LSU head coach Les Miles says two players have yet to report to LSU for fall camp, but for two very different reasons. Freshman defensive tackle Travonte Valentine is being held up on his arrival to Baton Rouge from his Miami home due to a communication hold-up with his certification from the NCAA Clearinghouse. Safety Jalen Mills is still serving a suspension following an arrest in May.
“Communication has been regular, us and the high school,” Miles said (via The Times-Picayune). “The reality is the high school and the Clearinghouse have to communicate. I think they’re doing that, I think they’re trying. Sometimes there’s easy answers and sometimes not. Hopefully this will be an easy answer.”
Miles is optimistic the resolution with the NCAA Clearinghouse will be settled. Valentine had previously been committed to Maimi but opted to name LSU his new favorite at a time when it was rumored Miami head coach Al Golden would be a potential replacement for Bill O’Brien at Penn State. Golden ultimately stayed put in Miami, but Valentine stuck with his decision to stay away from Miami and committed to LSU.
Mills was given an indefinite suspension by LSU after being charged for second degree battery, allegedly punching a woman in the mouth. At the time, Miles said a decision on the future of Mills would be put on hold until the legal process played out.
LSU will open fall camp on Monday.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.