LSU: Heisman hopeful Mathieu, aka 'Honey Badger,' dismissed for breaking team rules
LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu speaks to the media before the BCS championship in January.
August 10th, 2012
03:10 PM ET

LSU: Heisman hopeful Mathieu, aka 'Honey Badger,' dismissed for breaking team rules

It's been said that Honey Badger don't care, but what may be more accurate is that Honey Badger don't play - at least not for the LSU Tigers.

The team, which played in last year's national college football championship game, announced this afternoon that their top player and arguably the nation's best cornerback, Tyrann Mathieu, has been dismissed for violating team policy.

“This is a very difficult day for our team,” head coach Les Miles said. “We lose a quality person, teammate and contributor to the program. However, with that being said, we have a standard that our players are held to and when that standard is not met, there are consequences."

Miles added, “It’s hard because we all love Tyrann. We will do what we can as coaches, teammates, and friends to get him on a path where he can have success. We are going to miss him.”

LSU did not say which team rule Mathieu broke. The 20-year-old All-American ran into trouble last year when he and two other players violated the team's drug policy. ESPN reported at the time that the trio tested positive for synthetic marijuana.

Mathieu and the others were suspended for their team's game against Auburn.

Despite missing the game, Mathieu was still a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, awarded to college football's best player, as a sophomore. In addition to winning the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the top defensive player, he came in fifth in Heisman voting with 34 first-place votes and was the only defensive player among 10 finalists.

According to LSU, the Columbus, Ohio, native who attended high school in New Orleans, has registered 133 tackles - 16 for a loss - in 26 games for the Tigers. He also has four picks, 11 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries, as well as four touchdowns, two on punt returns and two on fumble returns.

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Mathieu got his nickname for his fearlessness on the gridiron. Honey badgers are known to scrap with animals many times their size, including lions, and even tangle (successfully) with poisonous snakes.

Said the Dallas Cowboys' Morris Claiborne, a former teammate of Mathieu's: "Tyrann deserved the nickname ... because the honey badger takes what it wants, and Tyrann takes what he wants on the field," ESPN reported today in a profile.

The sports network had to add an editor's note, saying, "This story was published prior to Tyrann Mathieu's dismissal from LSU's football program on August 10."

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Filed under: College football • Football • Louisiana • Sports • U.S.
soundoff (669 Responses)
  1. tcaros

    marijuana is a bad drug... it should never be legalized.

    don't listen to these dope heads.. they'll do anything to get a hit

    August 12, 2012 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. Steve players will be banded for masturbating.

    August 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim


      October 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JL

    He will still be drafted, but maybe not a first round.

    August 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joel

    This kid is a "rules don't apply to me" idiot. I see another Maurice Clarett happening here. His ego won't let him sit for a year, so he'll probably transfer to an FCS school. Or try Canada for a year until he's eligible.

    August 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. freb

    He will probably come out of this fine. Just like Cam Newton stealing laptops at UF, comes back at Auburn and wins the Heistman trophy. It will just cost him a year. Just to clarify though, he obviously won't win a heisman because defensive players never do. It's a flawed system (and no, Woodson doesn't really count because he wouldn't have won it either without the 4 TDs on offense).

    August 13, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ben

    Student athlete not athlete student. Buckle down, do the year of school and come back stonger and wiser.
    Needs a role model like RG3.

    August 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
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