Monday, October 29, 2007

"We will prepare to play without these guys."

Miles was talking about the Bama game, but I wonder if it wouldn't be best to make that sentiment permanent.

True, the details aren't completely clear. But then, they'll never be completely clear. That's what lawyers are paid to do. My point is that the details just don't matter, because the larger issue is more important than the incident itself.

RP and Odom weren't lured into refusing to leave an establishment that was, in accordance with the law, closing. They weren't lured into hanging out with Xavier Carter.

RP has proven, over and over and over again, that he believes his own personal choices are more important to him than the success of his team. For me, that's a done deal.

I'm not concerned that RP and Odom haven't been charged, or that RP might actually file charges himself. I'm upset that two pregnant girls were possibly manhandled. I'm equally upset that two young prospective fathers thought so little of these girls or their progeny as to put them in that situation in the first place. But more than any of this, I'm concerned that LSU football may choose to elevate hope for the next two seasons and the future earning potential of ONE PLAYER over the risk that all the impressionable young athletes out there (and THEY ARE WATCHING) will mistakenly take lack of significant punitive action for silent consent.

This isn't about race. It's not about legalities. It's not about perceptions, even. Instead, I think it's possible that this is a defining moment in what should be the beginning of an elite SEC dynasty at LSU. Will LSU build a dynasty like Miami (violent, undisciplined, meteoric rise and fall) or rather something Miles can be proud of in ten years.

A one game wrist-slap isn't going to fix this. RP believes he's as good as he says he is. He believes he's going to play on Sunday and make millions. He probably believes that makes him untouchable.

The LSU athletic department should show him that success comes from hard work and sacrifice, both on the practice field and inside his personal life. Help RP succeed by teaching him how screwed up he is right now.

Odom should go. RP should sit the rest of the season out, including post season play. He shouldn't even travel. He needs the equivalent of boot camp or, even worse, corrective custody. Honestly, I think he'll decide to go to some other school that will prioritize his talent over his character.

Yes - the details aren't out yet. Doesn't matter. I've seen all I need to see. If RP plays another down this season, regardless of Flynn's health, then Coach Miles has caved. And that will be too bad - for him, for LSU, and in the end for Ryan Perrilloux.

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