The status of one of the SEC's top running backs remains up in the air.
Suspended LSU running back Jeremy Hill pleaded guilty to misdemeanor simple battery Friday morning for his role in a fight outside a bar on April 27 that left one man unconscious. Hill was sentenced to two years probation and must perform 50 hours of community service, pay $375 to the victim and write a letter of apology, according to CBSSports.com.
Video from the incident was released, and Hill is seen throwing a punch before another man, Robert Bayardo, hits the victim, Connor Baldridge, from behind.
At the time of the incident, Hill was on probation after pleading guilty to carnal knowledge of a juvenile in January 2012. According to WAFB, a then-18-year-old Hill and another Redemptorist High student pressured a 14-year-old female to perform a sexual act at school.
The terms of probation from that incident are set to be reviewed on Aug. 16, according to Nola.com. The new charges could violate his probation and send Hill to jail for up to six months.
Despite both being misdemeanors, these aren't your run-of-the-mill run-ins with the law that are typical of college students. These are violent and disturbing crimes.
Miles suspended Hill indefinitely shortly after his arrest in April, and that status hasn't changed. It should, not only because is Hill a liability, but because he already has made his coach look foolish.
Miles took a chance on Hill after his first run-in with the law, allowing him to enroll in January 2012 after initially signing in the class of 2011.
As Hill told TigerSportsDigest.com in 2012:
When I committed to Les Miles and LSU as a junior, I committed for so many other reasons than why I am committing now. I have matured so much from back then, and I thank God for everything that’s happened. It’s crazy how things change over time.
But the more they changed, the more they stayed the same. Hill is still a liability off the field.
As the old saying goes: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
Miles has the chance to set the tone on what is acceptable within his football program, and waiting around until Aug. 16 to find out if Hill is in violation of his probation isn't necessary. Hill has proven—through his own actions—that he is not only a liability off the field to the football program, but to Louisiana State University.
Waiting around to find out whether Hill is going to be in jail this season is taking the easy way out.
Former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson was reinstated to the team in 2011 immediately after charges were dropped (h/t: NOLA.com) to the same simple battery charge that Hill faces as a result of his most recent incident. Jefferson's suspension totaled four games.
That was different, though. Jefferson didn't have a pattern of bad behavior.
If you're expecting Hill to be available for the Tigers' opener at Cowboys Stadium versus TCU, you're probably going to be disappointed. Even if he isn't permanently dismissed, it's unlikely that his suspension will be lifted prior to toe meeting leather.
If Miles wants to set the tone for what's acceptable within his program, he'd make it permanent and give Hill the boot.
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