Travonte Valentine didn’t suit up for LSU last season because of academic issues. Depending on how the current situation plays out, he may never play a down for the Tigers because of similar issues.
Saturday, head coach Les Miles confirmed that the defensive tackle has been suspended from the football program because of academics. Valentine has not participated at all during spring practice this year, so the suspension was an open secret that was finally acknowledged by the coach.
As for a return? That’s up to Valentine and his work in the classroom.
“We’ve instructed him to go to this school, go to class, take care your business, Miles said according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “If he does that and handles behavior then there will be a future for him here. Otherwise, we’re not certain.”
Last year, Valentine dealt with NCAA Clearinghouse issues — the player said another SEC program was the root cause — that forced him to miss the start of summer camp his true freshman season. While he was ultimately cleared to practice, he was not permitted to play in any games because of the lingering academic issues.
A four-star member of the Tigers’ 2014 recruiting class, Valentine was rated as the No. 3 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Florida. He had been expected to be an immediate contributor to LSU’s line rotation.
If he can get his academic house in order, he could make an impact as a redshirt freshman in 2015.
(Photo credit: LSU athletics)