Let LSU tell it and former cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is a talented, but undisciplined, athlete whose inability to lay off the ganja led to a squandered education and cost him some serious scratch in this upcoming ‘13 NFL draft.
While LSU led everyone in the “let’s shake our heads at the idiot who chose getting high over getting hired” parade, Jarrett Bell of USA Today reports that, during NFL pre-draft interviews, the “Honey Badger” told one team he failed at least 10 drug tests in school.
“I quit counting at 10,” Mathieu told one team, according to an assistant coach that spoke to Bell on condition of anonymity. “I really don't know.”
Where was LSU HC Les Miles’ strong and nurturing hand throughout this entire debacle? Doesn’t he fancy himself a leader of young men?
In fact, when Mathieu and three other former Tigers were arrested in October of ‘12 on varying drug charges , Miles totally distanced himself from any affiliation with his fallen star.
"They all understand that's not a part of our program ,” is what Miles said he told his current Tigers team at the time of the bust.
But, just a year prior, Miles was probably kicking that Sister Sledge, “We are Family,” when Mathieu was helping LSU win an SEC Championship, banging helmets, ripping picks and streak-sixing on special teams.
If Mathieu’s admission is true, then, once again, this is NCAA student-exploitation in full effect.
The coaches and administrators, who failed to immediately address Mathieu’s dependency, should be subject to the same ridicule and scrutiny. Isn’t it a coach and university’s job to also protect the mental and social well-being of the scholarship-athlete?
It’s not like Mathieu was busting up in houses and robbing crystal meth labs. He had a medical problem that needed attention, not enabling.
LSU kind of used up the football life they could get out of the troubled star and then washed its hands of him.
Mathieu’s dismissal from the team in August ‘12 and the short stint in a Houston treatment facility came too late. Miles got his, but Mathieu got hosed.
If Mathieu has to travel around convincing teams that his long history of puffin Ls is behind him, then Miles should have to answer some tough questions as to why this kid was being allowed to play and practice despite failing numerous drug tests. Something doesn’t add up.
In any event, Mathieu’s comments about his excessive drug abuse while at LSU shows an unwillingness to take all the blame for a system that used him to enhance their athletic coffers then left him alone on the field of life.