LSU coach Les Miles reinstated suspended running back Jeremy Hill early Monday evening, with the decision coming hours after a state district judge left Hill on probation after risking jail time for pleading guilty to punching a fellow student outside a Tigerland bar in April.
Hill will return to practice, but Miles said there will be “further punishment,” which he did not detail.
“I’m going to kind of review, and make a quality call as best I can,” Miles said.
The decision by Miles ends a three-month exile for the Hill, who plead guilty to simple battery last month but faced the risk of jail of up to six months in jail stemming from an earlier case where plead guilty as a high school senior to carnal knowledge of a minor.
Miles said Hill met with his team and told “this is what you do and this is what you don’t do.” The meeting took place at 2:15 p.m. with his team, and Hill returned to an afternoon practice session.
“There was some interplay and conversation, and they voted to invite him back,” Miles said. “He owes this school, this team and this community his best behavior.”
On Monday, District Court Judge Bonnie Jackson added 40 hours of community service and order her refrain from all further illegal conduct, while also adding an exception to a curfew imposed in May that will allow him to play football if LSU signed off on allowing his return.
The decision, which was handed down at roughly 11 a.m., put the ball squarely back in Miles’ court and landed on the same day the Tigers opened their preseason camp. Meanwhile, an afternoon practice for freshmen and select veterans was closed to permitted media access.
Since suspending Hill on April 29, the ninth-year coach has maintained a firm stance on letting the legal process involving Hill, 20, play out before reaching a decision. Over that span, Hill was barred from the Tigers practice facility and did not take part in any team-related workouts or meetings, while occasionally touching base Miles.
On July 12, Hill plead guilty to simple battery, and District Judge Mike Erwin ordered him and Bayardo to pay $375 apiece to the victim, write letters of apology to him, perform 50 hours of community service and attend an anger management class. The judge also ordered the pair to have no contact with the victim and not to post anything on social media about the incident or talk to the press about it.
Later that day, Moore’s office filed a motion to revoke Hill’s probation.
The arrest landed him in legal hot water and seemed to jeopardize his career, and Hill had been scheduled to appear in court later this month but appeared for a status conference Monday.
On Monday, Jackson took up the matter, and admonished Hill from the bench during a 15-minute proceeding before ultimately sparing him from jail time.
Jackson lectured Hill and told him that playing football is a privilege. Acknowledging the star player’s abilities, she noted there are many people at the state penitentiary at Angola who squandered similar talent.
“I think people saw arrogance,” the judge said, referring to a video of the battery released after his recent guilty plea. “To see you laughing about sucker punching that young man, it struck people that, ‘I’m Jeremy Hill. I can do whatever I want.’”
Hill apologized for his actions.
“I just feel so terrible for what I did,” he said. “I let my emotions get the most of me.”