Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
That saying is one of the oldest notions known to man, and it certainly speaks volumes when it comes to the situation that LSU's Tyrann Mathieu has put himself in heading into this year's 2012 college football season.
Mathieu, who was a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, was dismissed from LSU's football program this past week following multiple failed substance-abuse tests. The All-American defensive back will be forced to sit out this season if he chooses to transfer to another school in major college football. If he moved down a level to FCS, he could play right away.
Rumors have been floating around that Mathieu could choose to transfer to nearby McNeese State, but ESPN.com's Joe Shad reported that according to sources, Mathieu has expressed interest in sitting out this 2012 season, enrolling in classes and then returning to the LSU football program in 2013.
That is, of course, if Les Miles and the LSU program are willing to accept him back on the team.
But remember that famous notion, "do unto others as you would have them do to you."
Tyrann Mathieu did not properly represent himself as a student athlete. He failed to live up to the same standards that are set for every member of that LSU football team, whether it is a Heisman Trophy finalist or the final man on the depth chart.
I am one for believing in second chances, but the bottom line here is that Mathieu was already given a second chance, and he failed to capitalize on that. The former LSU standout was suspended for a game last year for failing a drug test, and he had been undergoing counseling throughout the spring and summer.
It didn't make a difference.
Mathieu, who was not only the face of this LSU football program but college football as a whole, let his team down by putting himself first. He made a selfish decision that left a huge void for an LSU team that was the No.1-ranked team in the preseason polls heading into this 2012 college football season.
Following his one game suspension during the 2011 season, Mathieu spoke with the media about his image and his ego, which certainly got a boost with his well-known "Honey Badger" nickname spreading across the college football world like wildfire. He claimed that after all that hype was created, he wanted to put an end to it. He wanted to be more humble and take a leadership role with this team going forward.
As one of the most exciting playmakers in all of football, Mathieu let his team down. He failed to live up to that new image that he supposedly created for himself. He failed to live up to the hype that fans had created for him. And, most importantly, he failed to live up to the promises that he made to his coaches and teammates when he joined this LSU football program.
In the game of life, more often than not, athletes are given a second chance. But it is those who take that chance and capitalize on it who come out on the better side of things.
Yes, many LSU fans would love to have Mathieu back on the team in 2013, because he is hands-down one of the most explosive playmakers in the game today. But those fans have to remember that Mathieu was given his second chance, and he let his team down.
Do unto others as you would have them to do you.
Mathieu has shown where he stands in relation to that well-known notion.
Now it's your turn, LSU.