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How Did NFL Prospect Tyrann Mathieu Manage To Fail More Than 10 Drug Tests During His College Career?

Submitted by on April 14, 2013 – 9:56 amNo Comment

About a year ago, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was a shoe-in to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft in 2013. After enjoying a successful sophomore season in 2011—Mathieu was a Heisman Trophy finalist—the thought was that he would spend one more season at LSU and then make a break for the NFL, where he would undoubtedly enjoy tons of success. But then, LSU suspended him last year seemingly out of nowhere, and it was later revealed that Mathieu had been dismissed from the LSU squad because of a failed drug test. But, from the sound of things, it was more than one failed drug test that did Mathieu in—it was lots and lots and lots of failed drug tests.

How many? It’s actually hard to say. Mathieu himself isn’t even sure. According to a report that came out on Friday, Mathieu stopped counting how many drug tests he had failed once it got into the double digits.

“I quit counting at 10,” he reportedly told an NFL assistant coach during an interview recently. “I really don’t know.”

He doesn’t know? That seems problematic to us. As the assistant coach was quick to point out, it seems to indicate that LSU didn’t really have Mathieu’s best interest at heart when they suspended him. Rather, they suspended him simply because they couldn’t take anymore failed drug tests. It sounds like they tried and tried and tried to keep him on the team despite the failed drug tests but ultimately cut bait when he didn’t show any willingness to get clean. That’s partly on him. But it also shows that LSU didn’t take enough responsibility when it came time to find Mathieu help.

Does that mean the NCAA should investigate LSU? Not necessarily. It’s unlikely that they committed any big violations in this particular instance. But we still have to ask: Why didn’t LSU do more? When a player is in trouble, his team should be there to help him. They should assist him in getting help and make sure that he follows through with whatever help they provide for him. They should be there through the bad times, just like they are during the good times.

Mathieu says he’s clean now. He’s got a sponsor, he doesn’t use drugs anymore, and he’s looking forward to joining an NFL roster this year, though he’ll likely be a mid-round pick in the draft as opposed to a first-round selection. But his future doesn’t look quite as bright as it used to. And part of that is because LSU didn’t do enough to help him turn his life around earlier. Let’s just hope that whatever NFL team drafts him is prepared to deal with the extra baggage that he brings. Even though things are going better for him, he’s going to need a team that’s in his corner this time around.

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