Mathieu’s father, Tyrone, told WVUE-TV in New Orleans that his son had entered Right Step, a rehab center in Houston, on Monday and is being mentored by John Lucas, who overcame addiction as an NBA player and went on to a successful career as a coach.
Coach Les Miles did not specify what team and school rules Mathieu had violated when he announced that the cornerback was off the team a week ago. However, ESPN and other outlets reported that he had violated the school’s substance-abuse policy.
The Honey Badger, winner of the Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defensive player as a sophomore, initially looked into transferring to a smaller school, where he would have had immediate eligibility. ESPN reported that about 20 schools had asked for permission to speak to him about transferring, but enrollment deadlines were fast approaching if he were to play this fall.
Mathieu also indicated that he might sit out the season while taking classes at LSU and hoping to be eligible in 2013. He also would be eligible to enter next April’s NFL Draft.
Miles said he spoke briefly with Mathieu earlier in the week. “I just wanted him to know that we’ll support him in whatever he wants to do and help him where we can. At this point in time, he needs to do the things that make him happy and that makes sense for his future. If he does that, we’ll all be happy.”