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LSU Football Approaching Spring Ball Business As Usual For the Time Being

Administration will begin talks Friday about the future of 2020 spring camp
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LSU coach Ed Orgeron stood in front of about 100 high school coaches Thursday evening as the program held its annual coaches clinic. The event could mark the final time Orgeron speaks in a public setting for quite some time.

Yet that wasn't on the minds of really anyone inside Tiger Stadium as defensive coordinator Bo Pelini went through different defensive packages or as the rest of the staff broke into individual groups to give the high school coaches a little more one-on-one attention. It was business as usual Thursday evening but the question that remains is for how long.

The NCAA's decision to cancel all remaining winter and spring sports championships due to the outbreaks of the COVID-19 outbreak sent shockwaves through the sports world that has started to trickle down into spring football. The SEC announced that since spring ball isn't an athletic event, it would be up to the schools to determine scheduling and media presence allowed at those practices. 

LSU football canceled its scheduled media availability for practice and player interviews Thursday and its media scheduled practice on Saturday as well. An LSU team official said talks about what to do for the remainder of spring will begin on Friday with decisions to be made in the coming days or even weeks.

It's also being reported by Brody Miller of the Athletic that a number of players are unsettled by the idea of continuing to practice. In a year of so much roster turnover and new coaches, a hiatus for spring ball would be a crushing blow for the defending national champs.

Yet with all the uncertainty, all of the questions, Thursday night Orgeron reminisced in front of a packed room of high school coaches looking for guidance on how to best run their programs.

"You could be anywhere in the world and you come in here to learn and get better and I'm proud of that," Orgeron said. 

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Orgeron talked a bit about the 2019 national championship team and all that goes into winning at the highest level, on the largest stage. It was two simple words that Orgeron repeated over and over again but seemed to strike a chord throughout the room.

"Want to," Orgeron said. "They wanted to man, it came from them."

There's a story that Orgeron likes to tell about when he first thought that 2019 team could be special. It was a Saturday morning last spring and Orgeron was hosting a number of recruits for a visit when he got a call from Sharon Lewis, the football team's associate athletic director.

"She says coach, we know you can't go watch the players practice on a Saturday but can the recruits go," Lewis asked Orgeron.

"Well sure but there ain't no practice this morning, it's Saturday morning," Orgeron responded. "She says 'coach, your whole team volunteered to practice at 9 a.m. in the morning and everybody showed up and practiced from 9-11. That's want to."

Being such a heavy recruiter in Louisiana, Orgeron took the time to thank the coaches in attendance for building up and handing their high school athletes off to LSU for what's the next step in their football careers.

"I appreciate you developing these young men and sending them to LSU," Orgeron said. "Recruiting is the life blood of our program and every one of you, thank you for what you're doing for these young men."

So while questions will remain in the coming days and weeks just what the football program plans to do about the coronavirus epidemic, it seems, at least for the time being, the Tigers will be taking the field.