MULE': Is there more to the Perrilloux case?

MULE': Is there more to the Perrilloux case?

Is Ryan Perrilloux a magnet for trouble? Some kids are like that. Trouble seems to find them.

In his two-year tenure at LSU, the much-hyped prep quarterback phenom from East St. John has made more headlines – many more headlines – for things he's said and, more or less, kid-type shenanigans than anything on the field, even the practice field.

 

Perrilloux was suspended from the football team last week after being arrested for using a fake ID to enter a Baton Rouge casino.

 

Now I know there are laws for a reason, but I ask you: is there anyone among us who hasn't committed at least the equivalent of that degree of "lawlessness'' in your youth?

 

Maybe as a kid walked into a club before legal age, or threw a firecracker on a neighbor's lawn as a Trick or Treat, or even as a youngster taken a sip of beer from an uncle's glass?

 

The point is, on the surface the reaction to Perrilloux's violation seems excessive. First of all, he's 20 years and six months old. A half-year from now he could walk into any gambling or drinking establishment and nobody could stop him. And no one would have ever heard about it.

 

The other times Perrilloux's name has popped up in headlines was for a noise violation (Whoa, now there's a crime!), and for the highly publicized counterfeiting ring investigation in his hometown. The first, of course, was nothing more than kids' stuff, and in the second instance it eventually was leaked by the proper authorities that Perrilloux had nothing to do with it.

 

So what his rap sheet shows is two pretty minor misdemeanors.

 

Is that enough to warrant a suspension?

 

Well, maybe.

 

There are always flags raised when someone keeps skating dangerously close to police issues. They may be inconsequential in themselves, but when they add up there's always a suspicion that there may be other, more serious transgressions that haven't yet been brought to light.

 

We may not know everything Les Miles knows about the Perrilloux situation, and it's not in his nature to be forthcoming on anything, much less background on the unsavory aspects of any of his players.

 

On the caravan LSU coaches are making around the region these days, Miles was asked in Pensacola by a fan about Perrilloux, and all he would says is: "He's in my doghouse right now.''

 

The answer makes you think: why would the coach say that, and why the seemingly drastic action of a suspension, about such an innocuous infraction as false ID? Is there more that doesn't meet the collective eye of the Tiger Nation?

 

There is a theory that Miles' recent action of kicking off three players forced him to be sterner with Perrilloux in the interest of avoiding the look of special treatment. But there were differences: Troy Giddens, Zhamal Thomas and Kyle Anderson were charged with felonies (burglary, theft identity and battery), accusations that are a far cry from Perrilloux's misdemeanors.

 

Something about all this is reminiscent of the events of a decade ago. Tiger running back Cecil Collins (who would become known afterward as "LSU's Best There Never Was'') was suspended from the team. There was a puzzlement of why then-coach Gerry DiNardo wouldn't give him a second-chance.

 

It turned out that behind the scenes Collins had already gotten a second – and third – chance.

 

Later Collins was arrested for entering a women's apartment and fondling her. He was kicked off the team, transferred to McNeese, where he was arrested for marijuana use.

Drafted anyway by the Miami Dolphins, he again was arrested and charged with breaking into a women's dwelling and trying to touch her.

 

He received a 15-year sentence.

 

There is nothing remotely close to the situations, or the seriousness of their actions, of Collins and Perrilloux.

 

On the surface, it appears Perrilloux was dealt with harshly.

 

On the other hand, it's hard not to think there may be more to all this that we don't know about.

                      

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Marty Mule' can be reached at MJM981@Bellsouth.net.

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