Maybe now LSU Coach Les Miles can get his program back on track.
Michael DeMocker/The Times-PicayuneLSU coach Les Miles can turn his attention back to the season opener against Oregon now that Jordan Jefferson and Josh Johns have been suspended indefinitely after their arrests Friday.
It’s been derailed for more than a week, shoved there by curfew violations and a bar fight, weighed down by looming arrest warrants on second-degree battery charges that finally were issued Friday, for Jordan Jefferson and Josh Johns.
The starting quarterback, Jefferson, and reserve linebacker, Johns, have been suspended indefinitely, the only thing Miles possibly could do after Baton Rouge police determined there was enough evidence to issue the warrants.
“We will continue to cooperate with the authorities in an effort to find out exactly what took place during the incident,” Miles said in a statement released by LSU on Friday morning.
“As sad as this incident is, it’s important that we learn from this and that we take away a valuable lesson. This has weighed on all of us. It’s time for us to come together as a team and focus on what we are here to do.”
As callous as it sounds, focusing should be easier now that Jefferson and Johns have been suspended.
Sure, frontier-justice types promoted the theory that Jefferson, Johns and the other two players (Chris Davenport and Jarvis Landry) accused of being directly involved in the fight should’ve been suspended as soon as their names were linked to the fracas. In their view, the mere revealing of identities was such a colossal smear, that the players should’ve been suspended.
But Miles’ caution was warranted, and right.
Due process has to trump rumors and innuendo. Allowing the police to carry out a portion of the investigation – at least, enough of it to believe there’s evidence and testimony to support the charges – wasn’t in any way a sign of weakness or an attempt to keep intact his team’s best chance to win.
Unless through his own investigation the coach knew his quarterback and linebacker had done more than break curfew, or Jefferson and Johns voluntarily admitted to him they were more seriously involved than they let on, then Miles couldn’t very well punish them more severely than he punished other players who violated curfew eight days ago.