Report: Mathieu kicked off LSU football team, failed drug test
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu has been kicked off the LSU football team by head coach Les Miles for violating team policies.
Miles held a news conference Friday afternoon in which he said he can't imagine Mathieu, a junior cornerback, will be in school and will likely transfer.
Now the scramble is on for FCS subdivision college football programs in Louisiana, who could add Heisman Trophy Finalist Tyrann Mathieu to their rosters, if he wants to play this season.
"This issue is bad for one guy. An adjustment needs to be made," Miles said. "I think this is a quality, quality guy that had some behavior issues. I really think this is a redirect that will benefit him greatly. This is an opportunity for him to improve and put self in better position in the future."
Sources tell 9Sports Mathieu was dismissed from the team because of a failed drug test. LSU would not comment on a specific reason.
The news conference was originally scheduled for 6:30 p.m., but was moved to make the major announcement.
Below is the official statement released from LSU:
Tyrann Mathieu has been dismissed from the LSU football team for violation of team policy, head coach Les Miles announced on Friday.
"This is a very difficult day for our team," Miles said. "We lose a quality person, teammate and contributor to the program. However, with that being said, we have a standard that our players are held to and when that standard is not met, there are consequences.
"It's hard because we all love Tyrann. We will do what we can as coaches, teammates, and friends to get him on a path where he can have success. We are going to miss him."
Mathieu, a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and the nation's top defensive player a year ago, played in 26 games for the Tigers during his two years, racking up 133 total tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss and four interceptions. He also forced 11 fumbles, which ranks first in school history and seventh in NCAA history, to go with eight fumble recoveries.
Mathieu scored four touchdowns for the Tigers, two on punt returns and two on fumble returns.
This year, Mathieu was named to the SI's first team as a defensive back and kick return specialist.
The Honey Badger also made preseason award lists, including the Walter Camp and Jim Thorpe Watch Lists.
Mathieu said this year he would stop all social media "cold turkey" when the season started.
"I respect Coach, and whatever decision he makes I go along with it," Mathieu said. "There's a lot of guys on this team who are deserving of the spotlight. I don't have to be in it all the time and I'm fine with that.
"Everything's going well right now and I've just got to watch what I put on Twitter," he added.
Miles says he expects Mathieu to transfer to a smaller school immediately so he can play this season. Sources tell WAFB one new possible landing spot for the dismissed LSU defensive back, who was college football's defensive player of the year in 2011, could be Southeastern Louisiana.
The campus in Hammond is located less than an hour from Baton Rouge and his home in New Orleans, and Mathieu worked out for the previous Lions' staff without getting an offer, the day before LSU added the St. Augustine High School product to its recruiting list.
Sources say Mathieu's already talked to one of his former prep teammates, who not only plays for the Lions, but plays the same position and wears the same No. 7 jersey for new coach Ron Roberts. Not only did Mathieu and Southeastern's Marice Sutton play three years together at St. Augustine, but Sutton was the team captain.
While McNeese State is reportedly the front runner right now with Nicholls State, Grambling and Northwestern State as other possible landing spots, Cowboys coach Matt Viator said Friday McNeese State has not asked for nor received permission from LSU which is required by the NCAA.
According to sources, Mathieu could even potentially wind up in Daytona Beach, FL at Bethune-Cookman, where former LSU assistants Earl Lane and DJ McCarthy have relocated already.
Mathieu's bio is extensive. He is a 2012 National Player of the year candidate, 2011 National Defensive Player of the year, unanimous first-team All-American and recipient of the Bednarik Award. He became the first defensive back to be invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York since Charles Woodson of Michigan in 1997.
Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.