March 29, 2008

Roundtable: Surprised by Perrilloux's return?

At the College Football Roundtable each week, we ask each member of the college football coverage staff for their opinion about a specific topic from the past week in college football.

TODAY'S QUESTION: LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux, who is no longer suspended from the team, may be able return to practice Monday. Are you surprised his suspension was so short?
Olin Buchanan

Some felt LSU coach Les Miles should have washed his hands of Perrilloux after he suspended the talented but troubled quarterback for the third time in a year.

I didn't think that was necessary because Perrilloux was suspended for a "violation of team rules" and had not been arrested, like so many other college football players across the country have been. But I do find it a little surprising that Perrilloux already has been reinstated.

My thought was that Miles might make a definitive statement that his patience was wearing thin and suspend Perrilloux for the entire spring.

Perhaps that would have gotten Perrilloux's attention - and hopefully hastened the maturation process.

Miles knows his team and individuals better than the rest of us. We don't know the conversations that must have taken place between player and coach. Miles obviously feels Perrilloux's suspension was adequate.

Maybe it is. But if Perrilloux has any more issues with missing meetings, classes, practices or anything else, Miles will have opened himself up to be second-guessed. Then we'll see if Perrilloux will be given a fourth chance.

David Fox

I'm going to play the role of cynic and say, no, I'm not surprised. This is not an indictment on LSU coach Les Miles or of Perrilloux. Many other coaches would make the same decision given the player and the circumstances. Perrilloux is simply too valuable to be suspended for too long. Miles says as much himself. "Basically it's competition and (Perrilloux) has to compete," Miles told reporters. There are, of course, conditions for him to return as a full member of the team for the final six practices, class obligations, make-up conditioning workouts and such.

The cause of this most recent suspension appears to be genuine his high school coach has said Perrilloux left town and missed a team meeting and classes without telling coaches following the death of his father. But Miles has had to discipline Perrilloux twice before, once when he tried to get onto a riverboat casino while underage and another time for his role in a fracas at a nightclub. I'd hate to be skeptical of the situation, but my guess is that if Perrilloux weren't such an important player at the most important position on the field, Miles may be more willing to keep him out of the final days of spring practice.

Mike Huguenin

If LSU is going to be as good as it can be on the field this fall, Perrilloux has to be the quarterback. Thus, that's why it's no surprise Perrilloux is back before spring practice ends. LSU coach Les Miles is like most coaches: When it's an important player facing disciplinary action, that player is cut a lot of slack.

As for Perrilloux, yes, he has been embarrassed by all the attention surrounding the suspension. At the same time, he got to miss two weeks of spring drills. Missing spring practice is punishment?

Steve Megargee

Perrilloux's suspension came after he showed up late or didn't arrive at all to practices or team meetings. Considering the penalty didn't stem from an arrest or any type of off-the-field incident, it's easy to understand why the LSU quarterback's suspension was lifted before he had to miss any games.

But I did expect the suspension to last at least until the end of spring practice, considering Perrilloux's history of discipline problems. This reportedly is the third time Perrilloux has been suspended in the past 18 months. Forcing him to sit out all of spring practice might have sent more of a message.

Although it still isn't entirely clear whether Perrilloux will return to practice next week and play in the spring game on April 5, this latest move makes it extremely likely Perrilloux will be the starting quarterback when the defending national champions open the season Aug. 30 against Appalachian State. Whether he keeps the job is entirely up to Perrilloux and how he responds on and off the field.

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