A group of New Orleans high school coaches reassured LSU coach Ed Orgeron that they do not plan to boycott the school's football program following a much-ballyhooed Thursday night meeting.
Two of the coaches, Edna Karr head coach Brice Brown and McDonogh 35 assistant Frank Daggs, met with Orgeron on Friday, holding a “productive” discussion with the coach about the future of the Tigers' recruiting in New Orleans and pledging the support of the city's football coaches.
“There will be no boycott of LSU in any fashion,” Brown told The Advocate on Friday. “We just got done with a meeting with coach Orgeron. We just want more communication with LSU. This meeting just solidified that.”
A story this week from SECCountry.com detailed a scheduled Thursday night meeting where New Orleans high school coaches were set to discuss a potential boycott of the program. The initial story did not include names of coaches and relied on anonymous sources.
The coaches, the story suggested, were frustrated by the treatment of former LSU running backs coach (and New Orleans native) Jabbar Juluke. Orgeron reassigned Juluke to an off-the-field role a day after national signing day last week. Texas Tech hired Juluke on Tuesday as its associate head coach/running backs coach.
“Honestly, everybody was shocked about what happened and the timing of it,” Daggs said of Juluke’s demotion. “One or two coaches were angry, but as a whole, we know it is a business. We weren’t mad and ready to piss off the whole world.”
Mickey Joseph understands the top priority of his new job as LSU's receivers coach.
The meeting did take place Thursday, Daggs and Brown said. Coaches primarily discussed the recruiting process, they said. The LSU issues “rarely came up,” Brown said.
“We were talking about the recruiting process of our kids,” Daggs said. “We wanted to make sure our kids are academically eligible by their junior year so they’ll be able to go to LSU or Tulane or wherever. We did not talk about any of the staff changes or anything like that.”
Several coaches have come forward this week denouncing any potential boycott. St. Augustine, the high school home of LSU running back Leonard Fournette, announced earlier in the week that it would not participate in Thursday’s meeting and did "not support a boycott of any college or university football program.”
“The basis of the meeting was to start an association in New Orleans for our coaches down here,” Brown said. “We really got a lot accomplished with that. We knew, as coaches from the New Orleans area, we need to get together and get stronger and better.”
LSU hired Mickey Joseph this week as receivers coach. The former Archbishop Shaw and Nebraska quarterback replaces Juluke as LSU’s New Orleans-focused recruiter.
Joseph told The Advocate on Tuesday that he was reassured by coaches that there would be no boycott and that the meeting Thursday was largely regarding the recruiting process, specifically academic eligibility.
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“We spent a lot of time with those guys at this past (NCAA) convention in Nashville, and we started explaining to them how the recruiting process goes,” Joseph said Tuesday. “At the end of the day, every high school coach wants their kid to be recruited by LSU. We had to explain to them how the recruiting process goes. 'We need this paperwork. We need these kids to play how we want him to play. We want a good character kid. It’s a lot of things.' That’s all that meeting is about.”
About 20 of LSU’s 85 scholarship players on last year’s roster were from the New Orleans area. The Tigers signed just two New Orleans-area prospects to the 2017 class, but at least two more are former New Orleans residents who left after Hurricane Katrina.
“We were shocked that somebody would say we would boycott LSU,” Daggs said. “We have kids that want to play for LSU and kids that play on LSU’s team.”