We might as well talk about it just to get it out there, so no one can accuse us of trying to sweep this under the rug: La'El Collins is leaving the NFL draft to interview with police investigators concerning the murder of a 29-year-old pregnant woman in Baton Rouge.
The details of the fatal shooting are too horrifying to even contemplate. According to Ben Wallace's article in The Advocate, Collins is not a suspect and he is just one of many people the police wish to interview.
He is a known associate of the victim, and it appears from the lack of forced entry that Brittney Mills may have known her assailant. It is entirely appropriate for the police to look into any and all leads, no matter how inconvenient the timing is for Collins. This clearly is far more important.
Collins has hired a private investigator to verify his whereabouts on Friday night, which is also a proper course of action. It's a lot stronger to not just say where you were, but to go out and prove it. Collins hiring an investigator doesn't really mean anything other than he is trying to put this story behind him as quickly as possible.
It is beyond crass to speculate on how this affects Collins' draft stock. I'm sure it will in some way, but the police have far more important things to concern themselves with that the employment prospects of a former LSU football player.
Collins was a team leader and I can't ever remember there ever being the hint of trouble from him during his time on the team. If he is involved in this horrific crime, it would be a true shock. Well, you never expect any of your players to be involved in a homicide, but Collins was never a guy who found trouble off the field. This would be completely out of the blue.
It is important to note that none of us know any of the facts aside from the bare minimum released to the press. What we know now is that Collins is not currently a suspect, he is voluntarily going to speak with police, and he has hired a private investigator. That's pretty much it.
I hope he clears his name, and that he had nothing to do with this. This is one of the single most awful stories related to the LSU football team I can remember. Back to silly stuff tomorrow.
April 30 Edit: Well, I guess not. Jay Glazer of FOX Sports has today's scoop:
Scoopage: Agent for LSU's La'el Collins trying to pull him from this draft allowing him time to clear his name then enter Supplemental Draft— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 30, 2015
NFL's call if Collins can get pulled from this draft— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 30, 2015
UPDATE: May 1
Welp, six offensive linemen were selected in last night's NFL first round, but none of them were named La'el Collins. I find it hard to believe he doesn't get picked somewhere, but he's going to keep falling while this situation is up in the air.