Yesterday we told you of Sports Illustrated’s new profile of former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. The profile was not the most positive thing ever written as it dealt with the Honey Badger’s dismissal from LSU’s team this season, his brief drug rahab stint, and possible NCAA violations that he might have committed while still a member of the Tiger football team.
According to SI.com, Mathieu’s image was used to promote parties at nightclubs in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans. His image appeared on fliers and in video promotions for the events and — according to Sports Illustrated — Mathieu and current Tiger defensive tackle Anthony Johnson might have also received VIP treatment at the clubs. If true, those claims could cause worries for LSU and Johnson. They could also prevent Mathieu from returning to the Tigers next season as he had hoped.
Well, his adoptive parents have lashed out at SI.com over the report.
Tyrone and Sheila Mathieu told their side of the story to WVUE-TV in New Orleans. The family referred to the article as both “ridiculous” and “unfortunate.” Sheila Mathieu also had this to say:
“They twisted things and cobbled together details from past articles because we wouldn’t sit down with them. We have always believed in being a tight-knit family. God first, family second, work and school third. That’s what Tyrann is doing now, and he’s on an avenue to success, making good grades and putting his life in order.”
Tyrone Mathieu said SI writers “called from blocked numbers repeatedly, asking me why I was dodging them.” Additionally, “they came to my home and that of my elderly mother on multiple occasions,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, Johnson told school officials that he asked that his image not be used to promote any parties and that he was not aware of his photo being used after that request. He also said he did not receive any extra benefits from the club he was connected to by Sports Illustrated. LSU spokesperson Herb Vincent told The New Orleans Times-Picayune:
“Anthony said once he became aware they were using his image on that flyer he asked them to take it down. He didn’t know if they were using him in a video and he said he paid for everything he had to pay for when he went to the club. We have no reason not to believe him. We haven’t talked to Tyrann. Our initial concern has to be with the football players who are eligible.”
Vincent said the LSU athletic department does not “anticipate a change” in Johnson’s eligibility based on the SI.com report.