Gilbert: LSU’s standards Les-than-respectable

By By Jon Gilbert and By Jon Gilbert

By Jon Gilbert

I’m starting to get that itch, and I’ve got next to nothing that can scratch it. Life without football is difficult, but the Utes are lending me a helping hand.

After reading about Utah’s weekend spring game, it looks like the Utes should have a strong season in the fall. With much of last year’s cast returning, it will be interesting to see how far they can go.

The defending national champions, the LSU Tigers, did their part this weekend to help me live without football, but for a much different reason. The Tigers reminded me of the twisted nature of college football.

Quarterback Ryan Perrilloux returned from practice last week and is expected to practice this week after serving his third suspension in a year.

Last May, Perrilloux couldn’t resist the temptations of a Baton Rouge, La., riverboat casino and was cited for trying to use his brother’s driver’s license to illegally board. Interestingly enough, he was reinstated in August. I don’t know if that much happens in August in the college football world — other than the season beginning. How convenient.

All seemed to be going well until a week before the Bayou Bengals took on conference rival Alabama. Perrilloux somehow found himself in a fight at a nightclub and had to sit out a few practices. Of course, Perrilloux claimed he was protecting himself and his friends from the club bouncers. Because, you know, bouncers are always harassing people who are doing nothing wrong.

Then news surfaced in February that Perrilloux had missed a team meeting and classes and thus was suspended for the third time.

This is all on top of the fact that Perrilloux was listed as a “person of interest” in a federal counterfeiting scam, according to The Associated Press.

Up to this point, Perrilloux has shown a lack of respect for the law, his teammates and his school.

The most disgusting part is that Les Miles continues to welcome the trouble-making signal caller back.

I wonder how Perrilloux still holds a roster spot on a team that reloads its talent so readily year in and year out. It’s not like Perrilloux is the savior of LSU football. The Tigers have won three national championships, and two of them have nothing to do with Perrilloux. Miles isn’t showing much better character than his quarterback.

I’m all about second chances for troubled athletes. For many athletes, college is where they get their first break. However, fourth chances are a little disheartening. Miles should have booted Perrilloux in February if not in October. There are plenty of talented athletes doing the right things who could use a scholarship.

I’m still baffled at why Miles didn’t kick Perrilloux off the team in October. His team was in the middle of a run at a South Eastern Conference championship and a national championship. The fewer distractions, the better.

February’s episode was not only a little perplexing but reeks of over-competitiveness on the part of Miles.

With 2008 BCS National Championship game MVP Matt Flynn graduated, Perrilloux is the obvious incumbent at quarterback. When Miles suspended his quarterback, he probably took one look at his offensive depth chart and realized that his other two quarterbacks have one collegiate pass completion between them.

Miles continues the tradition of many college football coaches and overlooks a player’s cries for consequence because it improves the talent level of his ball club.

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