An article in USA Today once again brought up the past drug use of Tyrann Mathieu while he was at LSU. USA Today writer Jarrett Bell wrote that Mathieu told an NFL assistant coach that he'd failed at least ten drug tests while at LSU.
However, after talking to both Bell and Mathieu's father today, I have to say that I have some serious questions about the article. Jarrett Bell has been our guest on SportsTalk many times, and will be on with us again, but it seems to be to be a huge claim to make about a young man and a football progam based upon second, or third-hand information.
First, Tyrone Mathieu, Tyrann's father, told me flat-out the claim that his son failed more than three tests is not true.
"My wife and I, we were called down there (to LSU,) one, two, and a third time, and we brought him home," Tyrone told me.
He says his son has been doing great in his program to stay focused and keep his eye on the prize. Tyrone said it's not the first time he's heard inaccuracies about his son, telling me that the repeated reports of Tyrann growing up on "the mean streets" of New Orleans are also off-base.
"You know, he's doing well, and then here comes another lie comes," a clearly frustratred Tyrone said. "My wife is an RN nurse, she works 12-hour shifts at night. I was working at UPS for 21 years, more than Tyrann's life...We provided a great life for him. We've got five children in the household, two adopted, of which Tyrann is one."
Tyrone said he will tell anyone who will listen that he and his wife worked hard to make sure all their kids got a private education in a great school.
"That is a good kid, and I will tell any NFL owner or coach that is a good kid who comes from good stock. He did not come from the streets, the 'mean streets' of New Orleans."
A few minutes after talking to Tyrone, USA Today writer Jarrett Bell joined me on Sports Talk.
Bell did stand by his story. However, the thing that listeners told me they had a problem with was the fact of whether the NFL assistant coach was even in the room or not when Tyrann allegedly said what he said.
"I'm the messenger, I stand by what I wrote," Bell said.
When I asked him if the coach was in the room when Mathieu made the alleged comments, Bell said, "Well, we'd have to ask the coach that."
Later, Bell said, "I'm assuming the coach was in the room, let me just say that."
People, that's a hell of a lot to assume!
"This is what I was told," Bell said. "I wasn't in the room, I wasn't there when they had the drug test. I think we all know he (Mathieu) had some issues."
And, Bell said he didn't talk to Tyrann before publishing the story.
"Well, I did not talk to him, but tried to, actually, for a couple of weeks," Bell said.
So, do I think this will hurt Tyrann's draft status? I don't think so. You know, every year, there's always one or two players that coaches and GMs seem to single out and pick on...whether it's the test score, or something else. I think it's done because they want to try to see if they can be in a better position to draft a player. It doesn't just keep randomly happening, and the NFL doesn't do nothing about it.
But, I don't think it's going to hurt the young man, I really don't. And reports like this make me understand why people get upset at the media. I know that "anonymous sources" are the name of the game, and I don't make the rules, but there's a lot of things that don't add up about this whole allegation.
Saturday, we'll hear from the former 'Honey Badger' himself. He's going to join Kristian Garic live at 5:35 to talk about this story, and about his continuing preparation for the Draft, now less than two weeks away.