by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
On Friday, we'll begin to know the outcome of Husch Blackwell's findings and it could definitely cast a shadow over LSU's rising confidence if Scott Woodward or other members of the athletic department are named in the report amid Les Miles' endorsement of harassment & Verge Ausberry's silence.
Though I highly doubt there was culpability on Coach Ed Orgeron's part, I do feel there will be members of the current athletic department who may be on the outs once the report drops; will that affect the football program itself, including the Tigers' upcoming season?
I doubt it...but that's not what we should be caring about here:
What happened must be dealt with and answered for. Rape apologists don't belong in our society...let alone on campus at Louisiana State University...or sitting at the top of our athletic department.
Without question this is the #1 worry for the Tigers, due to the wide-ranging ramifications:
Pure public perception has been after LSU since they won the National Championship in scintillating Nostradamus style...meanwhile, recruits and their families loved Coach Orgeron's in-your-face, team-first intensity.
Then, everything changed in an instant.
Since the USA Today piece was published, negative recruiting, large amounts of misinformation on social media and the disgusting truth that multiple people at LSU were covering up Title IX complaints have all combined in a flaming quagmire where no one has come out of the fire truly unscathed.
And the heat is turning up now that the Husch-Blackwell report's findings will be released to LSU's athletic department (during a private meeting on Friday at 9am according to WAFB's Jacques Doucet).
The penalties could be severe, enough to force firings within the athletic department, instigating further scholarship reductions, even instituting another bowl ban...a few different penalties of varying degrees are on the table, it just all depends on what they find out...but don't panic just yet.
Right now, the evidence doesn't look good for certain individuals in LSU's past alongside a few who currently work in the athletic department...will it appear be a clear and present indictment of the present program, the current AD Scott Woodward or even Coach Ed Orgeron?
I can't see it...then again, the whole situation going on right now is surreal to begin with. Most of the evidence seems to focus on LSU's past dysfunctional Les Miles / Joe Alleva / F. King Alexander era from the late 2000s to the middle part of the 2010s as well as Verge Ausberry's silence during the 2018 Drake Davis investigation, perhaps even the unsealing of Jacob Phillips' Title IX complaint...Grant Delpit sharing a sex tape...
We just don't know all Husch-Blackwell have right now, though what we already knew prior to the law firm's hiring was damaging enough ... it's exactly why this report is presently the #1 worry for anyone who loves their Tigers.
If LSU don't react quickly to these findings with swift punishments in-house, then the NCAA will gladly do it for us 100x over...in fact, many could argue the lack of any punishment toward Deputy Assistant Athletic Director & LSU Legend Verge Ausberry is almost asking for harsher penalties in the end...
It's not Alabama LSU need to fear...it's the existence & repercussions of Les Miles' rape culture...accordingly, Coach Ed Orgeron & Athletic Director Scott Woodward must fire anyone who's found to be part of the Title IX coverups.
If Husch-Blackwell's report only shows Miles' era (& a few individuals within the last few years) to be culpable in covering up Title IX cases, then targeting LSU as an institution for stiff penalties would be harsh on the current administration and staff (especially when two of the four confirmed people of interest, Miles, & Alexander, still hold the same collegiate titles at Kansas and Oregon State).
However, the NCAA has been waiting a long time to make an example out of LSU...
What we've heard pertaining to Derrius Guice & Drake Davis was bad enough...let's hope the athletic department at LSU aren't responsible for far more than they're revealing.
We'll just have to see...let's hope the victims get some kind of justice after all they've had to go through.
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
SHOUTOUTS: Jacques Doucet for his awesome reporting as usual. Great interview with Skip!