LSU assistant coach arrested for helping agent

BATON ROUGE, La. -- An assistant strength coach for LSU was arrested and accused of violating state law by inviting student-athletes to his home to meet a sports agent and suggesting the agent should represent the athletes, LSU police said Tuesday.

Travelle Ernest Gaines, 26, of Port Allen, surrendered to university police and was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish prison, the university said in a statement.

It was the second arrest in two weeks connected to the school about violations of the law regulating sports agents in Louisiana, the university said. Gaines had been employed with the athletic department since July.

LSU said the student-athletes invited to Gaines' home didn't realize an agent would be there, and the university said there was no evidence that the student-athletes violated the law.

University police arrested sports agent Charles Taplin of Houston earlier this month for attempting to contact student-athletes.

LSU said interviews with several student-athletes after Taplin's arrest led them to Gaines, but university spokeswoman Kristine Calongne said there was no direct link between the two cases.

University police arrested sports agent Charles Taplin, of Houston, earlier this month for attempting to contact student-athletes. LSU said notes and a cell phone gathered during Taplin's arrest, combined with interviews with several student-athletes, pointed to Gaines as assisting Taplin.

"At LSU, we will not tolerate this predatory behavior, and in particular we will not abide those who seek to infiltrate our athletic department. Our student-athletes and coaches provided authorities with the information they needed to make this arrest,"
LSU chancellor Sean O'Keefe said in a statement released by the school.

LSU athletic director Skip Bertman said he was pleased university police acted on the information so quickly.