- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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LSU already took one chance on Jeremy Hill.
It remains to be seen if he’ll get another one, and from the sound of it, the legal process could make the final call.
Hill was indefinitely suspended from the LSU football team on Monday, coach Les Miles announced in a statement. Miles added that he would let Hill’s case play out through the legal system before making any additional comments.
Hill, the Tigers’ leading rusher last season and one of the best returning running backs in the SEC, was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with simple battery after he was accused of punching a man in the side of the head outside a bar near the LSU campus.
Baton Rouge Police Lt. Don Kelly, the department spokesman, said police responded at 2:15 a.m. to a call regarding a 20-year-old man who said he was knocked out in a fight in a parking lot. A witness who had made a video recording with his mobile phone also contacted police and shared the recording. Kelly said the recording showed a man that appears to be Hill punching the victim, who was then punched again and knocked to the ground by a second suspect whom police have not yet identified and who remains at large.
The biggest hurdle for Hill is that he was already on probation in connection with a 2011 arrest and could be in violation of his probation if convicted on this latest charge. Hill originally signed with LSU in 2011, but delayed his enrollment after being arrested on charges of oral sexual battery involving a 14-year-old girl. He eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of carnal knowledge of a juvenile and accepted a six-month suspended sentence with supervised probation for two years.
The mere fact that he would put himself in a position to find any trouble off the field has to be hugely disconcerting for Miles and LSU officials given the fact that Hill was already on probation. That said, we've yet to hear Hill's side of the story on this latest deal.
Either way, it's another massive headache for LSU's program.
This is the third straight offseason that a key player has either been suspended or dismissed.
Two years ago, it was starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson following the August bar brawl. And then last year, star cornerback and Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from the team in early August after failing multiple drug tests.
In Hill's case, Miles has some time to process everything and see what the legal process holds. The Tigers don't start preseason camp for another three months, but this is not the way anybody on the Bayou wanted to go into the summer.
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