On Saturday morning, LSU running back Jeremy Hill was arrested for simple battery after he and another man struck a 20-year-old victim multiple times — knocking the man unconscious — at a bar just off the Baton Rouge campus.
On Monday, Tiger head football coach Les Miles suspended his team’s leading returning rusher indefinitely.
Yesterday, the Baton Rouge Police Department’s report on the arrest went public. The report states that a cell phone video shows Hill punch the victim from behind. The video then shows the other assailant knock the victim unconscious with yet another blow from behind. At that point, Hill and the other man high-fived in celebration of their knockout.
Today, if video truly exists showing Hill beating another man and celebrating, the player should be removed from the LSU football team. Permanently.
Readers of this site know that we believe in second chances and due process (in a court of law). When it comes to typical college mistakes — such as alcohol- and marijuana-related incidents — we also feel a coach and a school have every right to weigh their options and offer paths to redemption if they feel they’re warranted.
Uh-uh. Different beast.
Student-athletes might not yet receive $2,000 stipends for their on-field efforts, but they are given free educations. Check the price tag on college tuition these days and you’ll see that number’s far north of $2,000. In exchange for thousands of dollars worth of free schooling, all athletes have to do is represent their university in proper fashion on and off the field or court.
Making headlines by beating someone into unconsciousness doesn’t fit that description. Celebrating after the fact only makes the foul matter worse.
And according to the police report, that’s exactly what Hill did. As captured on cell phone video by a witness.
Hill’s attorney told The Baton Rouge Advocate via email: “Obviously, Jeremy was there as the video indicates. However, there is most likely more to the story than what is contained in a 30-second video.”
Probably so. But unless the victim assaulted Hill and/or the other unidentified assailant — who could face a felony charge for his involvement — there’s little reason, in our view, for Hill to remain on the LSU football team.
Having said that, we suspect he will indeed return to the team at some point. First, Hill will have his own version of the incident. Second, he might cooperate with police (though with the second man still unidentified it doesn’t sound as though Hill has been too cooperative to this point). Finally, there’s the grey area of who threw the most punches and whose blow actually led to the knockout.
Jeremy Hill — who pled guilty to misdemeanor carnal knowledge in 2012 for engaging in a sex act with a 14-year-old girl in 2010 — is a representative of Louisiana State University. He receives free room and board from the school and his path to the NFL has been paved in purple and gold. But if it’s found that he helped beat a man into unconsciousness and then celebrated that act in plain view of witnesses and their cell phone cameras, he hasn’t lived up to his end of the bargain.
Tiger fans might want Hill toting the football for their team this fall, but with two arrests and one violent attack already on his resume, do LSU grads really want Hill representing their alma mater any longer?