LSU could be without cornerbacks Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon and running back Spencer Ware against Alabama if -- and the key word is "if" -- their suspensions were for a second failed drug test, according to the school’s substance abuse policy.
Mathieu, Simon and Ware will not play Saturday against Auburn "after testing positive for synthetic marijuana," The Times-Picayune reported.LSU officials and coach Les Miles have not confirmed that the players have been suspended for a failed drug test.
Based on the school's substance abuse policy, obtained by CBSSports.com, a second positive test results in a "suspension 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."
The policy does not specify if "up to 15 percent" is a subjective decision, meaning a student-athlete can be suspended "up to 15 percent" or if the suspension is "automatically" 15 percent of games. For a 12-game season, a 15-percent suspension computes to 1.8 games, which would be rounded up to a two-game suspension.
LSU's policy also states there is no automatic suspension for a first positive test and a one-year suspension for a third.
Mathieu and Ware are starters for the No. 1-ranked Tigers, while Simon is a backup cornerback who plays mostly in nickel situations.
After playing Auburn Saturday, LSU is off next week before visiting No. 2-ranked Alabama.
According to the school’s substance abuse policy, every student-athlete is tested a minimum of twice a year. The tests can be random or announced.
However, once a student-athlete has a positive test, the "athlete is subject to unannounced testing at an increased frequency at the discretion of the Drug Prevention Coordinator," LSU’s policy states.
LSU's student-athletes are tested for: "marijuana; synthetic marijuana; cocaine; amphetamine class (includes speed, designer drug 'ecstasy,' etc.); LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide); opiate class (includes heroine, morphine, codeine, etc.); ephedrine; alcohol (ethanol); anabolic steroids and miscellaneous random tests for Clenbuterol, probenecid, barbiturates and adulterants."
Ware is LSU's leading rusher, while Mathieu is a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate.
"I certainly understand the interest surrounding what seems to be news," Miles told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. "The problem with that news is that it's internal discipline and an internal function of a team. I'm not inclined to be forthcoming with information. I'm not reactionary to meet the [needs] of the media and things external to this building.
"So, with that being said, there’s a process that I go through. When there's information that I can share, I will. I can only tell you that I’m doing this in the best interest of our football team, our squad and to maintain a deportment and a procedure that I'm true to in a process that I'm very comfortable with. There's no real information about any specific player that I'll address at this point."