Scott Rabalais: On a new PMAC, Harold Perkins’ inside moves and ham-handed scheduling

Brian Kelly explains why LSU is moving Harold Perkins back to inside linebacker
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Notes on Leap Day 2024 and the whiteboard in my home office telling me its 148 days till the Paris Olympics.

I need to start packing. I can never decide what to wear …

… Concrete is still a long way from being poured for a new LSU sports arena, but at least there is concrete talk about it. Talk that is taking place between the school and city parish government.

Where a new venue would be built, whether the existing Pete Maravich Assembly Center also would remain or be razed and when said new venue could be ready for play/concerts/boat shows/a giant bridge tournament is still unknown. But at least we know the goal is to build something new instead of renovating the 52-year-old PMAC.

It’s high time. Frankly, it’s past time. The PMAC is looking old and tired, from cracks in the ramps leading into the arena to the peeling ceiling. And the ability to add premium seating is fairly nonexistent.

The indication is that this will be a sports/entertainment venue designed to attract the kind of big-name acts that once performed at the PMAC. Legends such as Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Garth Brooks, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Tina Turner have put on a show, to name a few.

LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey has been a big proponent for more than a year now of a new arena, and certainly the success of her program has contributed to the urgency of the project.

Mulkey said it’s her understanding that it will be on campus, and I hope that’s the case. She also said she hopes it will be a basketball-only venue, but I don’t think that’s realistic. For everyone to get what they want — which is something new — this will have to be a flexible, multipurpose facility. And I’m sure Mulkey realizes that.

How long will it take? Who can say. I do know in researching a book on Tiger Stadium’s 100th anniversary, I came across an aerial photo of the stadium from 1966. The site of the PMAC was an open field, but six years later the arena was there.

Could something be built by 2030? Probably not, but it’s worth a shot.

… My colleague, our talented LSU football writer Wilson Alexander, was much in demand on the Tuesday talk shows after breaking the news that Brian Kelly plans to move Harold Perkins back to inside linebacker this season.

Perkins switch from “Mr. Outside” to “Mr. Inside” in 2023 was a failure, but Kelly indicated that he believes it was mostly a failure to communicate. A failure of former defensive coordinator Matt House (who coached linebackers) to get Perkins, et al, to play the position properly.

I have my reservations about Perkins playing inside again. The move last season robbed him of much of his play-wrecking instincts, and he wasn’t good against the run. That said, Kelly has been doing this for a long time. If 300-plus career victories on a College Football Hall of Fame resume tells him this will be better for Perkins and for the defense in the long run, the decision has to be given the benefit of the doubt.

Like last season in Orlando against Florida State, we’re sure to find out quickly in the season opener — Sept. 1 in Las Vegas against Southern California — whether ILB Harold Perkins 2.0 is a success or not. Judgment will be swift.

… I have not understood scheduling as it relates to LSU athletics this academic year. Football’s season finale against Texas A&M kicked off at 11 a.m. because of ESPN, a hardly proper send-off for Heisman winner Jayden Daniels and the rest of LSU seniors. Gymnastics has its biggest home meet of the season at 5 p.m. Friday against Alabama, a time that has coach Jay Clark worried will cut into the program’s typically full-house attendance. And for women’s basketball, Tennessee was the fourth team the Tigers faced this season that was coming off a bye week. Plus the fact that the LSU-South Carolina game was shoved to a Thursday night this season when it was a big Super Bowl Sunday ratings winner in 2023.

I’m not saying LSU is being picked on. But there does need to be more care and attention paid to scheduling and rescheduling on the part of the SEC and its affiliated networks.

… So Jon “Latest Golf Mercenary” Rahm is hurt that Tiger Woods hasn’t returned his texts that explain his defection to LIV Golf after declaring his “fealty” to the PGA Tour last year.

What’s to explain, Jon? You took the $500 million. You sold out. Tiger doesn’t need to talk to you to know this. And you’ve got so much money you should be able to afford not to care if Tiger ghosts you or not.

Take some of your LIV money and pay someone to tell your story. Tiger apparently has other things to do.


About Mary Weyand 12322 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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