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. GatorDoc

    Jerry Jones probably calling him right now

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

      He'll be subject to the supplemental draft. Secondly, at 5'9" I'm not sure he can make it in the NFL.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Allison


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

    On the bright side, that much less playing time just means that much less brain damage for d' "badger!" (Another pin head jock fails the linear reason and bad consequences test)

    August 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. open400

    This is part of the Penn State,Miami and USC fall out: From now on, any team that thinks they might even look the slightest bit like they are covering up something, the school will just get rid of the player,staff member or coach. Nobody wants to get hit with what Penn State got hit with, but probably there will be victims – players,staff and coaches just thrown out of schools with their careers ruined on flimsy charges.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • scott

      This happens every year and has absolutely nothing to do with the Penn State thing...he failed a freakin drug test...sometimes it happens to the star...has happend to many in the past 5-10 years...all those team rules violations? Bet they were not late for silly little inhale and we effect a persons life for the rest of their life...thank god we are free from unreasonable search and seizure....and to the guy who said he wont make it in the nfl...he will make lots of it in the money money MONEHHHHH!!!!!!!

      August 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DMcafee

    133 tackles, 11 forced fumbles wow! i think he should be checked for brain damage now before we allow this label to destroy his life. Football is a violent sport on the body and mind, LSU should give him the cost of tuition to cover his medical bills and start a new era.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. james


    August 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Woa

    Did it occur to you that his first nam might have been the first three letters of each of his parents: TYR might be for TYRON or TYRESE and as for the mother's be my guest.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. THX1953

    Just when you think you are "special" there you are, not.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim Phelps

    typical colored

    August 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ArizonaYankee

    Sadly, it is what we have come to see and expect from these pampered, ghetto losers..They don't even belong in college, they are a total waste of time IMO.....

    August 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • scott

      What about the white kids who get kicked off teams there Arizona Yankee Bigot....are they cul de sac losers? Sounds as if you are the authority on being a loser.

      August 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Miss Kitty

    Wow! Someone is finally being held accountable for their actions. Whatever he did, I hope he learns from this mistake.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Percy

    What is the big deal? LSU has plenty of talented players. He will never be missed. Having watched last year’s BCS championship I can say with certainty that this player was all fluff, puff and hype nothing more 😉

    August 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. James PDX

    Another ridiculously gifted and nicknamed person taking incredible opportunity for granted that others would die for. Honey Badger don't care, which is just sad.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ricky

      you might want to stop and question the incredibly stupid drug laws of the U.S. which cause more pain and sadness than any joint ever will. what a messd up place.

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

      Hey Ricky...even if pot were legallzed, it would most likely have the same standards as booze and he would still be in the same boat since his is not 21. I am for the legalization of it but wouldn't help in this case.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lakeesha johnston

    you can take them out of the jungle, but

    August 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      With a name like LaKeesha, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Either way, the man was a fool to take that chance of throwing it all away.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jamest297

    About time some of the major football universities act the way they talk.

    Too bad this kid got himself gone, but the stars have to know that the rules apply to them the same as everyone else – especially the knee grow ones. They been sliding by on the PC and race card related thingy for about 45 years!

    August 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
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