LSU head coach Ed Orgeron dismissed running backs coach Jabbar Juluke the day after National Signing Day, and Louisiana high school coaches are not happy about it. In fact, several New Orleans high school football coaches are meeting Thursday night to discuss a potential boycott of LSU’s football program.
“I think first and foremost for people not in this area it’s hard to kind of digest because demotions and firings happen after National Signing Day every year across the SEC, across college football, but Jabbar Juluke is sort of a polarizing figure, especially here in New Orleans,” SECCountry.com writer Steve Spiegelman said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “He grew up in New Orleans. He prepped at St. Augustine, which is the alma mater of guys like Leonard Fournette and Tyrann Mathieu. He went to Southern University in Baton Rouge, and that’s where he created a lot of these relationships with these New Orleans-area coaches of today. He wound up returning to the high school ranks as a head football coach at Edna Carr, one of the most famous high schools in Louisiana. He won an undefeated state championship in 2012 and then he became an assistant on the Louisiana Tech staff. Les Miles hired him for the running backs position in place of Frank Wilson a year ago at this time. He was touted as a younger version of Frank Wilson, so he was a big deal for the New Orleans community.”
As evidence by the potential boycott, he still is.
“He had questions about his job security over the last several weeks,” Spiegelman said, “and as soon as National Signing Day was done, the New Orleans area coaches felt that LSU demoted him, kind of blindsided him with the demotion. They felt it was a little bit unfair considering the timing of it and the reasons why. Basically, the coaches in the city, they have such good relationships with Juluke and just didn’t appreciate that, basically one of their own getting treated in that fashion, and this is basically the result.”
A potential boycott would be bad for both sides; LSU could miss out on elite talent, while high school coaches want their players getting recruited by the best programs in America, especially an in-state powerhouse.
Is there precedent for this?
“Not that I can ever recall,” Spiegelman said. “I’ve been told stories about this happening in Chicago with basketball decades ago, but like you said, they want their kids to get recruited by SEC programs, most notably LSU. They use the term ‘boycott’ very specifically because they’re trying to send a message to LSU and to head coach Ed Orgeron, a message that I believe has been received in the last 48 hours. Whether the threat is going to happen or become true or it’s going to simply wash away with time by the end of this week after the meeting taking place (Thursday) night remains to be seen. But the message was certainly sent to LSU, and I think that’s really their main goal here.”