This is not the way LSU fans wanted to start the year.
With the season less than a month away, LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles announced that cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has been dismissed from the team for an undisclosed violation, according to Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated:
Les Miles: "Tyrann Mathieu is no longer on our team."— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) August 10, 2012
Mathieu was suspended from the team for one game last October for failing a drug test. Miles was predictably vague on the details, but he did give this quote that hints at the issue at hand (via Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports):
Les Miles calls booted star player Tyrann Mathieu a "quality guy who had a behavior issue."— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) August 10, 2012
Now the 20-year-old junior is the hottest free agent in all of college football, and Miles fully expects him to transfer to a new school very soon, according to Pete Thamel of the New York Times:
Les MIles said he expects Mathieu to transfer to another school. Wouldn't specify what the violation was.— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) August 10, 2012
At 5'9" and 175 pounds, Mathieu certainly isn’t physically imposing, but his blazing fast speed and knack for the big hit made him an overnight sensation in his sophomore season.
The New Orleans native was a Heisman finalist after collecting 76 total tackles (59 solo), 1.5 sacks, six forced fumbles (two returned for a touchdown) and two interceptions. Couple that with two punt returns for a touchdown, and there was no doubt Mathieu was one of the most dangerous defenders in all of America last season.
Now he’ll be looking for a new team, and it will be interesting to see who lines up at his door.
It’s been a wild year for Mathieu, who went from a relatively unknown player entering last season to a star who could make a legitimate Heisman argument, and now is looking for another team less than three weeks before the season begins.
Tough day for the No. 1-ranked Tigers.