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Did Kentucky dodge a bullet with Tyrann Mathieu?

When he was let go from LSU, star cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was a hot commodity on the college football market.  Like a popular, newly single girl in high school, Mathieu had a lot of folks thinking he’d be good for their program, but, like high school, no one bothered to think that maybe there was a reason his last setup didn’t work out.  Like, say, a bad case of the crazies.

I was among those who thought it’d be a good idea to bring Mathieu into Commonwealth as a Wildcat.   He was (is?) an electric player, a dynamic defensive presence, and a solid addition to any team.  At least, on the field.  He’d be a good guy to give a struggling defense a spark, and would also give the team some publicity that games don’t seem to provide.

I wondered why Joker, in desperate need of a player like Mathieu, didn’t reach out to the embattled star.  I’m not wondering any more.

For those of you that missed the news last week, Mathieu was arrested for possessing at least ten bags of “high grade” marijuana.  He’s now out of jail, but his time at LSU is almost certainly over.

But that doesn’t stop other teams from trying to pick him up for next season, and beyond.  ESPN’s Jemele Hill said that there’s a very real possibility that a college or pro team could gamble on Tyrann’s future career:

[I]t wouldn’t surprise me if someone took another chance on Matthieu, either in college football or professionally.

Should that team be Kentucky?  At this point, I think the answer has to be “no way.”

Reasonable minds could differ on this.  There’s no doubt that the young man could always turn over a new leaf and change his bad habits.  There’s also no doubt, though, that the publicity he would bring the University at this point would be overwhelmingly negative.  It’s unlikely that folks around the SEC would view Kentucky as giving Mathieu a second chance, but rather that UK is so desperate to win that they’ll take any player, regardless of prior bad acts.  True, we are desperate for a win, but what price are we willing to pay?

I hope that the answer, wherever it is, stops short of the team’s integrity.  Great Wildcat players like Randall Cobb, Danny Trevathan, and Andre Woodson (just from the last few years) do a great job of representing the University with high character, and fans are rightly proud of their examples.  Are a couple wins more important than that?  Even in basketball, where fans rightly have a higher standard for talent, Kentucky has been lucky to have guys with character as strong as their talent.

So if Joker went out and tried to recruit Tyrann Mathieu for the 2013 season, would you be okay with it?  In a bigger sense than just Mathieu, are fans willing to target any player that gives the team a better chance to win?  Joker’s made a lot of poor decisions in his tenure, but I have to believe that the apparent decision not to go after Mathieu (I have no idea whether he did or not, but I never heard anything about him reaching out) is the right one.

What say you?

Article written by Corey Nichols

61 Comments for Did Kentucky dodge a bullet with Tyrann Mathieu?

  1. Billy
    9:05 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    I think he would have been fine if he had gotten away from the people at LSU. That was his mistake. He hung around Jordan Jefferson and other’s and got in trouble. If he had left the place and didn’t visit then things might have been different. It’s all with who you associate with.

  2. Dank
    9:06 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    I’m confused… They make “high grade” marijuana sound like a bad thing…

  3. HawkeyeTim
    9:06 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Tyrann Mathieu would have to want to come here……that will never happen.

  4. Just Wondering
    9:08 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    I definitely wouldn’t support giving him another chance, but what makes you think we would even want to come here?

  5. Musehobo
    9:09 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    1. Mathieu doesn’t want to come here.
    2. Joker doesn’t want him to come here.
    3. Fans don’t want him to come here.

    Am I missing something? This is a non-story.

  6. aj
    9:09 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Criminal or not, Players of his csliber WONT come to UK, Its not just about changing the Coach, Its about changing UK,s attitude toward Football in general. Recruits who do come a lot say our facilities are second rate, Thats unacceptable when you have a bad program. UK has not one single thing to sell kids on, not one. Wholesale changes must be made.

  7. Floyd
    9:10 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at ul.

  8. Steve
    9:11 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Dodge a bullet implies that a gun was actually pointed toward us. UK dodged a bullet about as much as Ohio U. Speaking of which, I’m surprised that KSR has not commented on the ESPN article about stricter NCAA sanctions regarding “rogue” programs. The rules would seem to be in response to PSU and Syracuse issues but there is only one quote in the article from an Ohio U professor who references Kentucky and Coach Cal: Haters gonna hate.

  9. bigcat76
    9:14 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    “High Grade” I see what you did there.

  10. Head Bussa
    9:15 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    This is the most irrelevant article I’ve ever seen posted on this site.

  11. St. Paul Raiders
    9:16 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Can we please stop acting like this kid is an ax murderer and that marijuana is the equivalent of heroine? I agree that he needs to get his sh!t together, but come on.

  12. What the?
    9:18 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    It’s very EASY to dodge a bullet when the gun isn’t even pointed at you.

    Blog article Fail——Corey Nichols

  13. UK Fan
    9:19 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Honey Badger is not so desperate that he would play at UK

  14. just saying
    9:20 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    I rarely post on this site anymore, but this article is the worst Ive seen. So…Joker may or may not have reached out to him, and he may or may not have wanted to come here, so Joker made the right decision to not bring him in?????

    What in the hell are you trying to ask? For all you know Joker called him daily, or better yet this thug was to busy smoking dope to answer the phone, or just simply couldnt stop laughing when his caller ID said Joker Phillips, or….nothing ever happen and we are reading about Neverland

  15. SteveM
    9:21 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Another stupid, irrelevant KSR article. Matt…it might help if you hire writers older than 22 who have some perspective on sports…if not life. KSR is really going down hill.

  16. Jokersajoke
    9:22 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Joker isn’t aware enough to even consider-wrong or right-Honeybadger coming to UK. This is a total non-story. You could fill in “Kentucky” with any college and fill in said colleges ex-players in place of ours and have the same non-story. Joker has developed our program completely irrelevant. You give Joker and our non football program to much relevancy. What’s next? Would Saban really leave Alabama for UK?

  17. HighCatinColorado
    9:22 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    We are talking about marijuana people. Danny Trevathan didn’t and doesn’t smoke pot? Is it possible to make an anonymous poll on here? I bet alot of people smoke the herband frankly, I don’t know many people who don’t, including physicians, veterinarians, professors, city officials, all of whom I regularly smoke pot with. Why is this an issue in the world today?

  18. carnifex
    9:23 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    What I can’t fathom is why the author thinks Mushmouth is gonna’ have a say in who is here next year. Unless they’re implying somethin’? Which is beside the point that we can’t get the decent players from in the state to look at us seriously, let alone a kid from another SEC state.

    If Honey BooBoo had been a UK fan from birth, and the staff recruited him since that birth, our chances maybe would have been 30/70. On reconsidering, less than that. We got to get rid of this entire clownshow of a staff, and pend money on,oh, stupid things like a rcruiting room, or a dorm for just football players…something to change the “We’re UK, and we don’t give a flying $%#@ about football” mentality at the school, and in public perception.

  19. Bevo
    9:23 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    If the Honey Badger was at UK and that happened…he would sit out one week and be back on the field the next.


    Raymond Sanders

  20. catcard202
    9:23 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Selling weed, huh??? I guess since that fat LSU FB paycheck stopped coming in, HoneyBadger has to find a way to make ends meet.

  21. Experienced
    9:23 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Soooo what this equates to is he had 10 grams of chronic or medicinal marijuana ready to sell to some lucky customers. Yeah, shame on him.

  22. AfghanCat
    9:24 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    We also really dodged a bullet when Maurice Clarrett decided to go to Ohio St instead of UK. Or how about that bullet we dodged when Latrell Sprewell didn’t come to Kentucky???

  23. RealCatsFan
    9:29 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Oh what the hell, if UK hires Petrino he would be just the kind of player that Bobby is used to having anyway.

    BTW #17, I agree that smoking it isn’t that big of a deal, but he was obviously dealing it. At that point you are crossing the line. Sure it is also illegal to smoke and/or possess it, but it can become a felony to be selling it in those quantities. I don’t think any team wants to be branded with having a convicted felon on their roster.

  24. Will S
    9:36 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    He would have never considered UK, the BCS’s worst football program. How do you dodge a bullet that was never fired at you?

  25. Bradley
    9:47 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Dodge a bullet? We never had or will have a shot at this kid. Stupid post…as usual. Next up: Did Kentucky dodge a bullet by not getting OJ Simpson or Reggie Bush.

  26. Head Bussa
    9:48 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    23 — Absolutely not true. Bobby runs a tight ship and there has never been any question about that from those who have followed his teams.

  27. Dougie Wuggie
    9:56 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Hire him as coach! Lets get smoked up… At least maybe I could find some humor in this debacle called “uk football”…

  28. Jetblue
    10:00 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Jokers not going to go after him for the 2013 season because Joker won’t be here.

  29. DB11
    10:01 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    This was never a thing. I completely agree with #5

  30. BrooksBrother
    10:11 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Something to think about here: When you get Tyrann Mathieu out of the Louisiana area you get him away from his roots, which in this case is a good thing. When you get him away from there he is away from all of the people he runs around with that he gets into trouble with. Being in Baton Rouge, he is still able to be around the friends that he gets into trouble with. When you get him out of that environment, there is a decent chance that the mischief stops and he is able to focus on the game and school. A prime example of being in the same environment and being hindered by that environment is Todd Marinovich. He grew up around LA, played at USC and then the Raiders (LA Raiders at the time). His downward spiral that began towards the end of his high school years continued because he was around the same people that got him into drugs and theft. The bottom line is, he never left his roots and as a result of that, wasn’t able to escape his life of drugs and crime.

    Not meant to be a rant, just something to consider.

  31. No way
    10:15 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    It wouldn’t matter if he came to UK, we would still suck.

  32. NotFirst
    10:17 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    A college student smoking/dealing pot??????????????? WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? Next you’re going to tell me he got drunk at a party AND had sex with someone he wasn’t married to!

    We just need to make sure he is put in jail long enough so that he will never have a chance at being a productive member of society.

  33. michael gray
    10:26 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    I would be fine with him coming in. It appears that he was caught with those things while with other former players from LSU, maybe it is the environment. However, I think that if Joker brings him in, it would look like desperation. If they switched coaches, and the new coach brought him in, I think it would be seen as trying to flip the script and give the kid a second chance with a new program. Either way he got caught with someone that is legal in some states (albeit, not in that quantity).

  34. HicksPickSix
    10:31 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    What say I? I say you’re a hack writer with absolutely zero knowledge of sports. A middle schooler could have come up with a more original post than this.

  35. ohhai
    10:34 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    This was indeed a pathetic attempt at a post. If you are being forced to write about football try something like profiles of potential coaching replacements. Guys that are under the radar, that sort of thing…

  36. RICK
    10:36 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Hell yes i would take him. I’VE said all along we need some criminals on the football team. Take all you can, some will get caught and some want. You surley dont think this guy is the only bad apple that LSU has.

  37. roydillard
    10:46 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    like he would come to uk and play football….what a joke…

  38. RICK
    10:50 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    #5, You must like loseing.

  39. HeadLikeAHouseCat
    10:57 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Any chance of Kentucky looking at Kirby Smart? Would that be a perfect fit? He makes $950,000 as defensive coordinator at Alabama. Throw 2.5 million his way and horse farm or two and see what happens.

  40. Jus Sayin
    11:01 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    No we didnt “Dodege a bullet” he would have never come here.

  41. JoeBob
    11:04 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Awful. Just awful. Yet another example of why KSR has went downhill so bad.

  42. Rick Roy
    11:07 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Matt- Your new writers are terrible! Seriously, I know it’s a free site etc..but I do like to come on to see what you or Drew post. I would rather not have any new articles then read the garbage Chris Thomas, Corey nichols and others write…just terrible!

  43. BuckeyeFan98
    11:08 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    UK needs all the help they can get. But I doubt Mathieu would come to a small time program like UK.

  44. capt
    11:11 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Who gives a crap? The stuff wasn’t even illegal until big companies like Dupont learned that hemp would hurt their profits. Couple that with a racist Harry Anslinger, and some yellow journalism, and here we are today. People are doing time over something much less harmful than bourbon. Look at how many states are looking into legalizing it now!
    As #11 said, the kid isn’t an ax murderer. Add him to our swiss cheese defense. Couldn’t hurt.

  45. Yesterdays
    11:12 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Next Stop for this moron is to “Raise L” with the cards or to join the felony friendly confines of the cincy bungal organization.

  46. Geese
    11:19 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Effing awful. You take a talent like Mathieu 100/100 times. It’s UK football, we aren’t good enough to pass on a talent like him EVEN if he had ever showed interest in coming (100% lock he did not).

    Terrible post. This kid is a hack. Do better, KSR. Geezus.

  47. chardun
    11:24 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Not that it matters, Matheiu was charged with simple possession, thats why he Jordan Jefferson got out. All that asside, Matheiu has to many issuses to be trying to play football anywhere.

  48. HackJob
    11:27 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    What’s next CoRey a story on how OJ Simpson is planning on coaching at UK when he gets out of prison? You sir suck ass!

  49. College guy
    11:30 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Some of our players smoke… Have been in trouble for smoking… Or currently flip for quick cash… He would fit right in.

  50. College guy
    11:36 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    The thing about UKs Football Program is there is no real control over the student athletes out side the field (except on twitter) many of them go out drink, smoke, go wild ect. I am not saying they should be able to go out liken any other college student, but there needs to be a level of some control that’s just not there. Al

  51. Mike
    11:55 am October 31, 2012 Permalink

    What are you talking about, you really think that bringing a pot smoker on the team would ruin the integrity of the program? We just had 3 players on this current team arrested for smoking pot just a few weeks back, and all they got was a one game suspension because its no big freakin deal. Grow up dude, its just weed.

  52. Mem
    12:36 pm October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Great article, god effort

  53. I Say
    12:49 pm October 31, 2012 Permalink

    This post is completely irrelevant

  54. smokeweederrday
    1:54 pm October 31, 2012 Permalink

    why would we not want him? on the field, hes a monster. off the field, he smokes weed which will make him content and he will brings lots of laughs to his teammates. maybe he will even eat more and pack on some weight. HONEYBADGER TO UK!!!!

  55. smokeweederrday
    1:55 pm October 31, 2012 Permalink

    matt jones, i hate you, and you are terrible at reporting uk sports news.

  56. cayts8
    3:02 pm October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Why the hell would even consider coming here in the first place. Stupid

  57. is it different
    3:11 pm October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Look at all our players who are smoking pot and getting suspended or kicked off. what’s the difference? This kid just had it publicized. We’re UK Football so the media doesn’t give a sh*t.

  58. joe
    5:31 pm October 31, 2012 Permalink

    one of the absolute dumbest things I’ve ever read.

  59. BCG
    5:52 pm October 31, 2012 Permalink

    No, we can’t have him coming here brining overwhelmingly bad press to the football team. NO!!!

    lol. Besides, Joker is stellar at it.

  60. Green River 46
    7:21 pm October 31, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville here I come.

  61. Unknown Fan
    7:24 am November 1, 2012 Permalink

    Our football players simply get a week off…
    Stop throwing stones from glass doublewides folks,weed is on EVERY campus and sports team in America.It was around in the early 60s and 70s and will eventually be legalized.
    SO WHAT??