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Commentary: College football turns itself in to authorities

August 26, 2011 | 11:02 am


Arrest warrants were issued Friday for two Louisiana State players, but these days, really, it could have been any school or anybody. Why pick on LSU?

The hope now, according to sources, is that there will be enough eligible coaches and players to kick off the season, which actually can't get here soon enough Thursday.

The Generic Campus Glee Club has deemed this year's theme "College Football's Lost Summer (and Spring)."

The Sept. 3 marquee match-up, LSU vs. Oregon in Arlington, Texas, has become a microcosm for a sad state of recent affairs.

LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson and linebacker Joshua Johns turned themselves in to Baton Rouge, La., authorities Friday and are facing second-degree battery charges, a felony, stemming from an Aug. 19 bar fight that reportedly involved several players.

The players' status for next week's big opener has yet to be determined. Some LSU fans long disgruntled with Jefferson's erratic play might welcome a six-game suspension.

LSU, though, is already playing without star receiver Russell Shepard while the school and NCAA sort out his possible relationship with Willie Lyles. He's the scouting service provider also under scrutiny for his involvement with Oregon, which has hired outside counsel to battle its own NCAA inquiry.

Oregon can be relieved Shepard is not playing because the Ducks will be without top cornerback Cliff Harris, suspended after a DUI charge that involved Harris and his car allegedly being clocked at 118 mph. Oregon quarterback Darren Thomas was in the car, but said he basically slept through the entire incident.

LSU vs. Oregon could be called "The Embarrassment Bowl." Updates in The Great LSU Bar Fight came the same day Miami ruled several players, including starting quarterback Jacory Harris, ineligible while the school sorts out their connections to Ponzi-schemer Nathan Shapiro.

When will it ever end? USC announced it wouldn't fight the NCAA appeal it lost over rules it admitted to violating. Even though the chair of the infractions committee that presided over the Trojans' case was the former athletic director at ... Miami.

It's also, apparently, cause for celebration these days when a coach, Lane Kiffin of USC, won't face major NCAA sanctions for his misdeeds at Tennessee.

Should you get "Employee of the Month" for that?

Texas A&M this week also formally notified the Big 12 it is exploring options pertaining to conference affiliation. Gee, what conference might A&M being interested in joining? We're going to guess Southeastern, fully prepared to issue a retraction. What happens after Texas A&M bolts to the SEC is anyone's guess, but hold onto your thigh pads.   

Southern Methodist, the only major school to receive the NCAA's "Death Penalty" in football, is petitioning to replace Texas A&M in the Big 12.

SMU's argument: "Hey, we've done our time and it's about half the time Miami should do. Aren't we now mainstream?"

And the answer is, well, yeah. In fact, held in today's light, SMU is now a model program.

--Chris Dufresne

Photo: Louisiana State University football players Jordan Jefferson, right, and Jarvis Landry leave State Police headquarters in Baton Rouge on Tuesday after meeting with Baton Rouge Police. Credit: Arthur D. Lauck / Associated Press.