Tyrann Mathieu elected to stay in Baton Rouge this semester and re-enroll at LSU with the hope that he could re-join the team in 2013.
That dream likely dissolved on Thursday when the former star cornerback was arrested, along with three other former players, on charges simple possession of marijuana.
The player nicknamed the “Honey Badger” and former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson were both released from a Baton Rouge jail on Friday after police found them with 10 bags of high-grade marijuana, a marijuana grinder and a digital scale at Mathieu’s apartment one day prior.
Former backup safety Derrick Bryant was booked for possession with intent to distribute. Karnell Hatcher remained in jail after he was arrested on a second-offense simple possession charge.
Mathieu was dismissed from the LSU football team in August after reportedly failing a drug test. Eight months prior, he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
Mathieu’s father, Tyrone, said shortly after the dismissal that his son had checked into a rehab center in Houston. But Mathieu, 20, returned to Baton Rouge and re-enrolled after contemplating transferring to another school where he could play right away.
The story of Mathieu’s downfall was featured on the cover of last week’s Sports Illustrated. In the wake of the arrest, Mathieu’s family questioned his decision to remain in Baton Rouge this fall.
“I just feel like Tyrann should have never went back there because you’re surrounding yourself with the same environment that you already got in trouble with,” Mathieu’s sister Darrineka told SI.com. “I’m hurt for him. I’m sorry that it happened to him, but there’s nothing else I can do.”
That decision is one Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel also called into question in hindsight.
This is Mathieu’s mess to clean up. These were Mathieu’s mistakes, undoubtedly. This isn’t to exonerate a grown man who seems hell bent on casting away a potentially glorious future to the lure of drugs. It’s a sad, sick story. Unfortunately it isn’t that unusual.
Yet this is also a failure of whatever adult figure is supposed to looking out for his best interests, whether it’s family, mentors or LSU coaches and administrators.
Other than returning to his drug-infested neighborhood in New Orleans, there couldn’t have been a worse place for Mathieu to attempt to rehab than Baton Rouge. This was the exact same scene that got him in trouble, only now he was on his own. And apparently his old friends were too.
Mathieu will be eligible for the NFL draft in April.