Sprints Wishes Tyrann Mathieu the Best in the Upcoming Battles // 08.17.12

MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 24: Tyrann Mathieu #7 of the Louisiana State University Tigers intercepts a pass against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the game on September 24, 2011 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

13 Days Until SEC Football

THE CURIOUS CASE OF TYRANN MATHIEU

Earlier on Team Speed Kills: Tyrann Mathieu Will Spend Time in Drug Rehab
Tyrann Mathieu has put his football career on hold as he attends drug rehab.

Now, it makes sense
The puzzling responses and drifting answers in the Tyrann Mathieu case have come together with the disclosure that Mathieu is at a drug rehab program in Houston. The number of positive tests, it seems, might not have been as much of a factor as Mathieu's apparent dependency on the drugs at issue.

It also makes sense now that LSU won't foreclose the possibility of Mathieu coming back to LSU. The last thing a player about to embark on a battle with dependency needs is to have potentially the most important incentive for straightening out his life taken away. If continuing his career at LSU is at least an option, it gives Mathieu another reason to stick out what is almost certainly going to be a difficult recovery.

Here's hoping that Mathieu gets his life turned around, no matter what that might mean for his future in football. Selfishly, we would love to see him back on the field some day, just to once again observe the excitement that he can add to a game. But that doesn't really matter right now, not with the most important battle of Mathieu's young life ahead of it. Mathieu's decision is the first sign that he understands that.

It should go without saying, but in case it doesn't, we extend our thoughts and prayers to Mathieu and his family at this time.

Les Miles told Tyrann Mathieu to 'do the right things'
This also makes a lot more sense now that we know what's going on.

Over-reacting much?
First, let's make it clear that Kirk Herbstreit made this comment before the late-breaking news of what was happening with Mathieu. Otherwise, there would have been a sizable level of tone-deafness in talking about the football impact of this. But it's worth weighing since it was discussed Thursday.

Look, it's hard to go wrong with Alabama or LSU to win the SEC. The two combined are prohibitive favorites to win the SEC West, and whoever wins the SEC West will be prohibitive favorites to win the championship game in December. But changing your prediction because of one player's transfer/suspension/whatever seems a bit, um, rash.

"I think that's such a significant loss for them," Herbstreit said. "I think Tyrann Mathieu meant so much to LSU, not just with his returns and play-making ability but his leadership. I think the timing of taking him away has a negative impact on LSU."

Yes, yes, all that is true. But losing Tyrann Mathieu will have to cost LSU at least one full game over the course of a 12-game season to change the prediction. That's a pretty high bar for one player to clear.

Football, of course, is 11-vs.-11 on basically every play, and the performance of each player is key -- but the performance of the team as a whole is more than the sum of it's parts. That's why you can lose several key players off a team and only drop one or two wins. Tyrann Matheiu is good -- but it's very hard to argue that any one player is good enough to alter the course of a division race.

OTHER NEWS

Christian LeMay looking like the backup quarterback at Georgia
And they're trying to prepare him for the role.

Emphasis added

The Ducks should get a chance to play much of the roster against the Colonels, will test themselves against a regional mid-major at Nevada the following week and then return home to face former national powerhouse Tennessee on Sept. 14, 2013.

Why would you take financial advice from Jim Donnan?
Part of that is a joke, of course -- anyone who had seen Jim Donnan coach at Georgia would question his ability to plan anything. But part of it is also rhetorical, because the Securities and Exchange Commission says it knows why at least one investor in Donnan's alleged Ponzi scheme invested.

"He capitalized on his influence over one former player by telling him, 'Your Daddy is going to take care of you' ... 'if you weren't my son, I wouldn't be doing this for you,'" the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a civil complaint filed Thursday.

This, if true, is disgusting. For almost every player that takes the field for a college program, the coach is a father figure of some sort. For some players, he might be the closest thing to a real father they've ever had. And what the SEC is alleging here is that Jim Donnan played off that sympathy, that emotion bond, for crass profit in an illegal attempt to bilk that player and other investors of their money.

That said, let's keep in mind that government agencies and prosecutors like to throw out some incendiary stuff on high-profile cases for a variety of reasons, chiefly for publicity and to highlight to defendants just how ugly it could get if they don't settle quick-like. Jim Donnan is still entitled to a presumption of innocence. But if he's guilty of this, it's going to be hard to see how he ever answers for it.

Never, ever make a joke in soon-to-be-published material
I've seen this go wrong so many times before, though perhaps not this wrong.

The 'I' is for independent. Not sure what the 'daho' stands for
After seeing its conference dissolve around it, Idaho is going to try to survive as an independent in football. It's sad that it's come to this for a program with a lengthy history, but hopefully it will work.

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