All-American cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, who was dismissed from Louisiana State University’s football team last week for a rules violation, is in a Houston drug-rehabilitation facility, a Louisiana television station reported.
Fox 8, citing Mathieu’s father, said the 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist will remain at the Right Step recovery center until he “conquers his demons.” He is being mentored daily by former National Basketball Association player and coach John Lucas, who battled cocaine and alcohol during his playing career, the station reported.
A phone message left for George Johnson, Right Step’s chief executive officer, seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.
Mathieu, 20, was let go three weeks before the start of his junior season for violating team rules, the school said on its athletics website. It didn’t say what rules were broken.
Last season Mathieu had two interceptions and recovered five fumbles, two of which he turned into touchdowns. Nicknamed the “Honey Badger,” he also returned two punts for touchdowns.
He was named the Southeastern Conference’s defensive player of the year and won the Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually to the best defensive player in college football. He finished fifth in voting for the Heisman Trophy, which was awarded to Baylor University quarterback Robert Griffin III as the sport’s best player.
LSU lost last season’s Bowl Championship Series title game 21-0 to the University of Alabama. The Tigers received the No. 1 rank in the USA Today preseason poll, and open their season on Sept. 1 at home against North Texas.