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Has the Honey Badger Blown His Last Chances to Return to College Football?

Tyrann Mathieu
Tyrann Mathieu (Getty Images)

As if Tyrann “The Honey Badger” Mathieu hasn’t had a bad enough year, the cover story in the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated is reporting that even if the cornerback managed to get back in the good graces of LSU, he may have ruined his own eligibility  to play at all — much less with the Tigers.

The SI article quotes sources that say Mathieu may have traded in on his recent celebrity in ways that might keep him off the field for good:

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.

The recent issue of Sports Illustrated
The story also looks into Mathieu’s family dynamics, which apparently aren’t peaches and cream.  His father, Darrin Hayes, was also supposed to be an NFL-caliber talent that got kicked off the field.  In Hayes’ case, it was being caught with a gun on campus — a charge that got him booted out of school.  From there, it was a life of drugs and jail for the Honey Badger’s dad — he was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
According to the article, a group of childhood friends known as “Era Nation” have also been encouraging Tyrann’s distractions — and in some cases have tried to ride his coattails on his rise to fame.
It remains to see how Mathieu will approach the subject of a career in football, though the article notes that he seems to be on the straight and narrow for now.  As always, the only one who can stop the Honey Badger seems to be the Honey Badger.  Even if he manages to keep his system clean, will anyone be willing to take a chance on him?

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