From day one of being named LSU’s head football coach, Ed Orgeron has talked about protecting the state of Louisiana from foreign intruders.
Not Somali pirates. Apparently, the Texases and the TCUs.
Orgeron and LSU were accused of using their considerable in-state clout to help cancel a football camp in Hammond, La., that was scheduled to be manned Thursday by, among others, Tom Herman’s Texas staff.
The organizer of the camp, Hal Mumme, head coach at Division III Belhaven University in Jackson, Miss., took to the web site of Sports Illustrated and an Alabama radio station Thursday to single out Orgeron, calling him “Paranoid Ed.”
“It was pressure from ‘Paranoid Ed’ down there at LSU,” Mumme told Birmingham radio station 99.1 The Game. “He doesn’t want any out-of-state people coming to his state to have camps.
“Apparently, nobody else in America is allowed to recruit kids in Louisiana. It’s kind of sad.”
It’s not so sad in Louisiana, of course, despite pompous babble from Mumme about “limiting opportunities for kids” – a virtual impossibility these days with internet scouting services, Hudl and YouTube. In recent years – since, oh, 1950 or so – high school coaches also have been known to telephone college coaches when their teams have a player they think someone should see.
In Louisiana, the reaction has mostly been to hail Orgeron for attempting to protect the state’s football borders.
LSU hasn’t done anything illegal in putting the squeeze on camps that invited out-of-state recruiting rivals to take part. So-called satellite camps, however, remain a Jim Harbaugh-induced headache for the NCAA, as coaches continue to exploit loop holes.
From a national perspective, LSU comes away looking cheesy for thwarting the Mumme camp. And Herman and Texas get cheese on their faces for using a Division III school to get around the satellite camp rules.
But if you really want to see cheesy, consider the case of Willie Allen, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive lineman who has announced he wants to transfer from LSU.
Allen’s choice? TCU, a request that LSU promptly denied, according to multiple sources between Baton Rouge and Stadium Drive in Fort Worth. A source said that an LSU appeals committee ruled Thursday that Allen would be released from his scholarship, provided he transfers anywhere but to a Southeastern Conference school or TCU.
The Horned Frogs should be flattered. This is A-list company, though TCU coach Gary Patterson says he doesn’t quite understand what the fuss is about.
Let me give Gary two reasons: Orgeron’s pledge to shut down Louisiana to out-of-state recruiters . . . and 2018 four-star quarterback Justin Rogers of Bossier City, La., who has committed to TCU.
The Frogs have received commitments from recruits LSU has wanted in the past, but the Tigers have usually found a way to shrug away the recruiting loss. But by all reports, LSU really wanted Rogers, who was roundly considered the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the state.
In truth, LSU was late to the party on Rogers, and TCU offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie already had an established relationship with him well before Orgeron and his new coordinator even had Rogers’ proper cell phone number.
Thus, Allen’s request to also come to Fort Worth was not fondly received in Baton Rouge.
Allen was redshirted as a freshman last season and failed to move up on the LSU depth chart following spring practices.
The irony is that as Mumme and Herman were being chased out of Louisiana this week and as LSU was denying Allen’s appeal, the TCU football staff was in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, working at a camp hosted by Southern University. Several Louisiana schools – Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State, among them – joined the Frogs coaches at the camp.
Border patrol apparently wasn’t asked to storm in and shut down the Jaguars camp. And TCU coaches returned safely.
I’m betting they will be back.
Gil LeBreton: @gilebreton