Tyrann Mathieu upset at report

Updated: April 12, 2013, 5:08 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is disputing a story by USA Today Sports regarding a quote attributed to him that came from an unnamed NFL assistant coach about failed drug tests.

The newspaper reported that Mathieu told at least one NFL team he failed so many drug tests in college that he couldn't even remember them all.

An assistant coach for one team told the newspaper that when that team interviewed Mathieu, he was asked how many drug tests he failed in college.

"I quit counting at 10," Mathieu answered. "I really don't know."

Mathieu contacted LSU on Friday, saying the story does not accurately reflect the discussions that he has had while on visits to various NFL teams.

"It is irresponsible and shows a lack of integrity for anyone to disclose medical information regardless of how it was gathered," Mathieu said. "I would expect that conversations regarding my drug testing history during the course of my medical treatment would be private. LSU has a strong drug testing program and LSU went to great lengths to help me in my treatment and recovery. I understand that many people enjoy reading about the negative side of sports, but to publish those second-hand comments without being given a chance to address that comment prior to the publication of the article is irresponsible."

The assistant told the newspaper that Mathieu's statement had him pointing his finger at LSU as much as the player.

"If he flunked 10 tests before they suspended him, it shows that he got no kind of help," the coach said.

Joe Alleva, the athletic director at LSU, expressed confidence in the school's substance abuse program.

I quit counting at 10. I really don't know.

-- Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu on failed drug tests

"LSU has a strong substance abuse program that tries to identify and assist in the treatment and long term recovery process of drug use and abuse, and it is a program we would put up against any in the country," Alleva said. "Once a substance abuse problem is identified, LSU is diligent in tracking those individuals over extended periods of time with frequent testing and engages them in meaningful opportunities for support through counseling and substance abuse treatment."

Known as the "Honey Badger," Mathieu's off-the-field problems have been well-documented. The former Heisman Trophy finalist was kicked off LSU's team in August, previously acknowledged that he put his love of marijuana ahead of his love for football, and also spent time in jail in October on a drug-related charge.

Mathieu, who has declared he's been clean since October, enjoyed a strong performance at the NFL scouting combine in February and remains an intriguing draft prospect.

At LSU's pro day in March, Mathieu also carried himself in a professional manner, mindful that NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel in attendance are all well-versed in his history and are particularly mindful of how he presents himself.

"I think they know everything already [about my background]," Mathieu said at pro day. "I think they just want you to be honest with them. That was my best friend, coming into this offseason and going into this draft was, just be honest, and open."

Mathieu has been projected as a second or third-round draft pick by many draft experts. ESPN's Mel Kiper has Mathieu being picked by the New England Patriots in the second round.

Information from Gary Laney of GeauxTigerNation was used in this report.

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