Orgeron’s silence on possible LSU suspensions risks images of players in the rumor mill
The LSU Tigers will play the Brigham Young Cougars in the Mercedes Benz Superdome late Saturday night.
All LSU fans are excited and ready for the long wait to see the first chapter of the Tigers’ 2017 season. We know Danny Etling will start at quarterback, and we know that Arden Key will not play. These two facts bookend a lot of other things that we do not know prior to kickoff.
I think the Tigers will be ready to play and fare decently against BYU and overall this season. We’ll get to predictions later.
Orgeron has avoided a huge topic that is swirling around Baton Rouge. There are rumors of player suspensions including several who may not play Saturday night. On Wednesday in the weekly SEC Teleconference, Orgeron said would not comment on matters handled “in house.” He met with the media just after lunch Thursday and again would not comment directly.
By not being more open regarding the rumors, Orgeron is affecting the image of his players and team. I am aware of the Buckley Amendment of 1984 that provides for student rights and privacy of school records. I am sure the athletic department records are “school records.” He can play that card and fans have to live with it. The problem is that by playing that card he does not stop false rumors, speculation of misdeeds and even accusations in the court of public opinion.
Let’s get hypothetical: You are a player who was late for a meeting or two and the staff decided to suspend you for the upcoming game. The false rumors, speculation and accusations start swirling that you failed a drug test or you are not academically eligible. Perhaps, social media and talk show callers will ponder, you missed curfew or were caught doing something pushing the legal limit of the law. I think the player in question would be better served in most cases if the fans and media knew the facts.
Orgeron should be more concerned about the image of his players and his program. The Buckley Amendment protects the rights but does not prohibit the real reason being released after consent from involved person(s). The players are not protected when falsehoods filling the void of uncertainty begin to be accepted as facts.
Now on to the predictions: I think LSU has a lot of very talented players and a very solid coaching staff. The team should be able to get off to a good start because the first five games are much more manageable than the last seven. A lot can happen as the season progresses but I will go with an 8-4 regular season for the Tigers. I’ll guess the losses come to Florida, Auburn, Alabama and Texas A&M.
As far as the BYU game. The game could be a pillow fight early leading to a close score in the first half. The talent of LSU will let them separate after halftime.
I think fans will see at least two quarterbacks take snaps for the Tigers. LSU will prove to be too talented for BYU, pulling away from a 40-13 win.
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Tommy Krysan has over 30 years of experience as a sportscaster in radio and television. He has been a columnist for Crescent City Sports since its inception. In 2019, he launched his “Talkin Sports with TK” podcast, available on all major platforms. Tommy loves baseball and all sports. He loves to cook, listen to music, play golf and have fun….