LSU athletes are constantly drilled with a message of accountability and responsibility, LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said Monday, which is why Alleva finds himself “very disappointed” when athletes get in trouble with the law.
That’s what happened last week when four LSU football players — quarterback Anthony Jennings, cornerback Dwayne Thomas and defensive linemen Maquedius Bain and Trey Lealaimatafao — were arrested and placed on indefinite suspension in two incidents.
Alleva, interviewed on Culotta & The Prince on 104.5/104.9 FM ESPN Radio in Baton Rouge, said young players don’t always anticipate the consequences of their actions. “I tell my athletes this all the time ... Athletes tend to think they’re invisible and invincible. And they’re neither one,” he said.
He said the university is proactive in trying to keep athletes in line.
“I want our fans to know that we’re constantly talking to our players about being accountable (and) about being responsible for what they do,” he said. “Putting themselves in a position to be arrested is very disappointing. But I also want to mention — in this country — people are innocent until proven guilty.”
Alleva cautioned against a rush to judgment in the two recent incidents.
“Any punishment that’s going to happen to those players, we’re going to have to wait and see what the judge says,” he said, “because at the end of the day it’s not the media that decides if they’re innocent or guilty. The media tends to like to make people guilty right away. In my opinion, we have to wait for the judge.”