LSU has suspended three players, including Tyrann Mathieu and Spencer Ware for this Saturday's game against Auburn. The LSU student newspaper Daily Reveille first broke the news after rumors floated much of the day, and the suspension was confirmed to ESPN.com and the AP. A third player, reserve defensive back Tharold Simon, will also miss a game. According to ESPN's Joe Schad, the suspensions will be for only one game.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting that the suspensions came down because the players tested positive for synthetic marijuana. I didn't know such a thing even existed until today, so I'll let Wikipedia educate anyone else who is similarly drug ignorant on some basics:
Synthetic cannabis is a psychoactive herbal and chemical product which, when consumed mimics the effects of cannabis...
Although synthetic cannabis does not produce positive results in drug tests for cannabis, it is possible to detect its metabolites in human urine...
As of March 1, 2011, five cannabinoids, JWH-018, JWH-073, CP-47,497, JWH-200, and cannabicyclohexanol are now illegal in the US.
Many forms of synthetic cannabis are illegal in Louisiana, though not all are.
A one game suspension for a positive pot test is in line with, if not harsher than, most punishments you see at programs around the country for first time offenders. The fact that these suspensions will only last one game is important because after Auburn, LSU plays Alabama. I am quite certain that Auburn won't pose too big a challenge to this shorthanded LSU team given that AU's passing offense is fairly weak and its defense leaks like a sieve against competent attacks.
It would be a much bigger deal not to have Mathieu and Ware in Tuscaloosa, but it doesn't appear it will come to that for the Tigers.
Les Miles went out of his way to not address these reports at his weekly Wednesday news conference, and no one from the school has gone on the record about them either. However unless ESPN, the AP, and two local newspapers are all wrong, some key players will be missing this weekend for LSU. He did describe the drug test reports as being "way left of center". Whether he really meant "from way out in left field" or it's a new Miles-ism, I don't know. I'll let y'all decipher that one yourself.