Last Modified: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 5:15 PM
Pretty slick move there by Les Miles.
It kind of got lost in the Tyrann Mathieu hoopla, overlooked amid the resulting media Twitter-bickering or perhaps just forgotten while watching anxiously to see if LSU officials could take a late gold medal in the 100-meter verbal backstroke.
But Monday was a milestone day for the 2012 LSU football team.
It was the last day of two-a-day practices, a bit early it seems since classes don’t start until next Monday.
But brilliant scheduling, nevertheless, by Miles.
It came to light last year, you’ll recall, that LSU football had a long-standing, wink-wink tradition, passed down from the days of single-bar facemasks, of celebrating the last of that grunt work with a mass curfew break to let off steam and paint Tigertown red.
That male-bonding exercise met its demise in the parking lot of the off-campus Shady’s Bar during last year’s festivities, another tradition lost forever.
That was Miles’ promise, at least, after things got ugly and the suspensions were handed out in what was a very ugly (and wind-sprint intensive) August for the program.
At the time, Miles threatened in the future to post the National Guard outside the players’ living areas, just to make sure there was no attempt to revive the tradition.
Whether our troops were actually deployed is uncertain.
Maybe it was no accident that, this year, the last of two-a-days was on Monday, probably a fairly benign night on the LSU social scene. Last year it was a Thursday, with far more temptations and potential for mischief immediately off campus.
But it must have worked.
Thus far, social media has not yet detected anything unruly or untoward among the Tigers in Monday’s late hours. They must have all been safely tucked in their beds, dreaming up ways to beat North Texas.
So breathe a sigh of relief there.
The Tigers have already used up their allotment of August drama for one preseason.
At least this year — thus far — it will be limited to one single Honey Badger.
The rest of the Tigers can get on with their chores.
Which doesn’t mean LSU isn’t up to something.
I’m not sure exactly what.
But, yes, LSU is definitely up to something.
Maybe the English department has been summoned to the scene.
It may take a federal grant. Maybe a good chunk of that $4 million the athletic department just handed over for academics will be used up. But it would appear the school is trying to do groundbreaking work in semantics here, perhaps even petitioning with Webster’s Unabridged, to get the definition of the word “permanent” changed to something a little less binding than “forever.”
Call it, perhaps, “Booters’ Remorse.”
They can cite precedence and show examples of permafrost thawing. Women’s hairdo perms sometimes don’t survive the cotillion, especially in high humidity.
That’s a start.
It seemed pretty clear Friday when Mathieu was banished from the kingdom.
He was gone forever and a day as Miles and Athletic Director Joe Alleva testily threw that word “permanent” around when questioned.
Now … maybe not quite ’til death do us part.
At the least, it seems LSU wants to leave a little crack in the door just in case … what? That Mathieu might be willing to spend a year at LSU as a civilian and beg his way back on the football team for 2013?
Maybe LSU never considered that he might be willing to sit. But something sure changed.
The War of the Words began when Bo Bahnsen, LSU’s senior associate athletic director for compliance, told Gannett Louisiana on Monday that “he’s permanently ineligible to play football at LSU. That’s definite.”
Another associate athletic director, Herb Vincent, was quick to counter that Bahnsen’s quote was taken out of context and that “LSU did NOT announce this.”
Maybe Bahnsen was speaking out of turn, but there doesn’t seem to be much context to play with in his quote. And I was at Friday’s news conference when I was pretty sure that LSU DID announce this.
But by Tuesday, even Miles’ tone and wording had changed when asked about Mathieu’s future.
“I am not in any way speculating,” Miles said. “He will not be on this football team this year — I guarantee that’s a fact. So I have no idea beyond that.”
The alert reader will pick up on the “this year” and “no idea beyond that.”
Of course it doesn’t really matter what was said Friday.
They can claim Miles got tangled up in his words Friday and it would be believable (and certainly not the first time).
But the athletic department’s drug policy, probably written by lawyers, spells it out on paper pretty clearly: “Permanent ineligibility,” with the “P” capitalized even though it doesn’t begin a sentence.
My guess is that’s what they’re working feverishly on right now, just in case they can unearth a loophole.
Nothing is forever anymore.
Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By: petey m On: 8/16/2012
Title: look closer
use what you got to get where you are going, if Mathieu comes to mcneese good if not good, championships!!! championships!!!!!!!!! lets talk about the players we already have not about what if. one game one goal CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!
comes through the cowboys this year
Posted By: HooterScooter On: 8/15/2012
Title: Could LSU be having Booters’ Remorse?
No. A bad apple is a bad apple.