LSU running back Jeremy Hill avoided jail and was reinstated to the Tigers' football team all in a single day, paving the way for one of the Southeastern Conference's most criticized and talented running backs to return to the field this fall.
Nola.com and other outlets reported earlier Monday that District Judge Bonnie Jackson determined no jail time would be required for Hill, who was charged with battery while on probation in the spring. A short time later, LSU coach Les Miles announced Hill was back on campus, apologized to the team and practiced Monday. Said Miles:
"His teammates sat there very quietly and listened. They voted to have him back. He was not going to be invited back to practice had they not invited him or voted to have him back. ... He owes this school, this team, this community his best behavior. He'll have further punishment. It will be internal and comprehensive, but we're going to see the whole person."
Miles had been adamant that Hill was not permitted to enter the LSU football building until more was learned about his legal case. And while Hill still faces two additional years of probation and community service, the fact that he was spared from jail was apparently the compelling factor in Miles' decision to reinstate him.
Miles did not offer further details on the nature of the internal team discipline Hill faces. Could it include a suspension to begin the season? That appears to be what some clout-bearing LSU officials would favor:
The Tigers open the season with three consecutive non-conference games against Texas Christian, UAB and Kent State.
Hill led LSU in rushing last season as a freshman with 755 yards and 12 touchdowns. Miles indicated Hill looked rusty at practice and would not be installed as a starter immediately. Instead, Alfred Blue is working with the first team as the Tigers begin fall camp.