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LSU Rocked by Arrest of Four Players Including Starting QB Anthony Jennings

Anthony Jennings

Anthony Jennings

LSU faithful received troubling news about their football program on Thursday night, following the arrest of four players. Defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao was arrested after an incident at a Baton Rouge bar on Tuesday night. Hours later Maquedius Bain, Dwayne Thomas, and 2014 starting quarterback Anthony Jennings were booked into a local prison on unlawful entry charges.

Per reports, Jennings filed a report to local police on June 10 that three pairs of shoes, a PlayStation 4 game system, and a MacBook Air laptop were stolen out of his apartment. Three days later, Bain retrieved the laptop for Jennings from a Nicholas Anderson. Anderson claimed he purchased the laptop for $150 on June 11 from an unidentified third party. Anderson was then arrested and charged with possession of stolen property.

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On June 12, Jennings confronted Anderson’s roommate asking about the stolen goods from his apartment. The unidentified roommate denied knowledge of the incident. After the initial confrontation Jennings, Bain and Thomas entered the apartment without permission to further interrogate Anderson’s roommate. After various threats including one by Bain and Thomas stating, “Not to wait until the situation got out of control,” the trio left but for a third time confronted the roommate when he left his West Campus apartment.

The incident came to a head later on June 12 when six to seven “large males” knocked on Anderson’s apartment door. The unidentified roommate answered the door with the men stating they were going to wait in the living room until Anderson returned. The roommate reportedly went into his bedroom then heard noise coming from Anderson’s bedroom. Thomas allegedly busted down Anderson’s locked bedroom door, gaining entrance and then leaving with three pairs of Air Jordan shoes worth $500 and a PlayStation 4 game system.

Reports have not been made clear if the shoes or the PlayStation 4 taken from Anderson’s room were the items stolen from Jennings’ room.

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On June 14, the incident was reported to the police with the unidentified roommate identifying the men in the incident via a photo lineup to the LSU Police Department. The LSU PD then issued an arrest warrant for the LSU players involved on a charge of unauthorized entry into a home. Thomas was given an additional charge of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling.

In Louisiana, the charge for unauthorized entry into a home carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $1,000 fine. Thomas could face a maximum sentence of seven years for the simple burglary charge.

Lealaimatafao also was arrested on Thursday after robbing a man and punching a woman in the parking lot of Reggie’s Bar in Tigerland. Per the Baton Rouge Police Department, Lealaimatafao and several other men beat a man unconscious, but the 6-foot-3, 300 pound, redshirt freshman then searched the beaten man’s pockets, robbing him. The girlfriend of the beaten man reportedly yelled at Lealaimatafao to stop what he was doing when he punched her, knocking her to the ground and then proceeded to go through the victim’s pockets. The Texas native was arrested on simple battery and attempted simple robbery charges. How the altercation was initiated has not been made clear.

The former Warren High School (San Antonio) star has had two other reported run-ins since joining the LSU program in 2014. He was arrested for stealing a bicycle near the LSU library and then missed much of the 2014 season after punching out a window at the team’s indoor practice facility, suffering an arm injury as a result.

Jennings, Thomas, Bain and Lealaimatafao have been suspended indefinitely per a statement head coach Les Miles released Thursday night. The statement read, “We have suspended these players. It has been our policy to suspend players who have been involved with legal issues. I have met with all three players involved extensively. We are still working with campus housing and the authorities to determine what exactly took place. This is an ongoing investigation and our players will cooperate fully.”

During the 2014 season, LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron split time under center with Jennings and true freshman Brandon Harris. Jennings started 13 games with Harris getting one start. However, neither player proved to be a reliable option on passing downs, especially in SEC action. As a sophomore, Jennings finished the season with a stat line of 1,611 yards passing, 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions, completing just 48.9 percent of his attempts. Harris dropped back to pass 45 times, recording 452 yards in the air with six touchdowns against two picks.

Bain, a 6-foot-4, 299 pound, sophomore from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was redshirted in 2013 but played in 10 games as a backup defensive tackle in 2014.

Thomas, a 6-foot, 182 pound, junior has been plagued with injury problems since arriving on campus from O. Perry Walker High School in New Orleans. As a true freshman in 2012, he played in four games before missing the remainder of the season due to injury, later granted a redshirt by the NCAA. In 2013, he played in 11 games missing two games due to injury. Thomas played in the first five games of 2014 before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Thomas was expected to be a key contributor in the Tigers' secondary in 2015.

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, Follow him on Twitter @HogManinLA.