LSU sophomore starters Tyrann Mathieu, Tharold Simon and Spencer Ware failed drug tests and are suspended for Saturday's game against Auburn in Baton Rouge.
LSU head coach Les Miles would not comment specifically regarding the players or the alleged drug test reports after practice Wednesday evening. Miles did tell the media that the reports were "left of center" but would not elaborate.
The LSU Daily Reveille first reported on Wednesday that cornerback Mathieu and running back Ware would be suspended after reportedly failing a drug test. Other sources confirmed that sophomore Tharold Simon, another key cornerback for the Tigers, then was identified as the third player to fail a drug test and face suspension.
The drug that showed up on the players' tests, according to numerous reports, is a synthetic form of marijuana.
The LSU student newspaper speculated that the suspensions could turn into multiple-game suspensions, but multiple outlets including Tiger Sports Digest said Friday that the players will be back for the Alabama game Nov 5 if they meet LSU's requirements for reinstatement.
With the reports of suspensions, the indications are that the failed tests may mark the second ones for each player. Based on the schoolâ€™s substance abuse policy, a first failed test carries no mandatory penalty. However, a second positive test results in a â€œsuspension from up to 15 percent (rounding method used) of countable contests and/or suspension up to 30 days or combination thereof upon recommendation of treatment team. The penalty will be observed in all sports from the date of signed notification.â€
The policy does not specify how â€œup to 15 percentâ€ can be interpreted. For a 12-game season, a 15-percent suspension computes to 1.8 games, which could be rounded up to a two-game suspension. LSUâ€™s policy also states that a one-year suspension is the penalty for a third positive test.
A rising star on the national scene, Mathieu has forced a team-high six turnovers and scoried two touchdowns on defense and special teams this season. Ware is the leading rusher for the Tigers in 2011 with 512 yards. Simon has totaled 29 tackles and one interception this season.
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