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Jefferson, Johns Cleared Of Felonies; Reinstated To LSU Team

A grand jury in Baton Rouge yesterday lessened the felony second-degree battery charge against LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson to one of misdemeanor simple battery.  The battery charge against back-up linebacker Josh Johns was dropped altogether.

The result?  By late last night both players had been reinstated to the Tiger football team.

First, good for Jefferson and Johns.  There have been conflicting accounts of what happened during that August bar fight and if the two young men are innocent — or at least not guilty of what they were initially charged with — good for them.


As we wrote last week in anticipation of this scenario, this could be bad news for Jarrett Lee and the LSU team.

Miles has already said that Jefferson will return and will “absolutely” contribute to the team.  “I can’t imagine he’d be ready to play this Saturday (against Kentucky), but I wouldn’t rule it out,” Miles said.

So how much will Jefferson play?  Miles offered this:

“Right now Jarrett Lee is our starting quarterback.  What we would want to do is add a skill set.  There would be an opportunity just like a year ago when Lee played in (10 games).  There would be that opportunity for Jordan Jefferson…

I think there is an opportunity to increase our productivity on offense which would be for Jarrett Lee to continue doing what he has done and Jordan Jefferson to come into the game and do what he can do most significantly.”

That means bringing a run threat to the Tiger quarterback position, of course.  And that makes sense.  It’s also certainly fair for Jefferson (and Johns) to return as most players charged with a misdemeanor following a bar fight would not have missed four games to begin with.

But let’s look at Lee’s numbers during this career:

Comp %

Now it’s fully possible that Lee has simply improved over time due to natural maturation and playing experience.  It’s also possible that this offseason’s changes in the offensive coaching staff have benefited him.

But it’s also possible that Lee is a more confident player when he’s not splitting time with someone else.

The addition of Jefferson into the Tiger offense may added an arrow to the quiver and already powerful team.  Or it might cause Lee to start looking over his shoulder.  One way or the other, there’s now a question as to how this will affect LSU moving forward.

And as well as LSU had been moving in its first month, does anyone really want question thrown into the mix now?

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All The Latest On Team Turmoil (LSU)

If anyone ever writes a book about how not to go into a big season-opening football game, the list of issues currently facing LSU will surely serve as inspiration.  Check this out:

* Les Miles says he’s not going to reinstate quarterback Jordan Jefferson until his legal issues play out.  “My issues are kind of cut in stone.  It’s fundamental to me.”

* Okay, but now it’s been learned that back on June 26, LSU punter Brad Wing was arrested for simple battery.  Wing hasn’t been charged yet but the district attorney’s office is still interviewing witnesses.


*  John DeShazier of The New Orleans Times-Picayune believes Miles should explain why Jefferson and Josh Johns can’t play while their issues drag through the courts… but Wing can.  (I’d say the whole “being charged” thing would have an impact.)

* Meanwhile, the attorney for a victim in Jefferson’s case claims that his client was kicked so hard during last month’s brawl outside a Baton Rouge bar that he was left with “several shoe-imprint bruises on his body.”  (Which explains why police removed 49 pairs of shoes from Jefferson’s apartment.)

* Yet the attorney for Jefferson has released a video that he claims proves that his client “was never involved in any fights that night.”

* Dick Weiss of The New York Daily News even chimes in on the dark cloud hanging over LSU.

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Things Could Play Out In A Number Of Ways For LSU’s Jefferson; A Redshirt Is A Possibility

After a week of questions, a couple of big ones was answered last Friday — LSU starting senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson was arrested and charged with second degree battery.  That’s a felony charge for his involvement in a Baton Rouge bar fight two weeks ago.

Soon after Jefferson’s arrests, Miles suspended his quarterback and fellow-arrestee, linebacker Josh Johns.

But many more questions remain unanswered.  Jefferson’s case can still play out in a number of ways, including:

* Miles could decide to “un-suspend” his QB before his case goes to trial.  The coach, however, says that won’t happen “unless we had further information.”  Still, he hasn’t ruled it out as a possibility.

* The case could come to some form of quick, unexpected resolution — new evidence clears Jefferson, charges are dropped on some technicality, or Jefferson reaches a very-good-for-him type of plea agreement.  All in short time.  Unlikely, but possible.

* The whole matter could be taken out of Miles’ hands if the university suspends or expels Jefferson for violating code of conduct clauses in the LSU student handbook.  The school doesn’t have to wait for a court decision to rule in such matters.  It’s unlikely Jefferson would get the boot — pun intended, considering what he’s accused of — but as with the other possibilities, this can’t be ruled out.

Glenn Guilbeau of The Shreveport Times lays out one other option for Miles and Jefferson today.  And it’s likely not what Tiger fans were wanting to hear — the senior still has a redshirt year available.

“Yeah, I’ve not crossed that bridge just yet, but that’s a very, very interesting piece,” Miles said.  (Listen closely and you can hear the groans of thousands of fans already fed up with Jefferson emanating from The Bayou.)

In the minds of many Tiger fans, the Zach Mettenberger era can not begin quickly enough.  So the idea of Jefferson — a player who Miles clearly likes — returning for another year in 2012 might be the least popular possibility on the board.

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Arrest Warrants Issued For LSU’s Jefferson, Johns

Baton Rouge police have issued arrest warrants for LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson and defensive lineman Josh Johns in relation to a bar fight last Friday.  Both will be charged with a felony count of second degree battery.

Jefferson and Johns have been asked to turn themselves in.

Stay tuned…

Update: Both have been suspended indefinitely from the football team.

Police have a 2:30 press conference. Bail set at $5,000. The two players post bond and are released.






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