LSU Honors the Greats
Athletic Director Joe Alleva announced that LSU will retire the jersey of football great Tommy Cassanova. Cassanova is the only three-time All American in LSU football history. If you've heard about guys that have gone both ways on the field, Cassanova went three ways: offense, defense, and special teams as a returner.
Primarily known for his skills as a defensive back, Cassanova spent six years in the NFL with the Bengals. His jersey will be retired but his No. 37 will not so players in the future can still don that number. Billy Cannon's No. 20 remains the only retired number on the football squad.
Along with Cassanova in football, LSU also retired the jerseys of Rudy Macklin in basketball and pitcher Ben McDonald in baseball. Besides Cannon, the only other LSU numbers retired and therefore not to be worn by present or future student athletes are Skip Bertman's No. 15 in baseball and a trio of basketball players: Bob Petit's No. 50, Pete Maravich's No. 23, and Shaquille O'Neal's No. 33.
Linebacker Shomari Clemons is leaving the Tiger football team as announced by the LSU Athletic Department late last week. Official reasons were not given, but Clemons is expecting to transfer due to being buried on the depth chart.
Clemons signed in 2006 originally but did not academically qualify. He then officially signed in with the freshman class of 2007 after qualifying.
Clemons was suspended from the team in spring 2008 over a misdemeanor charge in which he had a run-in with a police officer.
Kelvin Sheppard, Ryan Baker, Harry Coleman, Jacob Cutrera, Kevin Minter, Ace Foyil, and Perry Riley are all competing for time at linebacker. Also in the mix are incoming freshman Tahj Jones, Lamin Barrow, and the awesomely moniker-ed Barkevious Mingo.
The Economy Affects All...
LSU might be looking to add to the number of in-state universities it trounces on the football field. Associate Athletic Director Verge Ausberry told Gannett News that LSU might be looking at McNeese State to fill a vacancy in 2011 or 2012. The FCS power has played at North Carolina, Miami, and Nebraska in the last decade.
However, with budget cuts coming through the state (including its universities), LSU's athletic department may have to cut some corners including not paying as much for cupcake slots on the schedule as it once did. LSU pays Tulane $850,000 for their trip to Tiger Stadium this year. The school's payout to a school like McNeese, which is based in Lake Charles, La., would be less than half of that.
This probably won't be welcome news to fans, who'd rather see Florida States and Notre Dames on the schedule over inferior schools, in-state or otherwise.