LSU investigates claims from SI story
BATON ROUGE - Sports Illustrated is reporting that former LSU football player Tyrann Mathieu and other players may have violated NCAA rules with activities related to a Baton Rouge club last year.
The magazine reported today that Mathieu, who was dismissed from the LSU football team before the season began due to rules violations, may have also incurred NCAA violations by allowing his image to be used to promote events at the Baton Rouge club "The Palace".
According to the report, the flyers used images of Mathieu and other players in their team jerseys to promote events where they claimed "the whole LSU football team will be there." It also claims the club let Mathieu and his teammates into their VIP areas for free.
Receiving compensation for using his image and permitting it to be used for advertising are against NCAA regulations, and athletes who do so could be ruled ineligible.
Herb Vincent, LSU's sports information director, said they became aware of the article Monday when the magazine asked them for comment. Vincent said they looked into the allegations affecting current players, and were satisfied they didn't violate any regulations.
Vincent said two players, Anthony Hickey and Spencer Ware, simply attended a party at the club, which didn't break any rules. He said athletics officials did speak with Anthony Johnson, whose image appeared on one of the flyers; Johnson told them he wasn't aware his image had been used, and when he found out he asked the club to stop using it. He also said he never received any compensation or free treatment from the club.
Vincent said they would report their findings to the NCAA.
Mathieu received nationwide attention for his unpredictable playing style, which earned him the nickname "Honey Badger." He enrolled in a drug rehab program in Texas, and re-enrolled in classes at LSU this fall.
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