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RB Jeremy Hill (Getty Images)
Posted Aug 5, 2013
LSU RB Jeremy Hill has been reinstated to the team, Les Miles announced Monday. Hill completed a suspension that lasted more than three months and returned to practice Monday afternoon. Both Hill and Miles addressed the media, and you can read here what they had to say.
Sophomore running back
has been reinstated to the
announced during a press conference Monday.
Hill had been suspended for more than three months following a misdemeanor simple battery charge. Hill was involved in an altercation outside a Tigerland bar in late April and was immediately suspended indefinitely from all team-related activities.
But Hill has returned in a full capacity and participated in the Tigers’ afternoon practice Monday. Hill and his attorney met Monday morning with a judge, who decided not to revoke his probation from another misdemeanor incident while Hill was still in high school.
Hill then addressed his teammates, who unanimously voted to reinstate him to the team.
“I wanted them to have the right to express their opinion and have a vote,” Miles said. “And they did. It was a unanimous one…He was not going to be invited back to practice had they not voted to have him back. He owes this school, team and community his best behavior.”
Hill also made a statement to the media assembled for the press conference.
“First of all I want to thank Coach Miles and this university for giving me another chance to play football,” Hill said. “I would like to apologize to my teammates and the community. I made a poor choice in judgment. But since then I’ve learned from my mistake. Moving forward, I’ll continue to be a better person, teammate and role model for the community.”
Miles did promise that Hill will face further internal punishment but did not specify what that will be. He did not give a timetable for when that decision will be made. Miles added that it will ultimately be his call, but he will consult with the Unity Council, a group comprised of team leaders.
LSU has faced a level of national criticism stemming from this incident and the cell phone video that captured Hill’s altercation. Miles addressed those that may deem Hill’s reinstatement as only a slap on the wrist.
“Those people don’t know what it’s like to have a four-month suspension from his best friends,” Miles said. “That you can’t go to a team meeting, to the weight room with your buddies. Basically, you see them in class and you wave to them…but you don’t sleep because you don’t know how this thing’s going to turn out. It continues and it continues...
“He went through public ridicule. We waited for the legal system to act. We felt like they had a full review and the situation was in hand. They’ve spoken very strongly to Jeremy Hill. That being said, he’s free to play college football if that opportunity is still there.”
This was the third incident involving a star player in as many years for LSU.
was suspended for the first four games of the 2011 season for his involvement in a bar fight.
missed the entire 2012 season, allegedly for failed drug tests.
Miles said he hopes his team has learned a lesson from these transgressions.
“It’s a reminder that they’re not invisible,” Miles said. “That they carry a responsibility with the number they wear, that it does not leave their back when you go out. Our team understands that even more fully today.”
As for the football, Hill returned to practice in the afternoon, a session typically reserved for freshmen and select veterans. Miles said Hill would have returned as the starter for the 2013 season, but he’ll now have to compete in order to regain his status on the depth chart.
“He’s rusty as heck,” Miles said. “He didn’t look anything like the Jeremy Hill we saw last year. He better get back to practice if he expects to play at all…Would he have come back as the starter? Absolutely. But
has stepped in front and will be in position to play a lot of football right away.”
With Hill having two strikes against him, Miles made it clear that there’s now a zero tolerance policy with his troubled running back.
“The legal system has defined it very well,” Miles said. “He needs to do all the right things.”
For more from Miles and his Monday press conference, head to the free TSD Message Board.
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