LSU coach says players violated team rules

Published: Aug. 19, 2011 at 4:55 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2011 at 4:50 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU head football coach Les Miles said players violated team rules and broke curfew in regards to a fight near the LSU campus early Friday morning.

"At the 10:30 p.m. check-in Thursday night all players were accounted for," Miles said. "The ones who were at Shady's Bar at 1:30 a.m. broke curfew."

About two dozen players stood behind the coach during the news conference. Jordan Jefferson, Russell Shephard, Ruben Randle, and Tyran Mathieu were among the players there. Miles said Jefferson was likely the one most singled out by witnesses because he's one of the most recognizable players on the team. He added T-Bob Hebert was also there. The coach did not speak about which, if any, players have talked about possible involvement in the fight.

The following is a transcript of Miles' comments as well as comments from senior guard Josh Dworcazyk, who spoke on behalf of the team. Miles was joined the press conference by the 23 members of the unity council.

Les Miles opening statement…

"I can tell you the last couple of days have been miserable for us. We have been involved in behavior that is unacceptable to me and our team. Guys have broken team rules and violated curfew. I can tell you and assure you that this will not happen again. I can tell you that this is a remorseful team here. I personally want to apologize for the actions of my team. We are very fortunate to represent a wonderful school and community. We should do so respectfully and understand that our actions have consequences. I have met with both the team and the unity council on several occasions since this incident. It is obvious to me that they want a redirection and to take ownership in that redirection. Whatever legal proceedings that are ongoing we will cooperate with and see how that all figures. I know that they are still gathering information and at the appropriate time we will take strong action. I can tell you we have started disciplining our team because this was a team violation. This was not just a guy. This was the team. We ran them and are running them. They hear with every call up, every snap and every coach's instruction."

On potential discipline…

"We are working very hard to reinstitute discipline and make this a factor in improving our behavior and our play. By in large, I have really enjoyed this football team. How they have worked and who they are as people. As miserable as I am about this and disappointed, I recognize I have a good group of men who understand the mistakes that they have made. I expect that they will make the appropriate changes. I will instruct them along those lines."

On cooperation with authorities…

"We have been in touch with those people that are investigating in this incident. Certainly we are cooperative in any way."

Josh Dworaczyk statement…

"First off I want to start off by apologizing for the team for our actions. Our apology is extended to Coach Miles, to the coaching staff, to the community, to the fans and to our alumni. From this point forward, we are going to continue to change our direction and do what we do as a football team together as a group of guys. We are here gathered here as a group of guys on this unity council as leaders. It is our job to lead this team and that is what we will do. Thank you."

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva issued the following statement shortly after Miles addressed the media:

"We will not tolerate student-athletes whose irresponsible actions tarnish the good name of a great university. LSU student-athletes are expected to behave with the understanding that they represent their school, their fellow students and the long history of this program, regardless of the time of day. Coach Miles has already begun taking disciplinary action. It is critical that we are deliberate in determining the facts surrounding this incident and as Coach Miles said, when the facts are clear, additional and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if necessary."

Sgt. Don Stone with the Baton Rouge Police Department said as of 11 a.m. Saturday, police had not interviewed any of the LSU football players who are accused of taking part in the fight. The spokesman said detectives are still interviewing witnesses to the fight and had more interviews with witnesses scheduled Saturday. He said there have not been any arrests in the case.

BRPD said LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson "and several other LSU football players" were implicated by witnesses as being involving in a fight in the parking lot of a bar near campus, Stone said. Four people involved in the incident were treated at an area hospital.

Several people who claim to have witnessed the incident tell 9NEWS that around 2 a.m. Friday, a young man driving a truck blew his horn to get a group of people blocking the driveway to move out of the way at Shady's Bar on East Boyd Ave.  That's when they say a group of people pulled the driver out of the truck and began beating him.  That's when they say a Marine who had just returned from training ran to assist the driver and was beaten and thrown to the ground.  Multiple people who claim to have witnessed the incident tell 9NEWS LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson then kicked the Marine in the head. 

One young man who gave those same details to WAFB 9NEWS also told the same details to Baton Rouge Police.

The driver of the truck is claiming to have severe injuries, including several fractures.  The three other people involved only have bumps and bruises.  All four have hired an attorney, but have not decided whether to press charges.

"During the course of the investigation, the name 'Jordan Jefferson' came up as being involved in one of the fights," said Sgt. Don Stone.  "We were told through witnesses that Mr. Jefferson and several other LSU football players were involved in this altercation in the parking lot of the barroom"

LSU Head Football Coach Les Miles issued a brief statement at 2:30 p.m. Friday.  "We are aware of the incident that took place at an off-campus location at which some of our players were present," Miles said.  "We don't know to what extent our players were involved.  We are trying to gather as much information as possible to get a better understanding of what exactly took place last night."

While some tell us Jefferson was involved in the fight, at least one witness says Jefferson was not involved, and that she never saw him throw a punch. EMS was called to the scene.

The surveillance cameras at Shady's did not capture the altercation because the fight happened near the street and out of the range of the cameras.

Baton Rouge Police said they are checking with other nearby businesses to see if any surveillance video is available. They are urging any members of the public who have cell phone video of the incident to come forward.

The Tigers' first game is Sept. 3 against Oregon.

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