BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - LSU has suspended star cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, along with defensive back Tharold Simon and running back Spencer Ware for this Saturday's home game against Auburn, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The person told The Associated Press about the suspensions on
condition of anonymity on Wednesday because they have not been
LSU coach Les Miles declined to confirm any punishment for
members of his No. 1 Tigers after Wednesday's practice.
"I understand the interest which surrounds what seems to be
news. There is internal discipline and internal news," Miles said.
"I have a process I go through. ... It's a procedure I'm true to.
There is no real information about any player that I'll address at
Mathieu has been one of the stars of the first half of the
college football season. He has forced four fumbles, recovering
three and returning two for scores. He also has two interceptions
and 42 tackles including 1½ sacks.
Mathieu has made so many big plays in nationally televised
games, a grass-roots Heisman Trophy campaign sprouted for the
hard-hitting 5-foot-9 defensive back nicknamed "Honey Badger,"
after the YouTube sensation about a small but fearless animal by
the same name.
Ware is the leading rusher for the unbeaten Tigers with 512
yards and six touchdowns.
Simon has one interception and 29 tackles.
LSU is deep at running back and should be able to cope with
Ware's absence. Michael Ford, who has rushed for 359 yards and six
touchdowns, and Alfred Blue, who has 235 yards rushing and four
TDs, will likely be LSU's top two running backs against Auburn.
In the defensive backfield, senior Ron Brooks would be the
likely candidate to step in at cornerback for Mathieu, while fellow
senior Derrick Bryant could play nickel back. When LSU fields six
defensive backs, sophomore Craig Loston or redshirt freshman Ronnie
Vinson could take the field.
The Tigers have a week off after Saturday, and play No. 2
Alabama on Nov. 5 in what could be the biggest game of the regular
LSU has already managed to stay unbeaten while dealing with
early season suspensions.
"This football team understands what distraction is," Miles
said. "I haven't seen a change in their get-along. I expect the
team to take the field ably manned at all positions."
Quarterback Jordan Jefferson missed the first four games of the
season, including matchups against Oregon and West Virginia, after
he was involved in a bar fight.
Jefferson, who was slated to start, was reinstated on Sept. 28
after a grand jury reduced his felony second-degree battery charge
to a misdemeanor. He and Jarrett Lee have been sharing the
quarterback job since he has returned.
Receiver Russell Shepard missed the first three games because of
an NCAA rules violation.
LSU is a three-touchdown favorite at home against No. 19 Auburn,
but the Alabama game is in Tuscaloosa.