On Feb. 1, LSU made national headlines with a strong close to the 2017 football recruiting class. USA TODAY’s composite team recruiting rankings had the Tigers’ class as (tied for) the seventh best in the nation. It was an impressive feat for new Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron and his recruiting staff.
On Feb. 2, Orgeron unceremoniously reassigned running backs coach Jabbar Juluke to another part of the athletic department. In addition to coaching the team’s running backs, Juluke was also the primary recruiter for the entire metro New Orleans area.
That reassignment — which precipitated the departure of Juluke to Texas Tech — didn’t go over well with African American high school football coaches in Juluke’s former area, with SEC Country reporting that New Orleans coaches plan to meet on Thursday to discuss how to respond to Juluke’s treatment, with a boycott of the LSU football program allegedly high up the agenda.
Yet in the hours after SEC Country’s story first came to light, officials from Landry-Walker (which had two top prospects commit to Kansas over the weekend) reached out to the news outlet to alert they would not take part in the meeting. Then two other New Orleans coaches spoke to the city’s ABC affiliate WGNO, to insist that not only would there not be a boycott of the Tigers, but that Juluke’s departure from the program is not even the primary subject of the scheduled meeting.
“There is no boycott of LSU,” St. James high school coach Robert Valdez, a teammate of Juluke’s at Southern University, told WGNO. “I did talk to coach Orgeron and expressed my concerns. We had a great conversation.”
Where does that leave the potential boycott, and LSU recruiting New Orleans athletes in general? That’s a subject that is very much to be determined, and dependent on which group of coaches you may choose to believe, assuming you trust SEC Country’s reporting.