The blows keep on coming to the Les Miles and the LSU Tigers. First, Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from the team. Then the Tigers lost starting left tackle Chris Faulk to a season-ending knee injury and now they will be without five more players.
Wednesday morning it was revealed that the Tigers would be without linebacker Tahj Jones, tight end Tyler Edwards, linebacker D.J. Welter, and offensive lineman Evan Washington due to being declared academically ineligible.
“Those guys will not play this year” said Les Miles on Wednesday’s SEC Coaches teleconference. “I don’t know if I can tell you the specifics.”
Miles also revealed that the team will be without defensive end Jordan Allen because of a knee injury.
Jones is the only starter among the four players declared academically ineligible but his ineligibility is no surprise. LSU revealed that Jones was facing an academic suspension prior to the season but that Jones would appeal the decision. Tahj sat out the season’s first two games while waiting out the appeal process but will now miss the rest of the season. Junior linebacker Luke Muncie will continue to see playing time in Jones’ place.
The other three ineligible players played complimentary roles on the team.
Tyler Edwards started a game last year for the LSU Tigers and has seen playing time this season in packages that required extra blockers. Welter played in seven games last year for the Tigers, making five tackles. Washington is the one hurt most by the academic suspension.
For years, it was believed that upper echelon teams could get away with suspensions because of their status in the world of college football. However, the sanctions imposed on Penn State seem to have changed how schools discipline their athletes. This year it seems more players are being suspended than ever before. Maybe college football finally learned that the NCAA isn’t messing around.
Chris Lionetti covers SEC Football for Rant Sports.
Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisLionetti