Friday, April 20, 2007

3 outs, End of the Inning

I commented some time ago that we would not comment on arrests of two LSU football players until more information was known. Now it appears that more information became known. Les Miles kicked Troy Giddens and Zhamal Thomas off the football team, apparently forever.

If you believe the scuttlebutt, Giddens and Thomas broke into a apartment when no one was home, took some items including a credit card, and then tried to use the credit card. Malicious. Premeditated. Purely for selfish gain.

Yeah, I think they had to go.

Kyle Anderson also felt the wrath. He was kicked off the team the same day, ostensibly over a bar fight in Tigerland. (As an aside, I don't think I have ever been to a bar in Tigerland. Too many fights.) Bar fight? Football player? It shocks the conscience.

Well, hold on there just a second. Once again, if you believe the scuttlebutt, there's more to the story. According to sources, Anderson got kicked out of the bar after an altercation, then waited outside for the guy and attacked him in the parking lot, knocking out 4 teeth and putting him in the hospital. Malicious. Premeditated. Violent. Permanent injury. A very serious penalty was warranted.

If you also believe the other rumors that Anderson has been a bit of a problem child since he arrived on campus, then complete dismissal was probably warranted.

I think it's all for the best for LSU. We do not want to get a reputation for lawlessness or thuggish behavior, like what has plagued Miami and Florida State over the years. Part of the problem with those programs is that their coaches were willing to be lenient with bad-acting athletes. Anyone remember Free Shoes University? That reputation has dogged both programs for over a decade. Les took pretty harsh action to avoid that bad result, and I personally have no problem with it.

What does it mean to the team? None of them were expected to be key players this year, but it hurts depth.

Giddens was a redshirt freshman safety running with the second team. He was probably our 4th safety behind Steltz, Curtis Taylor, and Danny McCray. We have three very good true freshmen safeties coming in this year, and it probably just means one or more of those will have to have significant time.

Zhamal Thomas was a redshirt freshman offensive tackle running with the second team as well. He was backing up Carnell Stewart, and could maybe have won the starting job. We are rather thin at offensive tackle, and it probably means that a true freshman will have to come in and get up to speed quickly to get into the two-deep.

Kyle Anderson was a tight end, kind of far down the depth chart, but he got playing time last year primarily as a blocker. Between Keith Zinger, Richard Dickson, Mit Cole, and the three tight ends we recruited this year, we'll be fine there.

It also means we're closer to having a full complement of 25 scholarships to give out next year.

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