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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Change of the guard at LSU

About a month ago, I would have said Smoke Laval was safe for another year at LSU. The Tigers were making some progress. They looked like a lock for both the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

A month later, after the Tigers backed into the SEC Tournament and completely missed the NCAA Tournament, I thought it could go either way.

My thought for Laval staying was his close relationship with athletic director Skip Bertman.
My thought for Laval being fired was Bertman's close relationship with the Benjamins. Declining attendance means dwindling dollars and LSU needs as many dollars as it can get.

So Bertman didn't do the easy thing, he fired Laval and his staff.

Did Bertman do the right thing? History will tell.

LSU fired a successful football coach for not winning enough - Charlie McClendon. Then the Tigers went nearly two decades before Nick Saban brought them back to consistently winning. Is Laval the second coming of McClendon?

Doubtful? This is more like Gerry DiNardo, or even Curley Hallman.

Still, this is an important hire for Bertman. He booted his first one by picking Laval. He needs a home run this time.


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