The prevalent national news that key LSU football players Tyrann Mathieu, Spencer Ware and Tharold Simon were hanging for Saturday’s Auburn game went unconfirmed by LSU coach Les Miles Wednesday night.
“I certainly understand the interest surrounding what seems to be news,” began Miles at his regularly scheduled press conference. “The problem with that news is it’s internal discipline and internal function of a team. I’m not inclined to be forthcoming in information. I am not reactionary to needs of media and things external to this building. When there’s information that I can share, I will.”
Asked to confirm if Mathieu, Ware and Simon were suspended, Miles said, “No, cannot confirm that.”,
The Daily Reveille, the LSU student newspaper, reported that Mathieu and Ware will be suspended because of a failed drug test, and the Times-Picayune of New Orleans is reporting that the players tested positive for “synthetic marijuana.”
“I certainly understand the interest surrounding what seems to be news,” Miles began at his regularly scheduled Wednesday night press conference. “The problem with that news is it’s internal discipline and internal function of a team. I’m not inclined to be forthcoming in information. I am not reactionary to needs of media and things external to this building. When there’s information that I can share, I will.”
Mathieu, a sophomore from New Orleans nicknamed the Honey Badger because of his uncanny playmaking ability, is the Tigers’ top weapon on defense from the cornerback position and is also a kick returner. He has been considered by several national media members to be a legitimate early Heisman Trophy candidate.
Miles said all his players practiced Wednesday, and the depth chart “hasn’t changed.”
Asked if any players who may be suspended for the Auburn game would also be suspended for the Tigers’ next game at Alabama on Nov. 5, Miles said, “Again, I’m not making that determination. It’s a process that I go through.”
Miles grew testy at questions about the three players possibly being suspended for failed drug tests, which are administered by the school’s compliance department.
“I think you’re way left of center,” Miles said. “I’m saying that wherever you got those (failed drug test) reports, I didn’t confirm them. I’m not going to confirm them, and it’s not information that I’m going to respond to.”
Reports of the three suspensions, which were also reported through sources by the Associated Press and ESPN, is the second time in two months that negative news has hit the LSU program. In late August, starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson and reserve linebacker Joshua Johns were arrested on felony battery charges and indefinitely suspended from the team. Each was later reinstated after a grand jury reduced the charge against Jefferson to a misdemeanor and dropped the charge against Johns.
Miles was asked if news of these latest suspensions was another black eye for LSU.
“Well, I don’t know,” he said. “I think to me it’s doing things correctly. It’s towing the line. It’s making sure the guys that represent us all operate in a same, very fundamental fashion. I think it’s a right thing. I think there are probably places that this doesn’t take place, and I think this process is a very good one.”
All NCAA schools have drug policies. LSU’s policy allows one failed drug test without punishment. But suspensions happen after a second one, and there is a chance of expulsion after a third one.
“I can only tell you that I’m doing this for the best of our football team and our squad and to maintain a deportment and a procedure that I’m true to and a process that I’m very comfortable with,” Miles said.