Coach O’s Absolutely Chaotic Behavior On and Off the Field Led to His Departure from LSU – Opinion

If you’re a writer in Louisiana, you’re obligated by state law to have an opinion on the drama unfolding around the antics and departure of one of America’s favorite coaches, Ed Orgeron of LSU.

The deep, gravelly, Cajun voice behind the familiar “Geaux Tiguhs” will be leaving Louisiana’s flagship university at the end of this season, it was announced on Sunday. By Sunday morning, we had an obligatory Deadspin piece decrying the move as far too late and focused on the wrong thing – wins and losses rather than the problematic nature of Orgeron’s management.

Except… that doesn’t appear to be the case at all. Orgeron’s management style appears to be at the center of LSU’s decision to let him go, and you can bet that, despite not mentioning it, the Title IX lawsuit against the program is at the center of it. How do I know that’s a sure bet? Because cooperating with the investigation is part of Orgeron’s release terms.

According to all reports, Orgeron was the winner of the lottery in terms players and coaches. He led the Tigers, thanks to Joe Burrow as quarterback and Joe Brady as assistant coach, to the National Championship. And despite threats of arrests over cigars of all things, that flash-in-the-pan moment made Orgeron a hero in the state of Louisiana – which, admittedly, is at times a low bar – and combined with a divorce around the same time meant he was single and popular.

Orgeron, who is insanely popular but was also newly single, apparently played a completely different sport when he wasn’t coaching his primary team. A viral picture of Orgeron in bed with a young lady was leaked, but this was just the beginning.

Take a look at The Athletic, a detailed report on Orgeron’s behavior surfaced almost as quickly as the reports that he and the university were parting ways. Some details of Orgeron’s behavior are insane, to put it another way. His girlfriends would come along to help him practice and let the kids participate in drills. A married, pregnant woman was also a target of his attention at the gas station. The fact that she was pregnant and married didn’t bother him, as evidenced by the fact that he replied “Why does that matter?” to her.

This woman was, in fact, the wife of an LSU board member. We made a mistake.

Coach O’s behavior was indeed problematic. Deadspin or anyone else would be foolish to claim that this is just about wins, as almost every other story after O’s departure is about everything except wins. It’s clear that his management style, especially after that great National Championship season, wasn’t good.

It is likely that many of these stories have been circulated by LSU staff to the media in an effort to justify their decision to let him go. They are smart enough to let him complete the season so the team isn’t thrown into absolute chaos (again), but it’s clear they’ve had a lot of reasons for a while now to go ahead and end the Orgeron era of LSU football.

It’s also worth pointing out that Orgeron was hired during a previous administration at LSU. Both the President and the Athletic Director who chose him are no longer in those roles, and neither of them was stellar at picking people to head up the university’s athletic programs. That’s not to say that Orgeron was a bad pick, per se. He did an excellent job at the time. But in recent seasons, it hasn’t been the same program, and people are noticing that, outside of the win over Florida this past weekend, LSU players simply don’t look like they are giving their all.

Maybe it’s a result of Orgeron’s management style, or maybe it’s something else, but the quality of the product on the field was not what it once was, and it can be traced back to that chaotic management style under Orgeron since he won the National Championship.

I would not expect LSU to come out and say “Yeah, we let him go because of the Title IX stuff” because that would be legally insane. But Orgeron gave the university that and a host of other reasons as to why he shouldn’t be in charge anymore. And they’re going to start fresh.

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