Apologies in advance for breaking site protocol and linking to a Gannett story, but unfortunately our favorite reporter has made himself part of the story.
When we last left the Tyrann Mathieu transfer, the idea of him coming back and sitting out a year at LSU seemed possible but not, in our opinion, very wise. Rumors swirled calmly at this idea because LSU has maintained it's silence on whatever it was that caused the dismissal. Even though it's common knowledge at this point that the matter was drug related, any talk of specifically what test number it was that Mathieu failed has been nothing but pure speculation. Whatever was going to happen was going to happen and we'd probably never hear the full truth from LSU, both because they don't want to tell us and because certain privacy laws prevent them from doing so.
However, people have columns to write. And with practice closed to the media for the foreseeable future, one intrepid reporter set out to get to the bottom of this. Unfortunately for us, it was The Man From Gannett.
He talked to Bo Bahnsen, an associate AD in the compliance department who's been working at LSU in some form or another since 1982. Bahnsen is quoted saying the following (again, sorry it's a Gannett link)
"He's permanently ineligible to play football at LSU," Bahnsen said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. "That's definite. That's what was said Friday."
That would seem to put an end to the matter, but then the whole thing kinda blew up on twitter.
USA Today, Gannett's national publication, picked up the story (tweet was deleted before I could get it.) Herb Vincent, the Associate Vice Chancellor and Sr. Associate AD, soon responded.
LSU did NOT announce this. "— Herb Vincent (@LSUherbvin) August 13, 2012
@usatodaysports: Tyrann Mathieu is "permanently ineligible to play football at LSU," the school announced"
To clarify: Tyrann Mathieu has the option to go to LSU as a student. LSU is not speculating on his football future.— Herb Vincent (@LSUherbvin) August 13, 2012
The BR Advocate's Scott Rabalais followed up
Bahnsen said was quoted out of context. RT— Scott Rabalais (@ScottRabalais) August 13, 2012
@cassaratdr: So Vincent is refuting what their top compliance official went on record with? #LSU
To which Gannett responded
CONTEXT? The conversation was very short and had only one context - Mathieu and his status. He said he's "permanently ineligible."— Glenn Guilbeau (@LSUBeatTweet) August 13, 2012
— Glenn Guilbeau (@LSUBeatTweet) August 13, 2012
@lsufootball_net You are so right. That causes many problems. LSU officials, other than Bo, often struggle to answer a question like a man.
So Guilbeau, who already started the day with writing "The greatest sentence ever", is now questioning the man-ness of an associate AD.
As if all of that nonsense wasn't enough, we are now hearing about D1-AA schools who asked to talk to Mathieu who were denied, namely Baton Rouge's own Southern U
Stump Mitchell said— Mike McCall (@McCallAdvocate) August 13, 2012
#LSU denied #Southern's request to speak with Tyrann Mathieu. Wouldn't have been a good fit anyway: theadvocate.com/sports/3612141…
Ryan Perrilloux landing spot Jackson State
JSU officials say they were denied permission to contact Mathieu. Sent release form to LSU seeking permission over the wknd, now told "No."— Travis Downey (@TravisADowney) August 13, 2012
And if that wasn't enough, we get more "sourced" info as I type these very words, this time from Rosetta (who's now working at the Times-Pic, btw)
Source close to the— Randy Rosetta (@RandyRosetta) August 14, 2012
#LSU FBL program AND Tyrann Mathieu says only schools he is serious about for transfer are McNeese St. and Nicholls St.
Because those are the only two schools of interest, Mathieu has specifically asked— Randy Rosetta (@RandyRosetta) August 14, 2012
#LSU officials to deny requests from all others.
Whatever the outcome, either TM7 sticking around at LSU with hopes of rejoining the team or transferring to D1-AA to play out the year of his eligibility, a decision needs to be made before this nonsense gets any more ridiculous. LSU's silence in the matter may be required, but it certainly isn't helping.