LSU and Texas are not in the same conference, but they’re big rivals and competitors when it comes to football recruiting. As of now, the two schools have the third and fourth-best football recruiting classes respectively in the country, according to ESPN.
But the Longhorns don’t want to be fourth and they definitely don’t want to be behind the Tigers. Texas was hoping to improve its recruiting by taking its show on the road this Thursday, just west of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Longhorns were scheduled to work a camp in Hammond, Louisiana about 45 miles west of Baton Rouge that would have been hosted by Belhaven University, a Division III school in Mississippi.
Then, LSU happened.
Update: Camp in Hammond, La., featuring Texas has been cancelled due to LSU pressure. Hal Mumme unhappy w/Orgeron. Costs Belhaven $5,000. https://t.co/siMNwWVwqj
— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) June 14, 2017
The camp was nearly canceled earlier Tuesday as well. Before it was officially canceled, Belhaven had to move the camp to Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Hammond after BREC Memorial Stadium, which is actually in Baton Rouge, pulled out.
BREC withdrew from the original agreement due to political pressure according to Sports Illustrated. That’s three would-be camps for Texas in Louisiana, and three times the Tigers have successfully kicked the Longhorns out of their state.
Mike Roach is a local high school coach who originally was involved in helping set up the camp, only to later pull out.
“We’re in LSU’s backyard,” Roach, whose son plays Texas, said. “Louisiana home cooking may have played a part in it.”
Roach wouldn’t detail to SI what LSU possibly did to get the camp moved out of Baton Rouge to begin with. SI did learn, however, that the original agreement had Belhaven paying $500 for the use of the stadium, only to then lose the deal when an assistant superintendent in Baton Rouge found a loophole in the paperwork to force the camp out of town.
The first two camps Texas planned on taking part in were supposed to be at Louisiana College and Southeastern Louisiana. This incident with BREC and the move to Hammond was the third.
“But it’s only a day away now. I don’t think there’s a lot they can do. The only thing that can kill it is if it rains,” Belhaven coach and former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme said before the event was canned for good late Thursday night.
Texas head coach Tom Herman turned down a job as a coach at LSU, which apparently frustrated LSU’s athletic department according to Sports Illustrated. While that doesn’t necessarily have to do with the situation for Texas in Louisiana, it could play a factor. Local coaches who enjoy hosting big schools to bring attention to their smaller programs have been frustrated with how LSU has possibly been behind getting camps affiliated with Texas, Arkansas, and Houston moved or canceled.
The camp on Thursday was scheduled to include coaches from Texas, Houston, Cornell, and Belhaven.
“If you are the head coach at LSU, you should want the other kids in your state to have an opportunity,” Mumme said before the final cancellation. “Ed (Orgeron) needs to think about those kids that aren’t going to get a scholarship to LSU. I’ve been in the SEC as the coach of the (flagship) university of the state. You have show respect to those other kids as well.”