LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson has told the university’s compliance office that he was unaware that his image was being used to promote a party at a Baton Rouge night club in March.
The allegation surfaced in a Sports Illustrated story on former Tigers defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, which was posted on the magazine’s website Tuesday. The story said pictures of Mathieu, Johnson and former Tigers cornerback Morris Claiborne were used in a flier and a video to promote a party at The Palace.
Any student-athlete who permits the use of their name or image to promote a commercial product or service would be in violation of NCAA rules and ineligible.
“Our compliance office spoke with Anthony Johnson, and he said he was not aware that his image was being used to promote a party,” LSU Associate Vice-Chancellor for University Relations Herb Vincent said. “He said at one point he saw it was being used and asked the club to stop. He said he did not know his image was being used in a video. Based on what Anthony said, we feel his eligibility has not been compromised.”
According to SI, Claiborne, who chose to forgo his last season of eligibility and turn pro in January, said he was aware of the party but did not attend. Claiborne plays for the Dallas Cowboys.
If Mathieu, who was kicked off the LSU team in August, allowed his image to be used in the promotions, it would jeopardize any attempt by him to resume his college career. LSU will not comment on the prospect of Mathieu trying to resume his career with the Tigers. He has two years of eligibility left and is enrolled at LSU.
Vincent said the compliance office is continuing to do its “due diligence” in investigating the allegations, which it became aware of Monday when SI contacted the university seeking comment on its story.
The university will forward information to the NCAA if its research yields anything warranting such action, Vincent said.
The revelation about the promotions was contained in a lengthy cover story in the Oct. 22 issue, which mostly rehashes the story of Mathieu’s two-year career with the Tigers and his family situation.
Copyright © 2011, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved