Tigers’ football program suffering image problem following offseason arrests
On Monday LSU head coach Les Miles parted ways with redshirt defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao following a June 18 arrest.
Per reports, Lealaimatafao was with a group of men who got into an altercation with a man outside of Reggie’s Bar in the Tigerland district on Tuesday, June 16. After the unidentified man was knocked unconscious Lealaimatafao allegedly went through the man’s pockets robbing him. The victim’s girlfriend asked the 6-foot-3, 300-pound football player to stop. Lealaimatafao then punched the woman knocking her to the ground.
The June 18 arrest was the third incident for the San Antonio native since arriving on the LSU campus as part of the 2014 recruiting class. His previous run-ins included being arrested for stealing a bicycle near the LSU library and then missing much of the 2014 season after punching out a window at the team’s indoor practice facility, suffering a bad arm injury.
When Lealaimatafao voluntarily turned himself into the police following his most recent arrest, Coach Miles immediately suspended the former Warren High School standout indefinitely. On Monday Miles gave a reason for the dismissal stating, “(We) gathered more information and feel it’s best for us to part ways.”
The LSU football team is now suffering from an image problem in the offseason after five players have been arrested for various incidents. The same week of Lealaimatafao’s arrest Maquedius Bain, Dwayne Thomas and 2014 starting quarterback Anthony Jennings were arrested on unlawful entry charges after stealing goods from an apartment thought belonged to Jennings.
In a more disturbing incident, offensive lineman Jevonte Domond was arrested on charges of felony domestic violence abuse battery with strangulation after an incident with his fiancÃ©e. Per the report Domond allegedly grabbed his fiancÃ©e by the neck from behind as she was leaning over their newborn baby’s crib. She claims she was on the verge of losing consciousness and almost blacked out before he dropped her. She sprayed him with pepper spray in an attempt to protect herself.
The Arizona Glendale Community College transfer then picked her up and slammed her on their couch. He bit her on the hip and she sprayed him a second time with pepper spray.
Domond was promptly arrested and held at the East Baton Rouge Parish jail when the incident occurred on May 25.
Per the report the 6-foot-6, 310-pound reserve lineman refuted the claims of strangulation and biting but did admit to throwing her on the couch to get her to stop pepper spraying him. Domond also claimed his fiancÃ©e had pulled a kitchen knife on him earlier in the day. The victim admitted to pulling the knife but claimed it was in self defense.
When Domond was arrested Miles suspended him from the team stating, “It’s a crime that we cannot condone and behavior that we will not tolerate.”
— Written by Ryan Wright, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and an established media professional with more than two decades' worth of experience. Over the years, Wright has written for numerous sites and publications and he recently started his own recruiting site, www.recruitingnewsguru.com. Follow him on Twitter @HogManinLA.