The Edward James Orgeron Era Comes Crumbling Down (Gone After 2021)

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Pelican, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Owsley

    Owsley My friends call me Bear
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    I don’t think he’s even considering them. Texas, Ole Miss, or Bama.
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  2. Gaknight

    Gaknight Well-Known Member
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    Have to throw in the Dawgs in that group right?
  3. Owsley

    Owsley My friends call me Bear
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    I don’t think so
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  4. Fran Tarkenton

    Fran Tarkenton Well-Known Member
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    Not what we have heard
  5. Gallant Knight

    Arkansas RazorbacksHouston AstrosAston Villa

    i hope he goes to ole miss
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  6. IvanTheTerrible

    IvanTheTerrible Well-Known Member
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    The Mannings have a pretty strong relationship with O. I still think Arch ends up at Texas or Clemson.
  7. Killy Me Please

    Killy Me Please I lift things up and put people down.

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  8. joey jo-jo jr shabadoo

    joey jo-jo jr shabadoo you know for me, the action is the juice

    decent dont cut it just because you are at a big boy school

    see: mullen, daniel
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  9. IvanTheTerrible

    IvanTheTerrible Well-Known Member
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  10. BayouMafia

    BayouMafia Thought Leader in Posting
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    This is a really good article. Here it is for those without an Athletic sub

    ‘He lost track of who he was’: Inside Ed Orgeron’s fall from celebrated son of Louisiana to LSU coaching pariah
    BATON ROUGE, La. — Five years ago, Ed Orgeron sped down I-12 at 6 a.m. with his head out the window of his black GMC truck blaring “Born on the Bayou” from Mandeville to Baton Rouge on the way to live out his dreams. Waiting for him outside the football operations building was athletic director Joe Alleva, preparing to offer him the LSU head coaching job. The kid from Larose, La., was going to become the most important public figure in his home state.

    And somehow a lifetime has been lived within these five years, an LSU coaching tenure meandering from laughingstock to legend to statewide pariah. Few believed Orgeron should be LSU’s football coach. Then they thought he should hold the role for life. Now he’s been unceremoniously labeled a one-hit wonder and will soon be looking for a job.

    LSU and Orgeron reached a separation agreement that will take effect after the season, sources tell The Athletic, confirming multiple reports. Orgeron is expected to get his full buyout, according to The Athletic’sBruce Feldman. It comes less than two years after leading an undefeated national championship team in 2019 that some argued was the best in college football history. He followed that championship with a pair of up and down campaigns with two polar-opposite staffs, neither working to lift the Tigers. All of this included characteristic drama along the way.

    The rise and fall of Orgeron can be defined by what happens when an already volatile man reaches the absolute peak of his profession, popularity and prestige right as he undergoes a public divorce through a pandemic while the world shifts around him. It’s about the difference between being able to learn from failure and being able to sustain that success.

    Orgeron’s time at LSU wasn’t a repeat of his Ole Miss tenure. This wasn’t a downfall via chaotic behavior and driving assistants mad. It was a slow and steady whittling away of all the things that brought him and the program success. Add in a massive Title IX scandal in the university and the newly single Orgeron’s interactions with women bringing new distractions, and the changing off-field behavior coincided with declining on-field results.

    “He lost track of who he was and what made him good from the national championship to now,” one source told The Athletic.

    There were coordinator hires of coaches Orgeron admits to not fully interviewing and embarrassing interactions with fans. There were viral photos of him in bed with women. There were political comments that fractured the locker room and a poorly handled racial inequality protest. And there was a roster that lacked the leadership of LSU’s 2019 title team. All of this under a new athletic director who didn’t hire Orgeron and had no built-in loyalty to him.

    There’s no one thing that brought Ed Orgeron down. If the championship was called a “perfect storm” that came together for greatness, so too was it a perfect storm that led to his demise.

    “That doesn’t make him a bad coach,” one person close to the situation said. “It doesn’t make him a bad motivator. It doesn’t make him a bad recruiter. It doesn’t make him a bad person. He just lost track of who Coach O is a little bit and his sense of identity.”

    When football became secondary
    On the night LSU won the national championship in New Orleans, Orgeron went back to his hotel room around 2:30 a.m. with his wife, Kelly. They had nothing to eat, but somebody handed them some Popeyes chicken and the two finished off the box before falling asleep. By the time he woke up five hours later for a news conference, he was the man with the most capital in all of Louisiana.

    Six weeks later, Orgeron filed for divorce.

    In his 23 years married to Kelly, Orgeron generally kept a low social profile. His personality will always be larger than life, but he didn’t go out often and wasn’t known to socialize much. After battling alcoholism and a past involving arrests and restraining orders, Orgeron lived a more stable and private life for 23 years with “Miss Kelly.”

    Then, at his most powerful — and his most wealthy — Orgeron was single again. He had just signed a six-year, $42 million extension and was a Louisiana hero. And he was going to enjoy it. “Something that had priority in his life that didn’t have a priority before was talking to (women),” one LSU source said. “That just became too high on the totem pole.”

    To people and sources inside the program, there was no moral issue with Orgeron enjoying his life, but it was noticeable that football wasn’t his entire focus like it had been in years past, and it became a distraction. There was the infamous 2020 photo of him in bed with a woman, among other photos made public. Multiple sources said he brought women around the LSU football operations building. It all took place as his decision-making and coaching performance declined.

    “It was just a distraction,” one LSU player said. “In 2019, there was no, ‘What’s Coach O doing postgame or Sunday during the day? Is he laying by the pool with a lady?’ He was planning events other than football.”

    It created messes for him, like the time Orgeron pulled up to a woman at a gas station wearing exercise attire. “Hey, you look like you work out,” he said, according to multiple sources. “We could work out together.” The woman informed Orgeron she was married and pregnant, to which he responded, “Why does that matter?”

    That woman was the wife of a high-ranking LSU official. Word of this reached the LSU Board of Supervisors, the collection of prominent Louisiana attorneys and business owners appointed by the governor who make the most important decisions at LSU. And of course, it reached LSU athletic director Scott Woodward.

    A program — and school — mired in a Title IX scandal
    The off-field issues about Orgeron’s personal life were happening behind the scenes. Right at the forefront of the collegiate sports world was a Title IX scandal throughout LSU, headlined by accusations that former star running back Derrius Guice raped multiple students. It led to LSU launching an internal investigation run by the Husch Blackwell law firm, and most of the transgressions took place under former coach Les Miles’ watch. Orgeron was hardly mentioned in the report.

    But then 74-year-old part-time Mercedes-Benz Superdome worker Gloria Scott came forward with allegations that Guice sexually harassed her at a high school football game. She said she spoke to Orgeron about the interaction and he did nothing. Orgeron denied speaking to Scott and said he was informed of the action by athletic department officials, and LSU then opened its own investigation. The situation got messier when a recording surfaced of a man said to be representing Scott asked LSU officials for money in exchange for Scott not going public. Scott said this man was not given permission to do this, and she also said Orgeron lied about not speaking to her.

    Later, a lawsuit was filed against LSU by multiple victims accusing the university of not properly investigating sexual misconduct allegations. The lawsuit added Orgeron and his LLC as defendants as it accused Orgeron of being told, by a player, of an alleged Guice rape. The victim was the player’s then-girlfriend, and the lawsuit accuses Orgeron of knowing and not reporting it. Orgeron denied having any knowledge of the alleged rape, and the Husch Blackwell report found his denial credible. Those close to Orgeron found it noticeable that LSU administrators did little to point out these corrections publicly or to defend him. It was a signifier that support was fading.

    Yet none of those issues, at the time, were enough for LSU to pursue firing Orgeron. Multiple sources said these were all concerns and issues LSU monitored, but they all essentially went away with time.

    Until LSU continued to lose.

    And then came the losses
    Orgeron is a loyal man who willingly serves at the request of his mentors. He reveres Jimmy Johnson and would run through a wall for Pete Carroll, and that extends to former bosses such as Paul Pasqualoni and Lane Kiffin. That’s how the man raised in the Cajun way views the world.

    It’s why he was so angry and surprised when passing game coordinator Joe Brady turned down a $1.5 million raise from LSU to leave for the Carolina Panthers in January 2020. Orgeron felt like he plucked Brady out of a nothing job with the New Orleans Saints and helped make him a star, so he perceived that departure after one season as a lack of respect.

    Following LSU’s national title season, when Orgeron had to replace Brady as well as defensive coordinator Dave Aranda (who left to become the head coach at Baylor), he turned to his mentors. To replace the cerebral Aranda, he called Carroll for advice. Carroll raved about Bo Pelini, calling him one of the best defensive minds he knows. Pelini was once the hottest defensive name in the game, LSU’s coordinator for its 2007 national championship under Miles and a successful head coach at Nebraska for seven years. So Orgeron hired Pelini for $2.3 million, despite admitting later he didn’t properly interview or vet him.

    Pelini had spent the previous five years coaching FCS Youngstown State, where only once had he won more than six games. He hadn’t coached Power 5 football since 2014, and he hadn’t been in the SEC since 2007. And now Orgeron was instructing him to install an attacking 4-3 defense for the defending champs.

    It failed. Miserably. LSU had its worst defensive season in program history, allowing 96 points in its first three games and opening the season allowing a record-shattering 623 yards to Mississippi State. A defense with multiple All-Americans and major talents looked lost and timid. There were constant breakdowns in coverage that led to receivers running free game after game. It ranked last in the SEC in explosive plays.

    LSU finished 5-5, its worst season in 21 years, and suddenly all of that capital Orgeron once possessed had vanished. Orgeron had the cachet to hire anyone he wanted in January 2020. What he did with it was hire Pelini without due diligence.

    On offense, he hired as pass game coordinator Scott Linehan, a long-respected NFL offensive coordinator technically overqualified for the role but understood to be well behind on modern schemes. Orgeron had a staff primarily composed of older White men who were past their primes, not as skilled at recruiting and not well-suited for relating to a young, primarily Black roster. It was a group comprised of old buddies and favors made.

    While the coaching hires were putting LSU behind already, there were also internal cultural issues. A few weeks before the 2020 season, Orgeron went on Fox News and — after being pressed multiple times — said “I love President Trump.” Sources said that upset a large portion of the locker room, with Black players hearing their coach saying he loves a president whom they perceived as touting racist policies and beliefs.

    That sparked tension within LSU. Two weeks later, when teams across the country were skipping practices to hold peaceful protests of racial inequality after the death of George Floyd, Orgeron did not join his team. When the players asked Orgeron to take part, he sent assistant coaches to meet them and temper the situation. When Orgeron eventually met with his players in the LSU president’s office, sources said players were not happy with Orgeron’s contributions.

    Former LSU star and current ESPN analyst Ryan Clark was involved through this process and spoke to the team in the weeks that followed. He pointed out to The Athleticthat White players like quarterback Myles Brennan spoke and were honest that they didn’t understand all of the issues, but that they loved their teammates and wanted to support them. Clark said that’s all Orgeron had to do.

    “It either meant you had no pulse on the situation,” Clark said, “or it meant that even with having a pulse on the situation, understanding what Black Americans and Black young men were going through at the time, you didn’t even care to fake it. That was an issue for me.”

    One source described those weeks, saying: “It just kind of changed the attitude of our team. The best way to put it: It exposed our building.” It wasn’t irreparable damage. The normally apolitical Orgeron later marched with the team and said publicly he can’t continue to be oblivious. “If it’s affecting our players, I need to be educated on what’s going on, why it’s going on, listen to them, open up some dialogue and find some solutions,” he said.

    It’s impossible to know how much these tensions lingered, but Orgeron was able to convince the majority of NFL draft-eligible players to return for the 2021 season. Then, in part due to a mandate from Woodward, Orgeron reshuffled his staff with a focus on getting drastically younger and more diverse. Relations seemed jovial all spring and summer. LSU was going to have an uber-experienced team with modern schemes and sharp young coaches.

    The stage for a bounce-back season was set.

    The comeback that wasn’t, and the end of Orgeron at LSU
    The decline was swift and messy. While the 2020 season could be explained away with injuries, opt-outs and an unprecedented global pandemic, the 5-5 campaign put internal pressure on Orgeron to win — and fast. Still, it seemed LSU had the sort of roster and schedule to win nine or 10 games.

    Instead, years of roster management issues and poor hires compiled for a situation in which the problems couldn’t be washed away with “talent.”

    LSU opened the season getting embarrassed, 38-27, at UCLA. Even if the loss was excusable, frustration multiplied when, before the game, Orgeron was filmed shouting at a UCLA fan, “Bring ya ass on in your little sissy blue shirt.” UCLA made it into a meme and printed “sissy blue shirt” T-shirts.

    Radio show hosts like Jordy Culotta — somebody who once had Orgeron on his Baton Rouge morning show each week — began torching Orgeron, telling stories of Orgeron confronting LSU boosters at a fishing camp and throwing chairs in a tirade over a pregame hype video. More unbecoming off-field stories came out with each poor on-field performance, and support for Orgeron waned.

    LSU gave away a 13-0 lead against Auburn due to a shocking inability to run the ball. Then it got blown out, 42-21, at Kentucky. And the injuries kept piling up — from Derek Stingley to Andre Anthony, Kayshon Boutte to Ali Gaye and so on — and faith kept dwindling. LSU kept finding new ways to lose.

    Orgeron’s two young coordinator hires — Jake Peetz and Daronte Jones — may go on to good careers, but they also were first-time high-level coordinators perhaps not quite ready to call the shots for an SEC power in a must-win season. LSU’s roster, comprised largely of three consecutive top-five signing classes, had character issues and a lack of leadership. The offensive line became disastrous. Only six of the 10 highest-ranked players in his 2019 class are still with the team, due to issues ranging from academics to arrests to not being good enough. His biggest recruiting coup — five-star tight end Arik Gilbert — left the program midseason in 2020 due to personal issues.

    A team that once had star leaders like Devin White, Joe Burrow, Grant Delpit, Damien Lewis, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Lloyd Cushenberry and Patrick Queen — who would call out people for slacking at practice or not putting in the extra work — now lacks those stars to hold anyone accountable. As one source put it, “There’s nobody there to stop the bleeding.”

    Another said: “When your best players are the youngest guys on the team, it’s always interesting.”

    There have been issues with how LSU practices and develops. When Orgeron first took over in 2016, he received acclaim for changing LSU’s practice strategies and operating with the “work smarter, not harder” philosophy. While it’s unclear if there was a conscious change, staffers have noticed Orgeron tense at practices and it leading to adjustments.

    “We overdo things and the team is worn down,” one LSU coach said. “Some of the ‘really good recruits’ have deficiencies that aren’t strengthened. Talents aren’t maximized. His whole idea of ‘building a tough team’ since I got here has been a lot of uncommon practice techniques and thought processes. It’s just behind the times.”

    And now a program that on paper is one of the five most talented in college football is falling toward the bottom of the SEC. A coach that took LSU to a national championship is unemployed two years later.
    Orgeron will now forever be linked to former Auburn coach Gene Chizik, a man also fired two years after winning a national championship in 2010. But many around Orgeron strongly consider that unfair. Chizik’s title felt like one superstar player, Cam Newton, lifting an average team to great heights. Chizik didn’t have another season over .500 in SEC play.

    Orgeron is the coach who lifted LSU from its struggles and the man who led it off a cliff. He fixed many of the lingering issues from the Miles era — an outdated offense, a troubled culture — and recruited a deep and loaded team that produced 14 players selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He got Burrow from Ohio State and found Brady out of nowhere with the Saints. He earned that national title.

    And he earned this decline. He was dealt unfair hands like the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented injuries and star players opting out. But he also made the choices and actions that had LSU’s standard of performance drop a little each day.

    “In 2019, everything went right,” a player under Orgeron said. “You had the right coaches, the right players, the right schemes, the right everything. Everything since then has been the wrong this, the wrong that, the wrong player, the wrong position, the wrong call. It’s literally the polar opposite of 2019.”

    In the end, Woodward made his decision. The athletic director who grew up in Baton Rouge was always waiting for a chance to make his mark. But Woodward is patient and strategic. And eventually Orgeron built the case for Woodward.

    One source who was quite critical of Orgeron admitted: “I really think Coach O could still get it together. He needs the reality check he’s getting now, but it’s too little, too late. It’s not like he’s not a guy who can’t do it again, but it went downhill so fast and he wasn’t able to recognize what was happening.”

    Orgeron is the undisciplined hothead who fell apart at Ole Miss and the careful leader who constructed LSU’s 2019 juggernaut. He’s the paranoid plotter with rude nicknames and a man who carelessly makes mistakes without knowing it. And days after Hurricane Ida devastated South Louisiana, in particular his hometown of Larose, Orgeron was filmed (unbeknownst to him) on a Houston elevator getting asked about the damage. He told them Larose was “pounded.”

    Then Orgeron’s eyes faded around the top of the elevator. He looked sad, the hurricane taking an emotional toll on the man from the bayou with the distinct voice.

    “That’s what makes us who we are,” he said. “We fight. No matter what we do, we fight.”

    Orgeron lived every possible version of his identity as head coach at LSU. He was the man who won the fight to bring LSU back to the highest of heights, and the man who lost the fight to keep the Tigers there.
  11. Gert B Frobe

    Gert B Frobe Well-Known Member
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    Put the vagina on a pedestal. The end.
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  12. pez

    pez Competent
    SMU Mustangs

    Full buyout

    bertwing, TC, wes tegg and 1 other person like this.
  13. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    So did he let them spread it out in exchange for being able to coach out the rest of the season? Or is that how it was always going to look?
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  14. pez

    pez Competent
    SMU Mustangs

    they also bought a 18 month non compete. Because sec schools were beating down his door
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  15. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    I'm so confused, but I probably shouldn't be so that's on me
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  16. pez

    pez Competent
    SMU Mustangs

    it doesn’t make any sense. They should double his buyout if an SEC team actually hired him
    bro, Baby Herschel and lazy bum like this.
  17. Nole0515

    Nole0515 Well-Known Member
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    Jimbos about to throw out the pumpkins and scarecrows
  18. Beeds07

    Beeds07 Bitch, it's Saturday
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    Gotta shoot down a plane he’s in. Common carrier pays double.
    BudKilmer, bigpig and Nole0515 like this.
  19. pez

    pez Competent
    SMU Mustangs

  20. Beeds07

    Beeds07 Bitch, it's Saturday
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    Why even let him finish the year?
  21. Nole0515

    Nole0515 Well-Known Member
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    Keep him happy to tell everyone where the bodies are buried
    IV, BudKilmer and gilstein21 like this.
  22. pnk$krtcrÿnästÿ

    Rutgers Scarlet KnightsArizona WildcatsTexas AandM Aggies altTennessee Volunteers

    If their women's bball hire is any indicator of the number of fucks they give about campus sexual assault, they are going with Art Briles
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  23. ned's head

    ned's head Well-Known Member

    Why would they want the guy who they fired to speak at events for them?
  24. i am a bammer

    i am a bammer Ben Eblen>Jamychal Green
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    This is very awkward?
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  25. Baby Herschel

    Baby Herschel So high, I flew in from LA w/o getting on a plane.
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    Whoa, whoa, whoa...what?
  26. BudKilmer

    BudKilmer Well-Known Member
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    i never knew until recently that this was Chris Vernon of / Whats Going on in Augusta fame.

    apparently O hates him over it which is fantastic
  27. Z

    Z Well-Known Member
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    LOL at Orgeron not being a one hit wonder. Guy sucks.

    So what did Woodward even negotiate if he’s paying the whole buyout? That’s a joke.
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  28. laxjoe

    laxjoe Well-Known Member
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    This has to be the strangest situation I can remember. What is going on?
    IV likes this.
  29. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    That's where I just gave up and stopped trying to think about it any more.
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  30. Chipper>Jeter

    Chipper>Jeter Defund the NCAA
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    The tweet said girlfriends plural. Only girlfriend I knew about had nude pics so I assumed if he had others they do as well.
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  31. ned's head

    ned's head Well-Known Member

    Between that and the massive jimbo contract with no buyout, it seems like the only plausible explanation is that he's just a bad negotiator and he had to feel like he was getting a free keychain for buying the car
    Lip, MG2, laxjoe and 1 other person like this.
  32. steamengine

    steamengine I don’t want to press one for English!

    This is the most condensed version of every big time coaches downfall ever. Just pack it all in to five years.
  33. bigpig

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    He was great on Memphis radio back in the day. Never missed his show
  34. Constant

    Constant Meh
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    Legit LOL'd when I got to the bridge.
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  35. fsugrad99

    fsugrad99 I'm the victim here
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  36. IanBoyd

    IanBoyd Well-Known Member
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    holy fuck twitter

  37. IV

    IV Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
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    Clearly fuckery is involved, which in the age of NIL means it’s really bad
  38. bertwing

    bertwing check out the nametag grandma
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    Hopefully he hires his piece of shit son too
  39. bigpig

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    eehhh. That's some pretty bad yo-yo-yoing
    jhooked likes this.
  40. Gallant Knight

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    He won a national championship… it’s not that surprising they still want him to show up occasionally
    Fran Tarkenton likes this.
  41. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    When they're leaking stuff everywhere that his private and public behavior was embarrassing the school, and that his coaches and players don't like him and just want him to go away, it's kind of a surprise that they would want that guy to represent them in that capacity.
  42. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch My second favorite meat is hamburger
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    Was made part of his contract when they likely thought him retiring and being a school ambassador type was in the cards.

    Obviously circumstances changed.
  43. Fran Tarkenton

    Fran Tarkenton Well-Known Member
    Wake Forest Demon Deacons

    I dont think they view it as a face/representative of the brand

    They view him more like a zoo animal that rich boosters can yup it up with at fundraising events
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  44. RavenNole

    RavenNole Well-Known Member
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    the surprising thing to me is why leak all this? You typically see things like this leaked if you’re trying to lower a buyout or justify a firing of a coach who immediately cleaned out his office. Why leak all this dirty laundry if he is finishing the season and you want him to have a relationship with the school moving forward? That’s what puzzles me about this.
    Tiffin likes this.
  45. Saul Shabazz

    Saul Shabazz The Real Big Whoop
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    Only logic I see is if there is more shit comin for LSU and they need to paint Ed as a renegade employee?
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  46. Jack Parkman

    Jack Parkman Endorsed by Fred McGriff
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    So with them firing him without cause now it won’t matter if the Title IX stuff hits soon since he’s already been canned correct
    RavenNole likes this.
  47. RavenNole

    RavenNole Well-Known Member
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    thats my take on it. Paying him the full buyout tells me that orgeron has plenty of dirt on LSU and powerful LSU people or the fear of any sort of litigation surrounding the title IX shit is greater than the need to take a few million off the buyout.
    IV, High Cotton, Owsley and 5 others like this.
  48. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    Because he won a national title as a coach less than 2 years ago, and just firing him for 1.5 mediocre seasons isn't going to be enough for a lot of people.
  49. RavenNole

    RavenNole Well-Known Member
    Baltimore RavensTampa Bay LightningChelsea

    in theory that makes sense but have you gotten the impression from the LSU community that this move was unpopular? I have heard very little if any opposition to moving on from him. Maybe the athletic department thought it was necessary but I just don’t think it was. All sides seem content with this divorce.
    Tiffin likes this.