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. Mr. Hand

    OK, so he just goes pro and has the last laugh anyway.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Ask Johnny Jolly how things worked out for him in the NFL

      August 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chas

      Precisely, it's NOT as if the NFL is going to care.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |

    PFFFFFFFFFFFF.............................WOnt be hard for him to find another team to play for.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JS

    With all the issues facing the world, how can this be a "lead story"?? This is a totally irrelevant issue!! Not worth reading

    August 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jon

    "keepin' it real" is much more important than stupid team rules.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |

    University of Montana Grizzlies would welcome the Honey Badger! GO GRIZ NATION

    August 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RapidOne

    Total bull - so he smoked a little - who the f cares. Ruin his future for marijuana that isn't even harmful. War on drugs and the idiots that support; they don't know it's a total farce.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      When you are done ranting, pass the bong, pothead. If you don't like the rule, change it, but until then, no one should be above it.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      The point is that he broke team rules.

      August 11, 2012 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. frunklin

    Ah the future of America is just looking brighter and brighter every day.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Thinkergal

    As an LSU grad, my response is "who cares?". Too much emphasis on football throughout the South–elsewhere as well, but worse among SEC schools.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. open400

    Strange: All of a sudden one of the schools(LSU) with the lowest graduation rate, lowest academic standard for a student athlete and are actively recruiter an eight-grader, have become so principled all student. I am Pitt alumni and I have soured on college football the last few year. Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia had great rivalry games in the 1970s when I attended. Despite the fact the teams are all within a 100 miles of Pittsburgh, the teams will now play in three different conferences. OU and Nebraska will no longer play – that's absurd. Texas threatens to live the Big 12 every year if Texas doesn't get what it wants. Last but not least , we had the summer circus at Penn State when the NCAA decided Joe Paterno was really the governor of the state of Pennsylvania and controlled for 46 years: the athletic director, the president of university, the board of trustees, the campus police, the State College police, the local DA, the state police and the state department of justice.
    College ball is just a free minor league for the NFL.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Thinkergal

    As an LSU grad, my response is "who cares?". Too much emphasis on football in the South–elsewhere as well, but especially in the SEC.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Charlie Wood

    Ann Arbor has a Hash Bash.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt

    Hi, Honey Badger?? THis is USC Calling ~ we'll take anybody's left overs, criminals, we dont care !!!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luke

      Yes, because he did not physically assault someone like Jordan Jefferson did, and did drugs instead, he is NOT LSU material!!

      August 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pennylane

    That's the problem with some of these players who turn...they don't give a dam..they feel they're above the law, think they're worth the millions they're paid...they don't know how to conduct themselves...I applaud LSU for what they did...these athletics need to conduct themselves respectfully, our youth are watching these individuals..there's a conduct code that they need to follow...Shame on the Honey Badger for his conduct...this will only carry onto his professional career.... 🙁

    August 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      Why should he give a barrier that impounds water? Perhaps you meant "damn."

      August 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    Good! Let this be a lesson to all athletes, especially the Prima Donna types, who excel above their peers: you might be better than most others, but you're NOT above the law! Too often, we see these athletes, who are looked up to by their peers, as well as younger kids, who believe that they don't have to follow the rules, then destroy a kid's faith when they go down in flames. When you play for a team, you represent that team, and the organization.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jae

      Bill, good statement but let me ask you, how do u feel about paterno? Whos worse? This KID or paterno?

      August 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      Jae, that is like comparing apples and oranges. Paterno, Sandusky, and that lot are a total disgrace to their school and the human race. This athlete broke the rules last year, enough to be suspended, he just blew his second chance. Maybe his place on the team will go to a surprise talent and amp up the game.

      August 11, 2012 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. Omni

    Roll Tide!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
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