Mathieu was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy last year, but he's struggled with staying in line before. He missed a game against Auburn last season after failing a drug test. (He was busted smoking synthetic marijuana.) This news today, though, is pretty shocking:
A source told ESPN's Joe Schad on Friday that Mathieu has been looking for a new school to play for this season.
Last season Mathieu was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's best defensive player.
The junior defensive back nicknamed Honey Badger was the surprising Heisman Trophy candidate last season as the Tigers won the Southeastern Conference championship and reached the BCS title game. LSU lost the championship 21-0 to Alabama.
At a news conference Friday, coach Les Miles would not specify the reason Mathieu was kicked off the team.
“We'll miss the guy,” Miles said. “The football team's got to go on. We'll have to fill the void.”
That Mathieu will now become essentially an amateur free agent instead of, you know, going pro is a testament to how stupid draft eligibility rules are. Now, some very lucky team gets to snatch up one of the nation's most talented defensive players while LSU gets to act like its a good, clean organization. Everyone wins—the new school, LSU, t-shirt printers making new “Honey Badger” shirts in different colors—except for, you know, the guy not getting paid.