As former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu flies all over the country meeting with NFL coaches to hopefully secure his football future at the end of the month, he’s also sharing the harsh realities of his past.
Mathieu was high at LSU — a lot.
Mathieu, a 2011 Heisman Trophy Finalist who missed the 2012 season after coach Les Miles booted him off the team for a failed drug test, told one NFL coach that during the course of his LSU career he failed more drug tests than he could count.
"I quit counting at 10. I really don't know," Miles told the NFL coach, according to USA Today.
Yet Mathieu was suspended once for a drug-related offense and then dismissed last year. There were no other suspensions during that time, especially during the height of his epic run to the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
"If he flunked 10 tests before they suspended him, it shows that he got no kind of help," the coach told USA Today on the condition of anonymity.
There’s really no excuse for this. Mathieu needed help and LSU should have cared more about the player than his game. Why did it take so long for LSU to finally do something?
Mathieu went into rehab following his dismissal but was arrested for marijuana possession in October. That’s when he decided to get clean for good. He became a regular student at LSU, attended games, class and worked out on his own to put himself in a position to woo NFL scouts.
According to USA Today, Mathieu told coaches stress contributed to his drug use. That stress will only be exacerbated in the NFL where he has access to more money and a slew of bad influences.
"The stress isn't going away," the anonymous coach told USA Today. "It's clearly going to go up. They've got to deal with that."
If a team does take a chance on Mathieu, he’ll likely be subjected to stringent drug testing and counseling until he can prove that he’s truly cleaned up his life – all the things LSU should have done the minute it realized Mathieu had a problem.
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