LSU players arrested, suspended

BATON ROUGE, La. — While Jordan Jefferson's teammates were practicing Friday for a season opener that is now merely a week away, the quarterback was hiring a new lawyer to defend him against felony charges.

Jefferson and teammate Joshua Johns turned themselves in and were released on $5,000 bond each Friday after police obtained arrest warrants on charges of second-degree battery, stemming from their alleged roles in a fight outside Shady's bar in Baton Rouge on Aug. 19. The players have been suspended indefinitely by the school.

"It's certainly a tough time for our team when they see a teammate in peril," coach Les Miles said, describing some players in tears when they first gathered to talk about moving forward without their projected starting quarterback and reserve linebacker. "It's hard on them. I don't believe there were many that believed that was the outcome, and it took some time for them to understand what was going on.

"This is not how I intended to spend my preseason," Miles added. "I wanted to spend it much more on football."

Two months ago, Jefferson was one of the featured counselors at the Manning family's football camp in south Louisiana, talking about maturity, leadership and his hope to leading LSU firmly into the national championship picture. He was already 20-7 as a starter, giving him a chance to challenge Tommy Hodson's LSU career record of 31 victories by a starting quarterback.

Miles said he had seen a change in Jefferson in recent months and sensed that the quarterback was on the brink of his best season yet.

"In many ways (he) had really showed team leadership and skills that he'd not shown up to this point," Miles said. "So this, I'm sure, is devastating to him and his family."

A police report says a 19-year-old woman named Victoria Long said she witnessed several LSU players beating one of the alleged victims and saw Jefferson kick that man in the face.

Two witnesses who work at the bar told The Associated Press that the players did not throw the first punch, but added that once the melee began, it was difficult to see who hit whom, and could not verify the extent to which Jefferson and Johns were involved.

Police also identified offensive lineman Chris Davenport, and receiver Jarvis Landry as people of interest in the fight, but did not comment on their status Friday, and they remained on the team.

Each of the four players were interviewed by investigators Tuesday. On Wednesday, police executed a search warrant of Jefferson's apartment and took 49 pairs of shoes, along with a DNA swab.

With Jefferson suspended, fellow senior Jarrett Lee is slated to make his 10th career start against Oregon, with sophomore Zach Mettenberger, a junior college transfer, next in line, followed by Stephen Rivers, younger brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

LSU has numerous other key players returning and was expected to compete for Southeastern Conference and national championships this season.

Share This Story