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. Gee - I went to school to LEARN - you went to PLAY A GAME?

    No wonder America is as screwed up as it is. People have NO sense of what true priorities are.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dulles

    The drug controle in US is a laughing matter. It is wasting lot of lives at the same time making many people rich (you know who they are.). Just watch the law for drug in Singapoore.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AshleyM512

    As a Razorback fan, this is incredibly exciting. But wow is it sad! Talk about throwing away an opportunity!

    August 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rhope

    You know what they say about skill/experience – It can take you to the top, but only Character can keep you there.
    Too bad.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jimbo

    imagine what they would say if he was dark skinned

    August 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dirty Rotten Hippie

    Honey Badger don't care, neither does a dirty rotten hippie.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pilgrim1

    New Name: Honey Lion.....

    August 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Wini Dogg

    Honey Badger will survive and get some lucrative pro contract. So he doesn't really care about breaking some school rules. LSU should be applauded for sticking to its guns, regardless of the student's temporary fame.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Leocatz

    This is a shame for the LSU program and all the work other players and coaches have put into the team. I'm sure college programs are holding tighter to the rules these day after the Penn debacle, which is probably a good thing overall. As for Tyrann< I guess he will just have to turn pro and collect his $25,000,000 few years earlier than planned.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Or end up kicked off a couple pro teams and end up doing prison time. He needs to grow up.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AcesFull

    I wonder if Obama had a son would he look like Honey?

    August 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff Cox

      Yeah, that joke's getting old.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. J-Pap

    Who cares if he smoked some pot. He's one of the best players. Leave it at that. It's only when drugs affect someone's abilities that they should be brought into question, not if a draconian rule is followed. If they are concerned about health they should make not smoking cigarettes part of the rule book. Meanwhile, other players, not going to name names, cough... Vic, are betting on dog fights. Which is the worse of the two.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sherdeill Breathett

    I'm amazed at the negative comments delivered minus knowing the real issue. This kid is 20 years old (still very immature); what’s his story or does it matter? College sports are jacked! The two (2) sports bearing the financial load in most cases of all the others happen to be football and basketball. The majority of these players come from poor minority and single parent homes. There are a number of factors that contribute to this matter. Here's my point; these kids are used by the universities. If the schools really cared about them they would implement programs to help these kids matriculate into upstanding adults. Establish a mentoring system; with mentors that reflect and can relate to these kids. If schools reflected the population in the particular sports they served everyone would benefit. Hire career / development coaches (none related to either sport) but hired to insure the kids are working to achieve an education in a field that can earn them a living wage. Less than one (1) percent will play professional sports.

    Let's prepare them for life! Offer cash incentives to student/athletes that graduate. Offer them a carrot/incentive (States, Cities, Counties and Municipalities) do it to attract business to communities). Provide them with a reasonable financial support to assist them through the school year. It makes reasonable sense. When the young athlete makes a poor decision he's booted from the team in most cases and is tagged a thug a loser by the masses and demonized by haters who don't have a clue. When coaches make poor decisions they are let go with $ thousands if not millions of dollars to be hired by the next program; is that right? NO! Let's do the right thing and build people up and not tear them down. "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy!" Together we STAND and divided we fall! I have more to say but I’ll just quit for limitation.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      Let's start with this: If these STUDENT athletes can read, they need to be presented with a list of rules that pertain to the conditions of their employment. Then they have to sign it. Then it's up to the universities in question to make sure they have a cadre of people they trust to mentor the kid. If the STUDENT athlete CANNOT read, then he does not belong in school and he can go to the coal mines for a few years in order to figure things out.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rich

    Typical halfrican american... can't follow the rules.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Polopoint

      typical comment.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Max Roundhouse

      He's headed to Ohio State on a Greyhound.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rooster

    Who cares what color his skin is? He knows right from wrong, but he did it anyway. If any other school picks him up, then they should be punished as well.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Solitaire

      Oh yeah, completely ruin someone who broke a rule. I'm sure that's the way you expect to be treated, right? Nobody ever gave you mercy, help, a break at all, right?

      August 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lou50

    now that is an attention getter, guess we will be reading out his future failures with another team.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
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