LSU is not the only program that would like the suspended Tyrann (Honey Badger) Mathieu. Indeed, about 20 college football programs have asked LSU for permission to speak with the former All-America cornerback and punt returner who was kicked off the Tigers for violating team rules last week.
Herb Vincent, the university’s vice chancellor of communications, provided the figure Wednesday, but added that LSU only considers granting requests to schools Mathieu has approved.
“This is consistent with the way we handle transfer requests for other LSU student-athletes,” Vincent said.
He added that he cannot release names of the schools that have reached out to LSU and which have been approved other than McNeese State, which already has announced that Mathieu visited its campus in Lake Charles, La.
Nicholls State officials said Wednesday they had received permission from LSU’s compliance department to speak with Mathieu, but have not yet met with the 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist.
Officials at Jackson State and Prairie View A&M said Wednesday that LSU has rejected their requests to pursue Mathieu.
Mathieu was kicked off the LSU football team last Friday, reportedly for the latest of several failed drug tests. He has not yet announced his plans for this season.
Officials at McNeese State, where classes began Wednesday, say there remains some leeway for Mathieu to enroll within the next few days. Classes begin at Nicholls State Aug. 22.
As for the possibility of Mathieu returning to play for LSU in 2013, Vincent reiterated recent comments that the university “will not speculate on Tyrann’s future with the LSU football program at this time.”
“We can only state that he is eligible to continue his academic career at LSU and that he will not be a member of the LSU football team for the 2012 season,” Vincent said. “Any other comments on his future at LSU will be made at the appropriate time if necessary.”
Mathieu can only play this season if he joins a program at the FCS level, the second tier of Division I, or a team in a lower division. If he wants to play another season at the Division I FBS level, he would have to wait until 2013, but will have become eligible for the NFL draft by then.
Both McNeese State and Nicholls State play in the Southland Conference, one of the top leagues at the FCS level.