LSU running back Jeremy Hill and another man were formally charged in Baton Rouge on Monday with misdemeanor simple battery and will be arraigned on Friday, East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said.
Hill and Robert Bayardo, who isn't an LSU student, were charged after being connected to a late-April scuffle in a bar parking lot, in which police have video evidence that shows Hill throwing a punch to the side of the head of the victim. The video also shows Hill's target being knocked out seconds later by Bayardo, who was initially booked with felony second-degree battery.
This means that Hill's future with the Tigers is very much in doubt, considering he was already on probation after his January 2012 plea of misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile. LSU coach Les Miles already suspended him and LSU has been very quiet about the situation otherwise.
On Monday, team spokesman Michael Bonnette reiterated the Tigers' no comment status by saying that the program was "letting the legal system run its course."
There isn't much LSU can do about Hill at this point. It's out of the Tigers' hands and it's time to focus on the running backs that are currently on the roster. Hill might have been the leading rusher for the team last year, but if he isn't around, the Tigers have two capable backs in Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard. Sure, there are now depth issues at running back, but both are talented enough to create quite the tandem in LSU's backfield. Hilliard rushed for 464 yards last year, while Blue rushed for just 270 yards during an injury-shortened season.
Now, the loss of Spencer Ware and Michael Ford is hurting that much more. But when healthy, Blue and Hilliard make a formidable duo. Both are big backs, both can run between the tackles and both have the ability to make plays off the edge.
Things would have been a lot better with Hill in the fold because he's one of the most complete backs in the league, but if he can't go this fall, the Tigers' backfield should be in good hands.