Attorney for four football players seeks more time
Four LSU football players reportedly involved in a bar fight Friday will not meet with police investigators until at least Tuesday morning, police spokesman Sgt. Donald Stone said Sunday.
A meeting had been scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday at Police Department headquarters, Stone said.
The players are senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson, freshman wide receiver Jarvis Landry, sophomore offensive tackle Chris Davenport and sophomore linebacker Josh Johns, Stone said.
Baton Rouge attorney Nathan Fisher,who is representing the four players, said Sunday he requested more time to review the details of the case before his clients meet with investigators. He said the police interviews should happen by the end of the week.
Fisher, who said he was not hired by LSU and routinely represents college students for free, met with the players for the first time Sunday morning and the meetings continued most of the day.
Fisher described the men as “upset, disturbed and obviously concerned.”
“This can affect their futures, their job opportunities and school opportunities,” he said. “It’s not just about football.”
Stone said police asked the four players to come in for interviews after witnesses reported the men were involved in a fight outside of Shady’s bar, 623 E. Boyd Drive, at 1:30 a.m. Friday.
Stone said the fight started when a man in a truck blew the horn to try to clear a crowd in the bar’s parking lot.
The situation escalated to a fight and four men, none of whom are members of the LSU football team, had to be treated at a hospital for minor injuries, police have said.
Stone emphasized the four LSU football players are coming in only for an interview and are not surrendering to be arrested.
Stone has said that arrests are possible, with one person involved in the fight likely to be booked with second-degree battery, a felony offense that carries a five-year prison sentence upon conviction.
Late Sunday, Michael P. Bienvenu, an attorney for some of the people reportedly involved in the fight, released the following statement:
“My clients have been interviewed at length, complied with all requests by law enforcement, and have cooperated fully with the ongoing investigation into this matter. They will continue to do so.
“It is extremely unfortunate that the LSU players the police would like to interview have chosen not to cooperate at this time. It will only serve to delay getting to the truth regarding this matter,” Bienvenu’s statement read.
He did not name his clients.
Stone said the victims, who he did not name, will be pressing charges.
LSU head football coach Les Miles has said a “relatively large group” of football players went to Shady’s on Thursday night after being at their apartments for a 10:30 p.m. curfew.
It’s still unclear how many of those players were involved in the fight, Stone said.
Other members of the football team might be called in to talk with police as the investigation continues, Stone said.
During a Saturday afternoon news conference, an angry Miles and one of his players, senior offensive guard Josh Dworaczyk, issued apologies for the involvement of an unspecified number of Tiger football players in the fight.
Miles, surrounded by a group of team leaders Saturday, said he has already begun disciplining his players as a group over this incident by “running them.”
Miles said players could be disciplined by losing playing time, but declined to give a timetable on when the matter could be wrapped up.
“I want to find out more of what went on,” Miles said.
Despite his disappointment in his players, Miles said that “by and large,” he has enjoyed coaching this year’s team and enjoyed being around his players as people.
“As miserable as I am about this, as disappointed and as mad, I recognize I have a good group of men who understand the mistakes that were made,” Miles said.
“I suspect they will make the appropriate changes, and I will instruct them along those lines, I promise.”
Joe Alleva, LSU vice chancellor/director of athletics, who attended the news conference but did not address the media, released a statement afterward.
Aleva’s statement said:
“We will not tolerate student-athletes whose irresponsible actions tarnish the good name of a great university.
“LSU student-athletes are expected to behave with the understanding that they represent their school, their fellow students and the long history of this program, regardless of the time of day.
“Coach Miles has already begun taking disciplinary action. It is critical that we are deliberate in determining the facts surrounding this incident and as Coach Miles said, when the facts are clear, additional and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if necessary.”
LSU is ranked No. 4 in the preseason Associated Press top 25, which was released Saturday. The Tigers also were ranked No. 4 in the USA Today coaches’ poll released earlier this month. LSU opens the season Sept. 3 against Oregon at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.