LSU may be stuck with Les Miles but Les Miles doesn’t have to be stuck with Jeremy Hill unless Miles, and LSU, want to admit that their “program” isn’t about educating and cultivating the next generation of fine young men but IS about pulling in bazillions of dollars and cases full of trophies.
On Friday last, Hill plead guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge(1) for sucker punching a twenty year old kid named Connor Baldridge in the face and then watching as his friend finished the unsuspecting kid off(2). After the beating Miles & LSU issued their perfunctory suspension of Hill awaiting the aforementioned verdict, but Miles refused to make the suspension permanent and issued no Lombardian homily that “there’s no room on this team for that kind of behavior, period”.
You may be thinking “oh come on Mike give Hill a break, all kids get into fights”. While this is partially true, the Baldridge beating isn’t the first strike against Hill. Back in 2011 while an 18 year old senior at Redemptionist High, Hill and another accomplice took turns forcing a 14 year old girl into “carnal knowledge.” Hill plead guilty to that crime and yet still cashed in his football skills for an LSU scholarship that Miles had offered(3). The deviant, criminal behavior of college athletes seems to grow nearly as fast as the TV ratings for their sports do.
The Louisiana and American public, however, refuse to withhold their dollars and screams, apparently believing that collegiate sporting success is more important than the class and refinement the college is supposed to be imparting. This would be perfectly acceptable if the Jeremy Hills of the sporting world weren’t carrying the colors, heritage and pride of the state of Louisiana.
Tiger fans seem to have created a great sport out of demonizing Alabama and Alabama fans as immoral louts because of the infamous “tea bagger” incident(4). With Jeremy Hill and Tyrann Matthieu as our representatives, Tiger fans, are we any better? This, while the nerdy kids who cure cancer and design our petrochemical products bring their own lunches to school at LSU and are derisively called “brownbaggers”.
2. Ibid, see video embed: http://bcove.me/8qvhjhn5
3. See Gregg Doyel http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/22757312/lsus-miles-must-stop-hiding-behind-system-boot-talented-troubled-hill
“Baton Rouge police said Hill pressured her into a sex act — and Hill wasn’t alone. Another 18-year-old, Avery Tate II, was with him when police said they pressured the girl into performing oral sex on them in the Redemptorist High locker room. Les Miles gave him a scholarship — Hill was a four-star recruit — and then gave him the football. Miles doesn’t care what kind of person Jeremy Hill is, any more than Urban Meyer cared what kind of people were representing the University of Florida when he was winning national championships there.”