Heisman finalist Mathieu’s future still up in the air

Published 3:40 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BATON ROUGE (AP) – The Tyrann Mathieu saga at LSU entered a confusing new phase Monday amid conflicting reports about whether the banished former Heisman Trophy finalist will seek to return to the Tigers football team in 2013 or whether he would even have the option to do so.

According to LSU senior associate athletic director Herb Vincent, Mathieu is eligible to enroll at LSU this fall as a student. Beyond that, Vincent said, the school would not speculate about Mathieu’s football future.

Vincent’s statement was aimed at directly refuting a Gannett report quoting LSU compliance officer Bo Bahnsen as saying that Mathieu is permanently ineligible to play football at LSU. Vincent said Bahnsen said he was quoted out of context.

“We (LSU) are not saying anything” regarding Mathieu’s future football eligibility, Vincent said. “We are not speculating.”

Attempts to reach Bahnsen on Monday night were unsuccessful.

According to sources, Mathieu has approached LSU about the possibility of returning to the team in 2013. Discussions have taken place, but the matter remained unresolved Monday, sources said.

Meanwhile, a report disputed that possibility, quoting a source as saying that Mathieu will not return to LSU even as a student and that he is likely to transfer to McNeese State as early as Wednesday.

Mathieu visited McNeese on Friday, shortly after his dismissal from the LSU team was made public. Nicholls State, Jackson State and Prairie View have also been mentioned in various media reports as potential landing spots for Mathieu.

Officials at Southern said LSU has denied its request to speak to Mathieu about transferring there. Vincent said LSU will not comment on which schools it will grant a release to on Mathieu’s behalf.

Mathieu reportedly was dismissed for testing positive for drugs on more than one occasion. According to the LSU athletic department’s written substance abuse policy, Mathieu’s dismissal from the team would be in accordance with a person who has had a third positive test.

He will not play for LSU this season under any circumstances, and his scholarship has been revoked.