FanDuel - WFBC

August 10, 2012

Honey Badger gets cut: Tyrann Mathieu, a Heisman Trophy finalist a year ago and the most dynamic player on LSU’s preseason No. 1-ranked football team was permanently dismissed from the team Friday. Coach Les Miles said the dismissal of Mathieu, a junior defensive back/punt returner from New Orleans, was for “violation of team policy.” Neither Miles nor athletic director Joe Alleva would say which policy was violated by Mathieu

posted by Ufez Jones to football at 06:41 PM - 15 comments

He must have screwed up big time.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:13 PM on August 10

Yeah, but he doesn't give a sh*t.

posted by grum@work at 07:32 PM on August 10

Apparently the guy has a fairly substantial drug problem. If any other college football team brings him in after this, they should be shut down. It sounds like he has big problems, and if LSU has cut ties with him, nobody else should take him on.

posted by dyams at 07:41 PM on August 10

While I can't think of any football examples that are immediately applicable, I feel that athletes such as Josh Hamilton may disagree strongly with your statement.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:11 PM on August 10

Young kid, quick fame ...

I don't know how much LSU worked with him, but I hope he was given ample opportunity to straighten out, and if not I hope he gets a shot at another institution.

I also don't know Les Miles but again I am hoping he has made this decision with Tyrann's future being priority one, and not simply a focus on the LSU program.

This year has been full of disappointments from previously revered coaches - Paterno, Patrino, etc.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:08 PM on August 10

He might have been a dynamic "presence" on the football team but not necessarily the most dynamic player. Versatile definitely, and they will miss that. But both Bama and LSU are obscenely stocked with prime DB talent. LSU will be OK on D without Mathieu.

It's Musburger I worry about. He was fixated on the Badger. He's going to have to turn in his defibrillator and drool cup to the equipment manager.

posted by beaverboard at 11:32 PM on August 10

I also don't know Les Miles but again I am hoping he has made this decision with Tyrann's future being priority one, and not simply a focus on the LSU program.

There are far more nefarious ways to deal with this problem if your concern is solely about the program. Fake the drug test results, throw them away, don't test your star player, give him advance notice so he can clean up for just enough time to fool the test...

There's only so many times you can offer assistance to a functional adult human being before you have to say, "Sorry, dude, but you're working the rest of this out on your own." If Mathieu had been genuinely dedicated to changing the behavior that led to this action, he had ample resources available to him at a major BCS program with an interest in keeping him on the team. I'd be somewhat more sympathetic if it had been an academic issue, but all indications are that this was because he pissed hot, and whether you agree with the prohibition of drugs, it's still a rule. His inability to follow it (to at least the same level that everyone else on the team does) speaks to his sense of superiority/entitlement. This sharp shock to his system may show him (and a lot of other student-athletes) that even the actions of superstar Heisman finalists can have deleterious consequences, and that despite all the press the Honey Badger gets, he isn't above the rules.

posted by Etrigan at 11:45 PM on August 10

a functional adult human being

Certainly not an adult at 20, and only arguably functional if he's got a big enough drug problem to wreck a promising career like that.

"A sense of superiority/entitlement" is just as easily "drug addiction." I agree, he shouldn't be playing college football until he can get himself straightened out, but when kids get into trouble with drugs, or any kind of trouble, for that matter, they deserve sympathy and help.

I hope Mathieu gets both.

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:25 AM on August 11

Certainly not an adult at 20,

Bullshit. Old enough to vote, join the army, join the police, marry, and do a bunch of other things. 20 year olds are not children.

posted by rodgerd at 05:39 AM on August 11

My point saying no other football team/college should take him on regards my concern many scumbag coaches will think about getting Mathieu in soley based on what he can do to make their team win games. We are talking about one of the most dynamic players in the sport, not a backup left guard. The fact Les Miles and LSU would cut ties with him speaks pretty strongly.

Sounds as if the guy needs serious help, and a college environment doesn't seem to me to be the most appropriate setting for that.

posted by dyams at 06:21 AM on August 11

Randy Moss got kicked out of FSU for failing drug tests. It worked out just fine for him. I hope Mathieu pulls himself together and finds success.

Rodgerd, they let kids join the military because they need warm bodies - not because they are mature at that age. I'm pretty sure none of the things you mentioned did any kind of maturity assessment.

posted by bperk at 07:24 AM on August 11

I am down in Baton Rouge visiting my folks, and this is definitely dominating the local media coverage (although this time of year, the beginning of practice also dominates the local news coverage). I actually watched Miles' press conference yesterday real-time, and he really focused on saying that the team and university want Mathieu to have support, get help, etc. (without coming out and saying it was a drugs violation). I think they gave him every chance they could (he had already failed at least one other drug test), and this was a bridge too far.

And for as much as I tend to not give the fans of big-time college football programs much credit for caring about anything other than wins, according to the local news here last night, 90% of residents polled agreed with the decision to dismiss Mathieu from the team. Of course, not knowing all of the details, that seems more like a vote of confidence for Miles or the process than anything else (or is at least predicated on a collective assumption that Mathieu did something really bad/stupid).

posted by holden at 07:39 AM on August 11

20 year olds are not children.

Maybe not, but they aren't yet adults either.

Sounds as if the guy needs serious help, and a college environment doesn't seem to me to be the most appropriate setting for that.

This is true, and also one of the saddest things I've read in a while.

posted by Hugh Janus at 08:53 AM on August 11

"A sense of superiority/entitlement" is just as easily "drug addiction." I agree, he shouldn't be playing college football until he can get himself straightened out, but when kids get into trouble with drugs, or any kind of trouble, for that matter, they deserve sympathy and help.

You don't think he had help? I would be amazed if LSU didn't have a counselor permanently assigned to the football team before Mathieu's first drug suspension -- and if they didn't have one after that, then Les Miles is a drooling idiot.

Les Miles is not a drooling idiot.

posted by Etrigan at 10:51 AM on August 11

I'm sure he had help. I hope he continues to get help. I don't think anyone's a drooling idiot.

I think assessing a drug problem as "a sense of superiority/entitlement" is a convenient way for people to brush away the painful reality that the disease of drug addiction is easy for anyone to catch. It strokes our sense of moral superiority to think it's only something that happens to flawed people, that it's a cosmic response to some kind of hubris. Sympathy costs us nothing but the acknowledgement that this kid could be our kid, this brother could be our brother, this guy could be us.

If the pedestal we put ourselves on is so tall or brittle that we fear such an acknowledgement would cause us a painful fall, it would behoove us to learn that the same sympathetic, helpful people who are there hoping to catch Mathieu are there to catch us, too.

It's not always easy to do good things. It is, however, unfortunately easy to do bad things. Mathieu has discovered that. Like I said before, it's good that he's off the team, but I only hope he is surrounded now by people who see a kid who needs help, not an entitled jersey number who, out of a sense of superiority, thoughtlessly imperiled their enjoyment of this autumn's Saturday television schedule.

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:34 PM on August 11

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.