A year ago 5′ 9″, 175-pound cornerback Tyrann Mathieu emerged as one of the best players in college football. But everything changed for Mathieu on Aug. 10, when LSU dismissed him from the team for failing multiple drug tests; two sources close to Mathieu say the drug was marijuana.
The unconfirmed aim for the 20-year-old Mathieu, who declined to speak to SI, is to play for the Tigers next year. But that possibility may be more tenuous than he knows: Since last January, Mathieu has allowed his image to be used on a flyer promoting an event at a local night club, appeared in several promotional videos online and, multiple sources told SI, received benefits at the club that could affect his eligibility.
However, WBRZ reported Tuesday night that Sports Illustrated may have been paying for information to beef up their Mathieu story. “The guy with Sports Illustrated, he tried to first of all bribe me and also offer me $2,500 to say things that didn’t take place,” said Baton Rouge promoter Xavier Williams.
Torrey Lewis is the owner of The Palace, a club in Baton Rouge which used the players images in promotional videos. Lewis tells WBRZ the players were not asked permission to be used in any videos or given any free benefits at the club.
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