Door open for Mathieu to return to LSU?

Tyrann Mathieu's days at LSU may not necessarily be over.

ESPN's Joe Schad is reporting that Mathieu wants to remain in classes at LSU during the 2012 academic year with the possibility of returning to the team in 2013.

LSU coach Les Miles announced last Friday that Mathieu had been dismissed from the team for violating school and athletic department policy. Sources told ESPN.com that Mathieu's dismissal came on the heels of repeated violations of the athletic department's substance abuse policy and that Mathieu had been undergoing drug counseling during the spring and summer.

Mathieu, a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist, tested positive for synthetic marijuana last season and was suspended for the Auburn game.

One thing to keep in mind here is that Mathieu is a long way from ever playing football again at LSU. He understands that there are no guarantees and that any decision about his possible return to the team would be made on several different levels. Nonetheless, Mathieu feels strongly that the best place for him to get the help he needs to beat his drug problem is at LSU and not at some other school.

The next question becomes: Did LSU paint itself into a corner by announcing that Mathieu had been dismissed? The other key element here is whether or not the language in LSU's drug-testing policy would leave the door open for Mathieu to return.

What we do know is that he wasn't dismissed from the university and remains in good standing academically. So if he does decide to stay in school this year, LSU could have a very interesting (and very controversial) decision to make in 2013.