August 12th, 2013 10:45 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: LSU
Tags: Baton Rouge, Gary Patterson, LSU, TCU
Back 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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