Business As Usual

LSU's Ed Orgeron Volunteers to Take $300K Pay Cut for 2021 Season | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

Win at all costs.

The world of college sports has taken that refrain literally, and boy, do they have a rap sheet Al Capone would be envious of. From back room cash grabs to academic cheating scandals to recruiting high risk players whose criminality is then aided and abetted by coaching staffs, administrators and high profile boosters. College sports means never having to say you’re sorry, so long as you keep winning.

And when the worst laid plans get even worse, we get the same tired, old lines about how they failed to live up to their stated goals of producing quality “student athletes”, some of whom wouldn’t be able to find the classrooms with a GPS. The powers that be will express regret while at the same time insisting they never saw trouble coming, honest. As if they truly believed all those high risk/high reward cases they were chasing would miraculously transform into law abiding citizens when given the chance to play for a platinum program.

Next up is Ed Orgeron. He’s less than one calendar year removed from having been the darling of the college football world, after presiding over a powerhouse LSU team that tore its way through the toughest conference in the sport and then laid waste to all comers in the college football playoffs. Coach O had lived the life of a football nomad, moving from one gig to the next with little chance of ever being the grand poohbah. Until the Tigers gave him that one last chance at a head coaching position, after which he rewarded them with an undefeated season and the fourth national title in the school’s history.

There was nothing not to like about Orgeron. A combination of Ward Cleaver and Forrest Gump; a hard working lifer whose legs kept running until they found the right kind of somewhere. In a landscape that ran the gamut of forgettable; full of boring corporate kings like Nick Saban and snake oil salesmen like Bobby Petrino, Orgeron was different. Here was an affable guy with a booming, gravelly voice whose story of perseverance was downright charming. He had made the most of his one last chance, and we figured good for him, and for college football. And then we were reminded, once again, that college sports really has no rock bottom.

LSU RB Derrius Guice still limited with 'nagging injury,' Ed Orgeron said; Arden Key down to 255 pounds | LSU |

USA Today reported this week that former LSU running back Derrius Guice was accused by two women of sexual assault on two separate occasions while playing for the Tigers back in 2016-17. LSU officials, including Orgeron, did nothing about these allegations, and Guice continued playing without so much as an investigation into the matter. A serial abuser of women, Guice recently was cut by the Washington football team after being arrested and charged in three separate incidents of domestic violence.

Then there’s Drake Davis, whose on field exploits pale in comparison to his criminal rap sheet. The highly recruited wide receiver- one of those high risk gambles that football schools like LSU can always make room for- was suspended for one year after assaulting a woman- he punched her multiple times. They were given no choice in the matter after he was arrested on multiple felony charges.

In the last half decade alone, Guice and Davis were far from the only menacing threats on campus. Peter Parish, a backup quarterback, was also suspended for one year after being accused of raping a woman in a car this past winter. Running back Tae Provens, linebacker Jacob Phillips and tight end Zach Sheffer have also been accused of rape in separate incidents. Safety Grant Delpit was accused of recording a woman during sex and sharing the video without her knowledge. None of these men were charged with a crime because the school never even bothered to investigate.  Defensive linemen Davon Godchaux and Ray Parker are alleged to have taken part in what the university referred to as “dating violence”. School officials were not forthcoming on whether the two were disciplined, citing “privacy interests”.

When tasked with doing the right thing, the university has stayed on brand by doing the absolute worst thing: They ignored these young women. Never mind that their inaction violated school policy, not to mention local and federal laws. And never mind that such blatant disregard for the safety and well being of these young women can never be undone.

LSU declined to make its coaches and administrators available to USA Today, but no worries because they did put out a statement looking to assuage any concerns that parents or the female population on campus might have.

“We are unwavering in our commitment to respond promptly to any reports of misconduct, to investigate these reports in a manner that is fair and equitable, to support victims of sexual assault, and to protect the privacy of our students according to the law,” the statement said. “Putting an end to sexual assault is an institutional priority, and we are constantly working to achieve that goal.”

So basically, if you’re a woman on campus trying to get an education, do yourself a favor and enroll in self defense classes. And hire a bodyguard while you’re at it. Just in case those institutional priorities suffer another massive breakdown. And if you can’t work that into your schedule or budget, you could always transfer. Because let’s face it, the Tigers have a power brand to sell. And all the statements in the world don’t cover up the fact that they aren’t sorry for having gone rogue.

They’re only sorry they got caught.



33 thoughts on “Business As Usual

  1. B,

    I cannot tell you how much this disheartens me. Why I’m even surprised that this is an on-going enterprise in the college sports world is something I can’t even express. Then again, I don’t want to become blasé about it. I don’t want to be one of those “Oh well, it’s the ‘new normal’, it’s how it works in sports and go back to frying my breakfast egg.

    The #MeToo Movement has made strides and sadly, as you’ve just shared with us, has a lot more work to do.

    Change has to start at home. Boys (and girls – though, let’s be honest here, the scale is far from balanced) need to be taught by their parents how to treat girls (and boys – again, just for the sake of not being one-sided). And say the parents have done right, then maybe they step forward when another of their peers, who wasn’t given the same lessons, does wrong. And say, when that doesn’t work, the school gets involved and makes sure the wrong-doer learns that his (her) behaviour will not be tolerated.

    As it stands now, everyone turns a blind eye until the miscreants are caught with their pants down or their fist on another’s face – and only if the being caught is proven without a doubt. And the ones who do have the balls to step forward are the ones who get punished. It’s ass backwards.

    I dream of the day when winning the trophy doesn’t trump abuse.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Q

      I’m heading out the door shortly but I want to address that first sentiment of yours. Don’t be disheartened. It’s the game and we know it by now. That said, there are plenty of coaches out there who are doing the right thing, not just by their football brand but by the population on campus.

      James Franklin is one such case. He took over for the interim-ish coach Bill O’Brien at Penn State several years back. Both men did their utmost in turning a very dark corner. Franklin deserves the benefit of my doubts about the game. He’s earned that much.

      More later . . .


      Liked by 1 person

      • B,

        You head out the door and returned and I am just getting to this now (on my own break). No, you are right. There are more on-the-ball coaches (I hope) than not.

        Yes, you are right.

        Until later…



    • The MeToo movement was necessary. People say enough is enough? Nope, not even close. And the more uncomfortable they get, the more it has to keep on going. Growth never happens without a lot of discomfort.

      Kids in general are different today. They’re desensitized to a great degree, and yes, boys have a sense of themselves that is not based in reality. A lot of boys play a role they think is the customary and acceptable way. Many of their perceptions are based on stereotypes we are supposed to have ditched long ago. But here we are, all this time later and nothing has changed.

      As for the criminal element, there is no zero tolerance in college sports. It’s more like maybe tolerance. Maybe they’ll tolerate it if . . the player still has eligibility, the team is in line to play for a title, the coach has the ear of the administration. Oh . . and in most cases, as long as law enforcement officials are not directly involved . . .

      That day, sadly, may never come.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was and still is. And there needs to be a lot more discomfort.

        They are. Between the movies, the video games, the lack of inter-personal skills and for many, the lack of parental teachings, they’re using what they know. And it ain’t good.

        Yeah. No zero and barely a maybe and that’s really it, isn’t it? Long as the law ain’t in, they good.

        I fear we won’t be around to see it if it ever does.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always thought that people who job hop like he did, or like Jim Harbaugh, do it in part, to run from something. Or after a few years, their superiors recognize there is a hole there. And yet, there will always be people willing to keep hiring them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with that, do I ever.

      This pisses me off to no end. When faced with a decision such as this, there IS no decision to make other than contacting the authorities and letting the case be heard. Orgeron and his administration should be fired.

      Now, we all know how this works . . .


  3. It’s no wonder why people like me are so cynical about college sports. They are a money maker for schools, not an institution to mold young men and women into model citizens. Count me in the ‘not a fan’ group on these sanctimonious hypocrites who could give two sh*ts about the people under their charge, let alone the victims those charges abuse and terrorize.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It asks for our cynicism.

      And this idea that these football factories are the end all is in most cases untrue. For all they give, they take away so much more, in money but most importantly in the things you cannot get back.

      Urban Meyer is one of the phoniest. He’d have another college gig in five minutes if he unretired again. This in spite of the fact he ran a penitentiary while coaching the Florida Gators.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said, Pilgrim. We totally cut off Baylor when they muffed discipline for animal cruelty on the part of one of their convicted thug players. The guy continued to start in spite of our direct complaint to the AD. So it cost them money. I don’t think it even registered. This was after the huge deal with Briles and company. Nobody learns. Thanks for this. You are totally da man for continuing to write about this crap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Man, that is tough. To love an institution and to feel as if you will always be a part of it, only to have them do that.

      Things will never change though. There’s too much money involved for things to ever change, when every program knows that no scandal is forever.

      Thanks Boss

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve seen in the news that people are making the case for paying “student athletes.” But the reality is that college sports in so many ways is just JV pro sports. It has nothing to do with higher education. I’m referring to the big schools, not something like our small local college, of course. It’s time to divorce these two things. And none of this excuses all the criminal activity. Ick.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think if they go to that, then make the athletes pay back their scholarships maybe? And for the majority of student athletes who actually ARE students, set up escrow accounts that help them on the other side.

      But yeah, once they go to paying these guys, the thin veil of “amateur” athletics gets torn to bits. And hey, then guys like Guice can afford a legal team!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! As a lifetime Trojan (University of Southern California class of 1976) who spent the last 15 years in exile in Tennessee, I have my own views of the whole college experience in general and the college football experience in particular. My first thought upon reading this was that these escapades make Reggie Bush’s family financial errors pale in comparison.

    Since my graduation, USC has changed for the better in terms of academics. Maybe that’s why they have not had a national championship football team in quite a while. And, since living in the heart of SEC country (beginning with the short tenure of Lane Kiffin at UT during which my car with the USC license plate frame was egged), I have come to appreciate more the generally laid back and benevolent attitude towards “student-athletes” in the PAC 12 vs the “win at all costs” SEC.

    I may be a bit too generous in my appreciation of West Coast college athletics, and I’m sure similar shenanigans have gone on at my alma mater. I’d like to know your thoughts on the differences in attitudes between the two conferences, though. Perhaps you’re less biased than I am.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey there,

      Firstly, thank you for chiming in on this. And thank you further for providing your background as a SoCal alum.

      You bring up something of great value to his whole conversation about the scummy pond of NCAA sports in general and football in particular.

      My thing is, and maybe I’m wrong, but Bush was never found to have taken money from a booster. In fact, the favors gifted to the Bush family came from a third party with no affiliation to the program, from what I remember.

      You make a great point about how a school looks to clean up its image and in so doing, falls short on the field as a result. For teams like Florida, Mississippi State, LSU . . . and on and on it’s easy pickings. They just need to pluck talent from transfers who are working on their second, third and fourth chances. And if it doesn’t work out? There’s more in the pipeline where that came from.

      Meanwhile, I tend to respect the hell out of programs such as Notre Dame and Northwestern that yanno, still value the “student athlete’ to a far greater degree than most.

      The PAC 12 gets short shrift partly because everything seems East-centric to me when it comes to college sports. But they continually supply quality to the next level. Aaron Rodgers, Christian McCaffrey, Zach Ertz and Justin Herbert come to mind.

      Is any school perfect? Far from it. But I think there’s a stark difference between giving a kid some pin money or an apartment and allowing a criminal element capable of assault and rape on college campuses.

      Liked by 1 person

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