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LSU 87 – Kentucky 82

Video highlights of the LSU 87-82 win over Kentucky Tuesday night in Baton Rouge.

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LSU 77 – Missouri 71

Video highlights of the LSU 77-71 win over Missouri Tuesday night in Baton Rouge.

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Tennessee 68 – LSU 50

Video highlights of the Tennessee 68 – 50 victory over LSU Tuesday night in Baton Rouge.

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Clemson’s Swinney “Loved To Go To Baton Rouge And See Grandmas Flipping You The Finger”

gfx - they said itClemson coach Dabo Swinney knows a thing or two about the Southeastern Conference.  Born in Birmingham, the Tigers’ coach played at Alabama from 1989 through 1992.

Asked during his press conference this week about prepping his team for a weekend game at Syracuse — hardly an SEC-like venue – Swinney said he enjoys the abuse visitors sometimes get from hometown fans:

 

“I love the hostility of it, especially growing up in the SEC.  I loved to go to Baton Rouge and see grandmas flipping you the finger as we are riding on the bus.  And others would pull their shirts up.  I was like, ‘Man, this is wild.’

People talk bad about you and used to call me Skinny Swinney and all of that stuff.  I loved that.  I thought that was great.  That used to be a lot of fun to be a part of.  I embraced that.”

 

Hmmm.

So Swinney likes to have hostility and insults aimed in his direction.  How very masochistic of him.

Come to think of it, ya know, he does kinda look like…

 

Kevin Bacon – Fraternity Paddle

 

And here’s to LSU, a school whose rabid fanbase is synonymous with grandmas who flip the finger at rival players.  We give that two birds up.

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Former LSU, South Carolina Coach Dietzel Dies At 89

Paul_Dietzel_(1958)Legendary football coach Paul Dietzel — the man who led LSU to its first national championship back in 1958 — passed away yesterday in Baton Rouge.  He was 89-years-old.

During a career that spanned 26 years, Dietzel served as an assistant at Army, Cincinnati, and Kentucky (under Paul “Bear” Bryant) before becoming a head coach at LSU (1955-1961), Army (1962-1965) and South Carolina (1966-1974).  He also served as an athletic director at South Carolina, Indiana, LSU and Samford.

His career record was just 109-95-5, but his creation of a three-platoon system at LSU — one that helped the Tigers’ win the national title in ’58 — lives on in legend.  If you’re not up to speed on Dietzel’s career or his White team, Gold team and Chinese Bandits, click here to read his obit from The New York Times.  (And if you’ve ever wondered why LSU’s band plays this during games, now you know.)

While he also coached at Army and South Carolina, Dietzel will best be remembered for his days on the Bayou, where he “helped make Saturday nights in Baton Rouge magical.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the coach’s family.

 

 

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LSU’s Hill Is “Moving Forward,” But Miles Is Catching Heat

fast_forwardBack on LSU’s football squad, once-suspended running back Jeremy Hill is ready to move forward.  We’re talking really ready to move forward.  As in he said he’s “moving forward” six different times during a media session in Baton Rouge yesterday.

Hill’s story is known by all at this point.  While on probation for “unlawful carnal knowledge” with a 14-year-old girl during his high school days, Hill sucker-punched a man outside a Baton Rouge bar this spring.  The punch — and Hill’s post-punch celebration — were caught on cell phone video.

But Hill went before the right judge.  He was given several tsk-tsks, but avoided jail time.  That was just the opening Les Miles had been waiting for and Hill was reinstated to the Tiger team.  It has since been learned that the LSU squad was asked to vote on Hill’s return — they were unanimous in their decision to bring him back, of course — and that’s earned Miles some tsk-tsks of his own from the media as well as from TCU coach Gary Patterson, who’ll open the season with LSU.

Yesterday, Hill was peppered with questions by reporters:

 

*  Did he have a bad feeling after he threw the sucker-punch (and celebrated)?  “Once I left the scene, I did.  But it is what it is, and I’m moving forward.”

*  Was it tough to apologize to his teammates?  “I wouldn’t say it was tough.  It was heartfelt.  I really put those guys through a lot… But like I said, I apologized for it, and I’m just moving forward.”

*  Does he appreciate getting another chance at LSU?  “Not too many guys get offered to play for this program.  To put this uniform on is definitely a privilege.  So I’m moving forward.  I’m not taking anything for granted.”

 

Whether Hill is allowed to play against TCU or not could depend on public opinion, though Miles — as only he could phrase it — suggests that won’t be the case:

 

“The idea that you have a discipline that is reflective of in-house.  It’s team in nature, and it doesn’t reflect outside opinion.  Outside opinion can be self-serving, depending on the location that you live in.  It’s really egregious or it’s not that bad at all.  Punishment will be dealt in an appropriate fashion.”

 

Some might say Miles’ inside opinion that led him to immediately reinstate a twice-arrested player is self-serving.

But the fact of the matter remains, it was the LSU administration that forced quarterback Jordan Jefferson onto the suspended list while he was being investigated by police in 2011.  It was the LSU administration that put foot to rump in the case of Tyrann Mathieu after a number of failed drug tests.

So if public opinion goes against LSU on this issue — and that’s how it appears to be shaping up — the LSU administration might just instruct Miles to park Hill on the bench rather than allow the school’s name to be dragged through the mud during the week-long media build up to the contest with TCU.

 

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It’s Time For Schools, Coaches To Be Held Responsible For Repeat Offenders

gfx - honest opinionCollege coaches will tell you they’re in the business of building quality young men.  They will tell you that they are educators and life coaches, more than they are simple gridiron conductors.

In reality, they’re in the business of making millions of dollars to win football games.  If some troubled youths are aided along the way, all the better, but that’s most certainly not why coaches are hired to lead programs.

Someone alert me when you hear an athletic director say, “Well, we know Joe has a record of 10-60, but we like the way he rehabilitates kids with bad backgrounds.”

The “helping kids” mantra is pure spin.  It’s said whenever a coach gives a player a second,  third or fourth chance.  Sure, coaches enjoy seeing guys turn their lives around.  But that doesn’t explain why starters, star quarterbacks, leading rushers and tacklers get more chances at redemption than backups and walk-ons.  I think we can all do that math on that front.

So perhaps it’s time for coaches — and the schools that employ them — to be made to take responsibility for the illegal actions their repeat offenders take.

Yesterday, LSU’s leading returning rusher, Jeremy Hill, was pretty much given a pass by a Louisiana judge.  This despite the fact that he’d pled guilty to a violent crime while on probation for a previous crime.  In high school, Hill reportedly intimidated a 14-year-old girl into having sexual relations with him.  He pled guilty to misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile for that act.  This April, he sucker-punched a young man outside a Baton Rouge bar.  The blow to the back of the head dropped the victim.  Hill and a pal celebrated over him.  It was caught on cell phone video.

(One must wonder if Les Miles will have the LSU video department edit that clip into next year’s recruiting tape.  It could be part of a section dedicated to how the Tigers’ coach tries to help young men become better citizens.  Former quarterback Jordan Jefferson could be featured.  He was suspended by the school, not the coach, when he was involved in a bar fight in 2011.  There’s video of that one, too.  For the trifecta, perhaps Tyrann Mathieu could discuss how many drug tests he failed — and how many chances Miles gave him — before he was finally tossed from the school last year.)

Miles said after the court’s decision yesterday that further punishment of Hill — who’s now been reinstated to the team — will be internal.  The coach stated: “The reality is we all see him around here as a pretty good person.”

I wonder if the girl from Hill’s high school or the man Hill suckerpunched view him as “a pretty good person.”

This isn’t just to pick on Miles (though he deserves whatever is thrown his way on this topic).  He’s hardly the first coach to give multiple chances to kids guilty of violent crimes.  And LSU’s is not the only administration to give its coach the right to hand out dozens of “get out of jail free” cards.

Imagine, then, if there was some type of rule in place that would financially bind the actions of a once-guilty player to his coach and to his school.

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Miles Says RB Hill Still Suspended At LSU

LSU MEDIA DAYS In the middle of a lengthy opening statement that included a great deal of “How I spent my summer” talk as well as a mention of just about every single player on his team, Les Miles finally brought up the Jeremy Hill situation.  According to the coach, LSU’s leading returning rusher remains indefinitely suspended following an arrest and guilty plea tied to some nasty blindside punches to a young man outside a Baton Rouge bar.

Miles said that Hill remains on suspension while the legal situation plays out.  For now, Hill “has been separated from the team.”  Hill was on probation for another crime and could face jail time.

 

UPDATE – Asked if he’s had conversations with Hill, Miles said that they have had contact “on a routing basis,” but that Hill has not been allowed in the football complex and he has not worked out with his teammates.  “There’s an ongoing process that’s going to be fulfilled and we’re gonna sit on the perimeter and watch.”

In other words, if Hill gets jail time, he’ll be gone.  If he avoids jail time, LSU will likely ignore his two previous arrests and welcome him back to the football squad.

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LSU’s Miles And Ole Miss’ Kennedy Need To Boot Hill And Henderson

gfx - honest opinionBoot ‘em.  Kick ‘em off the team.  They had their chance.  Then they had another.  And now its time to go.

I’m talking, of course, about LSU football player Jeremy Hill and Ole Miss basketballer Marshall Henderson.  Both made news last week — during my last semi-vacation of the summer — and I didn’t get to weigh in on their situations.  I’ll do so now.  Here goes: Get rid of them.

Having been so harsh today, if you look back at my track record as one of MrSEC.com’s writers you’ll realize quickly that I’m typically a pretty lenient guy.  I believe in second chances.  And third chances.  And fourths.

I’ve had a few chances of my own in life and I haven’t forgotten that fact.

But.

While people deserve second, third, fourth and more chances in their real lives, the same doesn’t hold true when it comes to their sporting lives.  Playing on a college football or basketball team — and representing a university — is a privilege, not a right.

In my view, there are two things that should get a player heave-ho’d from his college team.  First, any violent crime.  Beat a fellow student or assault another person — physically or sexually — and you should be gone.  End of story.  Hit the bricks.

Second, if a player repeatedly embarrasses his institution he should also be ix-nayed from the program.

Hill is guilty of the first.  Henderson is guilty of the second.  Both should be shown the door.

Last week, Hill — LSU’s leading returning rusher with 755 yards and 12 touchdowns a season ago — pled guilty to a charge of simple battery.  In April, he was caught on cell phone video punching a 20-year-old man in the parking lot of a Baton Rouge bar.  So what’s the big deal with a single punch?  Hill and another man — Robert Bayardo — punched the victim from behind, knocked him to the ground, and the proceeded to celebrate said blindsiding.

Hill’s plea on Friday also opens the door for jail time.  That’s because Hill was already on probation after pleading guilty last year to “carnal knowledge of a juvenile.”  Hill — then 18 — engaged in a sex act with a 14-year-old girl during his high school days back in 2010.  According to Baton Rouge police, he intimidated the girl in question.

As of today, LSU’s Les Miles has suspended Hill indefinitely, but the school has said via statement that the coach will let “the legal process surrounding this matter” come to a conclusion before taking further action.

Sure.  Who doesn’t look at Hill’s track record and this video without thinking, “Hey, that big lug needs another chance to serve as an ambassador for LSU?”  Then again, Miles and LSU looked the other way regarding the failed drug tests of ex-star Tyrann Mathieu — at least according to an NFL source who quoted the player — time and time and time again.  So why should any of us expect Hill to be dismissed from the Tiger team before it’s literally impossible for him to play?

It’s hard to carry the football in handcuffs, you see.  That will make Miles’ decision so much easier.

Meanwhile, down in Mississippi the punkiest punk to ever step onto an SEC basketball court has stepped into trouble once more.  I’m not even going to try and hide the fact that I think UM’s streak-shooting, taunting, hot-dogging guard, Henderson, hasn’t topped my own “most loathed” list since last spring.  I’ve stated time and again that he’s an embarrassment to his school and the conference.  The SEC should have suspended him when he jumped on the scorer’s table and taunted the Missouri contingent during March’s SEC tourney.

At the time, many, many Ole Miss fans emailed and tweeted to let me know that I was just “jealous” of the kid’s mad basketball skills.  Why, Henderson never hurt anybody.

Uh-huh.

Well now he’s hurt the Ole Miss basketball program.  Needless to say, I’ve not heard from any Rebel fans taking his side in the past few days.

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Baton Rouge D.A.’s Office Releases Cell Phone Video Of Jeremy Hill Fight

mrsec-breaking-newsEarlier today, suspended LSU running back Jeremy Hill pleaded guilty to a charge of simple battery.  The Baton Rouge D.A.’s has now released the cell phone video of the incident in question.

It took place in late April outside a Baton Rouge bar.  In the 47-second video, you can see a man staggering to his feet.  Seconds later, someone in a long sleeve LSU t-shirt runs up to him and punches him. According to The Advertiser, that person is Jeremy Hill  A second person then hits the man from behind.  That was Hill’s accomplice, Robert Bayardo .  A group of at least four people, including Hill and Bayardo, can then be seen celebrating.  Off-camera, you can hear someone saying, “Jeremy Hill punching people.”

The video is posted at The Advertiser website. Hill was suspended by LSU coach Les Miles two days after the fight.

 

 

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