to 2-1, and ULM went winless in the tournament at 0-3. New Orleans, the tournament's fourth participant, knocked off UL-Monroe after falling to the Billikens and finishing at 1-2. For her efforts, Lauren DeGirolamo was named the Mizuno Tiger Classic Most Valuable Player, while Marina Skender and Brittnee Cooper earned all-tournament honors for LSU. Saint Louis placed Bridget Fonke and Whitney Roth on the all-tournament team, as Dobrilla Kovacevic of New Orleans and Ilima Sam Fong of UL-Monroe were also honored. In the nightcap against the Billikens, the Tigers won the first game, 30-26, before the Billikens evened it up, 30-21. Again LSU took the lead with a 30-27 win, but Saint Louis would not go away, sending the match to a fifth game with a 30-22 win in game four. In the final game, the Tigers used a 6-0 run midway through the game to go from trailing 4-3 to holding the 9-4 lead. LSU went on to win 15-7 to claim the championship.
To Chelsea Potts of the LSU Soccer team. The Southeastern Conference released its first preseason All-SEC team for soccer last Thursday, and LSU sophomore Chelsea Potts earned distinction as one of the SEC's premier defenders in a vote of the league's 12 head coaches. Potts, a Second-Team All-SEC selection and member of the SEC All-Freshman Team a year ago, joins 13 other standouts from around the SEC who have earned preseason first-team recognition.
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