Ed Orgeron couldn’t keep his job even if No. 20 Florida lost. Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated said that LSU later confirmed that the Tigers’ sixth-year coach had reached a separation agreement with the school. This means his time there is over, just two years after one of the best college football teams ever went 15-0.
After a 4-3 start to the year, coach O will keep coaching the team through the 2021 season. The move makes sense because it gives the team some stability while the school looks for a new coach, which is likely to be a high-profile process.
The move is a bit surprising since Orgeron’s team won the national championship in 2019 and it hasn’t even been two years since then. There is. However, a history of coaches leaving after winning championships: Gene Chizik was fired from Auburn after a 3-9 season in 2012. This was two years after he led the Tigers to a BCS title.
Even so, reports say that the move isn’t unilateral and that Orgeron and LSU came to an agreement before Saturday’s game against Florida. So, here’s how Sporting News explains Orgeron’s split with the Tigers, what’s next for them, and what it means for his contract:
Why Did Coach O Leave LSU?
Orgeron has not been fired by LSU. The two people have decided to go their separate ways. But this agreement didn’t just happen out of the blue. After its 2019 championship season, LSU had a terrible 5-5 record because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tigers haven’t done much better in 2021. They started 3-3 before beating the Gators in Baton Rouge in a big surprise. At the time, people thought it would let Orgeron keep his job for at least another week. However, the news on Sunday disproves that idea. Since 2019, the Tigers have been 9-8.
Orgeron seemed to say in a statement that he did not live up to expectations:
Dellenger says that the agreement is a result of Orgeron and the administration’s “public and private behavior,” “distrust,” and “outbursts,” which have caused their relationship to be strained.
A Letter from Ed Orgeron pic.twitter.com/eDzbLgBb5V
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 17, 2021
Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports gave more information about the situation by saying that coaches and players no longer wanted to follow Orgeron’s lead:
The Athletic also thoroughly investigated the situation at LSU and said that the school’s decision to fire Orgeron was due to some problems. A source close to the situation says that after his team won the 2019 championship, Orgeron “lost track of who he was.” He is also said to have become a distraction after getting a divorce from his 23-year-old wife, Kelly. For example, photos of Orgeron in bed with a woman went viral in 2020. According to The Athletic, there were no moral problems with his single life, but it did keep him from preparing for games.
A source familiar with the situation at LSU: “It’s one of those things where no one wanted to be there anymore. The players didn’t want to play for him, the coaches didn’t want to coach for him.”
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) October 17, 2021
The Athlete writes Orgeron also tried to get close to a woman at a gas station, but she told him she was married and expecting a child. Then he asked, “Why is that important?” The woman ended up being married to a top official at LSU.
A high-profile Title IX investigation into the LSU program, in which Orgeron was reportedly told that former running back Derrius Guice sexually assaulted a 74-year-old woman and did nothing about it, was another reason for the decision. Orgeron’s support for former President Donald Trump, which his black players thought was based on racist ideas and theories, was a big reason for losing his team. So did the fact that he didn’t back players’ protests against racial inequality and injustice before the 2020 season started.
The football team’s lack of success, made worse by Orgeron’s admission that he didn’t formally interview defensive coordinator Bo Pelini or offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, made it impossible for LSU athletic director Scott Woodward, who did not hire Orgeron and had no loyalty to him, to look past the off-field problems.
Why does Ed Orgeron Will Still Coach Tigers?
Even though Orgeron has made mistakes on and off the field, he has still put together what looks like one of the best teams in the country. LSU probably let him stay on for the rest of the season because of that and the fact that he won a national championship two years ago. The Tigers are only two wins away from being able to play in a bowl game. They are currently 4-3, but their last five games are against ranked teams Ole Miss, Alabama and Texas A&M. Arkansas might also be able to get back into the top 25.
Negotiations began last week before UF win.
It’s unprecedented in the sport – coach & school divorcing 21 months after winning it all.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) October 17, 2021
There’s also a practical reason to let Orgeron finish out his time in Baton Rouge: it gives stability to a program that would otherwise be in flux while the school looks for a new coach. If the Tigers want to keep the 2022 players who have already committed to them, they will need to do well this season. 247Sports’ Composite rankings put LSU’s class at nine in the country and third in the SEC.
A Letter from Scott Woodward, LSU's Director of Athletics pic.twitter.com/eVGmqqIRbK
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 17, 2021
In his statement, Woodward also talked about the effect letting Orgeron stay until the end of the year would have on recruiting:
Ed Orgeron contract
The Athletic said on Sunday that Orgeron should get all his buyout money at the end of the season. Dellenger confirmed that report by saying that an LSU official said the coach’s contract would be ended without cause and that the school would pay a $16.95 million buyout in 18 payments.
Orgeron got a six-year, $42 million contract extension on January 24, 2020. It paid him an average of $7 million a year. The move happened 11 days after LSU beat Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship game in 2020.
Stay tuned for more updates, Nog Magazine.