LSU coach Les Miles and the 22 players from the football team’s Unity Council met the media at a tense and somber news conference Saturday to issue apologies for a fight early Friday morning at a Tigerland- area bar that involved an unspecified number of LSU players.
“The last couple of days have been miserable for us,” Miles said. “We have been involved in behavior that has been unacceptable to me and our team. Guys have broken team rules and violated team curfew.”
Miles said LSU would continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation into the incident.
Miles said players had a 10:30 p.m. curfew Thursday and that all players were in by that time at the West Campus Apartments where they were staying. LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette later clarified Miles’ statement to indicate that the players who went to the bar did so after being at their apartments for curfew.
Senior offensive guard Josh Dworaczyk spoke on behalf of the Unity Council.
“I want to apologize for the team and our actions,” Dworaczyk said. “Our apologies extend to coach Miles and the coaching staff, to the community, to the fans and our alumni.
“From this point forward we will continue to change our direction and go out there and do what we do as a football team.”
Senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson, who has been implicated by the Baton Rouge Police Department as having been involved in the fight, was present as part of the Unity Council, but did not speak. No players took questions.
Miles, in response to a question, also indicated senior offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert was present at the bar. Hebert is also on the Unity Council and was also at the news conference.
Athletic director Joe Alleva, who attended the news conference but did not address the media, released a statement shortly afterward:
“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.”
Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Sgt. Donald Stone said that as of Saturday afternoon, investigators had not yet interviewed any LSU football players.
The investigators were still interviewing witnesses and the four men who allegedly were beaten, Stone said.
As for when the football players in question would be interviewed, Stone said it depends on the information learned from witnesses.
“Based on what they gather, something could lead investigators to go to them immediately, or they might have to wait,” Stone said.
Stone was able to confirm that witnesses have told police the fight started when a man in a truck honked his horn to move a crowd out of his path in the parking lot of Shady’s.
Stone said he did not know whether members of the crowd dragged the man from his truck or if the man got out willingly to confront the crowd.
Stone also said he did not know how the three other men who were treated at a hospital for minor injuries became involved in the fight.
Katie Kennedy contributed to this story.
Link to LSUsports.net video of the press conference:
LSU Coach Les Miles comments following saturday’s practice: