Miles spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since reports surfaced that Mathieu, his recently dismissed Heisman Trophy finalist, was mulling a return to LSU with an eye on playing the 2013 season.
Miles refused to take the bait.
“I certainly am rooting for Ty and whatever his future is, but I’m not focused on him. I’ve got games to play,” Miles said. “I’ve got 104 guys that I have to be ready for. I know this is a very key time in (Mathieu’s) life, and I hope the decisions he makes are in his best interest for the long term. We’ll help any way we can.”
Of course, reporters pressed Miles about the possibility of a return to the Tigers. And Miles still would not bite.
“I am not in any way going to speculate,” he said. “He will not be on this football (team) this year — I guarantee it. That’s a fact. I have no idea beyond that.”
Which opens the door for speculation. If the “Honey Badger” was gone for good, why wouldn’t Miles just say so? The guessing game will continue until either Miles says something definitively or Mathieu transfers to another school.
If he decides not to return to LSU, the likely option is a transfer to an FCS program — something Miles said Mathieu “would not necessarily need to go through me” to accomplish.
Asked if he had given Mathieu a full release to transfer to the FCS level, however, Miles was again evasive.
“I think we’ve done exactly what has needed to be done up to this point, and I think I want to focus on other things — not those pieces,” he said.
There had been reports that Mathieu would announce a decision on his future Wednesday. However, Mathieu’s father, Tyrone, said that was not the case.
“My wife, Sheila, and the family are taking the time to heal,” Tyrone Mathieu said. “We are not concerned right now about football at all. Tyrann totally understands that it will take some time and commitment to be the best student, player and adult he is capable of being.”