Saga of the ‘Fighting Tigers’ adds another chapter

daniels    Maybe it is just boys being boys. Maybe it is just coincidence. But, maybe it is more than that.
    On the weekend of the NFL draft, a former LSU Tiger and the team’s top returning running back were both arrested.
    Two days before he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round, cornerback Tharold Simon was arrested in his hometown of Eunice. Simon was charged with public intimidation, resisting arrest and unnecessary noise.
    His agent said officers acted in a “shameful” abuse of power. Of course.
    Then, early Saturday morning, current Tiger tailback Jeremy Hill was arrested and charged with simple battery. Police say a bystander’s cellphone video allegedly shows Hill striking a 20-year-old man on the left side of the head. Another suspect allegedly struck the man on the right side of his head.
    Police say the man was knocked unconscious in the incident that occurred outside the popular bar, Reggie’s.
    These two incidents were the latest brushes with the law and/or drugs involving several Tigers.
    Punter Brad Wing was suspended for the Chick Fil-A Bowl for allegedly failing a drug test. In June 2011, Wing was arrested and charged with simple battery.
    Simon, Spencer Ware and Tyrann Mathieu were all suspended for the 2011 Auburn game after allegedly testing positive for synthetic marijuana. Ten months later, Mathieu was booted off the team.
    Recently, Mathieu reacted angrily to a report by USA Today’s Jarrett Bell, who quoted an NFL assistant as saying Mathieu told him he “stopped counting” at 10 failed drug tests.
    In a statement, Mathieu said the story did not accurately reflect his discussions with the NFL.
    “LSU has a strong drug testing program and went to great lengths to help me in my treatment and recovery,” said Mathieu.
    In August 2011, quarterback Jordan Jefferson and linebacker Josh Johns were arrested after a fight outside a bar. Jefferson eventually pleaded no contest to simple battery. Charges against Johns were dropped.
    If you want to call all of this a mere coincidence, then go right ahead. If you want to say it is nothing but a reporter dredging up old news, then go right ahead.
    If you want to say this stuff happens at other SEC schools, you would be correct. Nick Saban booted four players from his team after they were charged in connection with allegedly beating and robbing two students.
    Four Auburn players were booted in 2011 for their alleged roles in robbery, burglary and theft.
    But, I do know this. An LSU team that had nine players drafted and seven more sign free-agent NFL contracts under-achieved big time.
    So, let’s turn back the clock to 2007. LSU won the BCS championship with a far less talented team. But, that year, LSU had leaders like Matt Flynn, Kelvin Sheppard, Herman Johnson and Jacob Hester.
    Did the 2012 Tigers lack leadership and discipline? Just asking.
    Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
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