Tyrann Mathieu: Decision to Focus on Rehab Will Pay Dividends in Long Run

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03:  Tyrann Mathieu #7 of the LSU Tigers reacts after Aron White #81 of the Georgia Bulldogs scored on a 12-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter during the 2011 SEC Conference Championship at  Georgia Dome on December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Tyrann Mathieu's decision to step away from football is the smartest decision he could have made to save his football career. 

According to WVUE Fox 8, Mathieu has made a decision to stay in rehab instead of attending classes at LSU or trying to enroll with another school:

The Honey Badger's father, Tyrone Mathieu, tells FOX 8 Sports that he and Tyrann agree -- until he conquers his demons, he won't be successful at his future endeavors, wherever they unfold.

A smarter decision couldn't have been made. We've seen many athletes in the past continue walking the path of personal destruction instead of taking the necessary time to heal, and the results haven't been pretty. 

Consider how much different Adam "Pacman" Jones' career may have been if he'd taken the same approach back when his troubles were beginning. Jones was involved with some seriously different circumstances, but the root of his troubles mirror the ones Mathieu is facing now. 

Back in 2007, when Jones was at the scene of a shooting incident in Las Vegas, NewsChannel5.com revealed some interesting wiretaps from a 2006 drug investigation.

Convicted drug dealer Darryl Moore was recorded talking about Jones' addictions: "You know, I was talkin' to him the other day about smokin', and he was like ‘man, if I didn't smoke I couldn't take all the stress that I'm dealing with right now.'"

As stress builds, the need for more and more "help" builds as well. For addicts, this can lead to increased dosages, heavier drugs and eventually complete meltdown. Mathieu had already been in trouble last year for marijuana, and he served a one-game suspension as a result. 

Knowing he'd been busted already, Mathieu continued to use marijuana, and it resulted in his dismissal from LSU's football team. Rather than sink further into his drug of choice, Mathieu has decided—with help from his family—to attack the real issues behind his drug use in order to get healthy.

This approach is going to serve Mathieu well in his personal life for the long term, but it also sends out a strong message to future teams—college and professional—about his character and focus. 

Mathieu couldn't have made a better career choice, and it's going to pay off in a major way going forward. 


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