LSU athletic director Joe Alleva released a statement Wednesday afternoon aimed at addressing rumors and media questions about the eligibility of quarterback Jarrett Lee for the rest of the Tigers’ games this season.
Alleva’s statement does not mention Lee in particular but is general in nature:
“Despite media and message board speculation, no LSU student-athletes have been declared ineligible for post-season competition,” Alleva says in the statement. “The current semester is not complete and finals are still ahead, so it is grossly unfair to our student-athletes and it is both premature and irresponsible to speculate on the final grades and postseason eligibility of our student-athletes.”
Speculation about Lee has centered on whether or not he would be ineligible for LSU’s bowl game or appearance in the BCS National Championship Game.
LSU coach Les Miles was asked specifically about Lee’s academic status Monday during a news conference but skated around the issue. Miles later said he expects Lee to play a vital role in the Tigers’ final two games.
Asked again after Wednesday’s practice, Miles downplayed the academic issue.
“Ever since I’ve been here guys are in differing positions academically as we go into the end of the season,” he said. “Very much like I was. You know what? Guys rebound and they make it.
“Look back. How many guys have not been with us in a bowl game? Whoever reported it, in my opinion, didn’t do any real investigative work. What was said could have been said every year that I’ve been here.”
Asked if he has any greater academic concern about a key player or players, Miles said: “It’s pretty much normal.”
Lee started LSU’s first nine games but has seen markedly less playing time since the Nov. 5 Alabama game as Jordan Jefferson has gotten the last three starts. Lee has not spoken to the media since before the Alabama game.