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. jamest297

    Wow! He got kicked off the LSU team. Who else would go near him with a 12' pole and three layers of rubber gloves? If he can't manage to stay within the LSU "TEAM RULES" (multiple times) there ain't no program on earth that should even answer the phone when his agent calls!!

    August 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tyrone Johnson

    Wait... a young black person with no respect for rules or the law... no that never happens

    August 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Please

      why can't he be like Randy Travis

      August 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. james

    What a great name "honey Badger" with the good looks , he has a future in X rated movies

    August 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297


      August 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pete/Ark

    nobody in the SEC will miss him...and whatever LSU loses will be somewhat offset by the respect they'll gain.

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

    Maybe the Penn State Scandal will help to clean up the sport after all.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fast Fred

      Penn State may pick him up.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      We can hope...
      And we can hope that "Honey Badger" has to pay back any scholarship money he received.
      That should be an NCAA rule for rule-breakers.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Archyle

    Perhaps he broke the rules on purpose to pursue whatever end he intends to make of his career.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jazz1910

    Marijuana should be legal any ways. It definitely does not enhance a person's athletic ability and he should not have been kicked off for using it or synthetic marijuana. When will Obama get the nerve to recommend legalizing marijuana. It was legal until the 30's when the nut case Republicans outlawed jit ust so they could get elected.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • dynadigger

      Right on!

      August 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fast Fred

      Never legal operating a football!

      August 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hey Moron

      Because he has better things to do than legalizing a drug that will cause just as much if not more roadway crashes and fatalities think about it if people can't regulate their alcohol consumption you think that legalizing another hallucinogen will help lower the death rate from crashes commited by drivers that under the influence?

      August 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • jlv

      He used synthetic marijuana, not real marijuana. The synthetic stuff has a lot of bad properties to it. Put the bong down and read the article again.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      Legalized or not, the issue was team rules, which were broken.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. cajr

    dont kid yourself. if it had been their star qb it would have never happened.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. johnny

    Maybe he wanted to be booted off the team. He has options now.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      Yep, his biggest option is a YEAR OFF!

      August 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. EVN

    Break the rules get tossed. It's about time the rules start meaning something again. LSU reached down deep and found something besides footballs.

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

    PLEASE, Oh please, oh please, little Baby Jesus..... send him to New Mexico to play for the LOBOS!

    August 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jason Jones

    Honey Badger probably smoked weed for pain relief, because he's 5'9", 175; a great and fearless athlete no doubt, but probably in pain.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • jlv

      It wasn't weed, it was fake weed. Which is chemicals claimed to cause halucinations and other issues.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Manuel Imel

      Nobody smokes weed JUST for pain relief. In fact it doesn't actually relieve any pain at all, it just makes it easier to deal with (I'm a high school Senior who has smoked more than my fair share of pot). He smoked it because he wanted to get high. With all that said Marijuana prohibition is a complete waste of time and money, but you have to keep in mind that this guy isn't even 21 so its completely reasonable for the NCAA to want to keep their athletes drug free.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • SinnFeinFunn

      ...which he wouldn't need to bother with if the real thing wasn't illegal.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Vince Young

    What these kids don't understand is that post Penn State things are different. Rules that were not in place will be put in place. Rules that are not being enforced will. The governing boards of Universities across the board are getting involved and making sure that they are taking their fiduciary responsibility seriously. It's a new day. Hopefully, he will learn a valuable lesson, pick up the pieces and become the great athlete and person he is destined to be.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Nasar

      "Hopefully he will learn a valuable lesson" because smoking legal synthetic marijuana is so bad. What a joke.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. open400

    This is part of the Penn State, USC, Miami fallout. Major college football programs now will just throw players, coaches or staff off the team for the the slightest Impropriety – after what happen to Penn State no one wants the NCAA to show up and say: "You knew this was going on....". I think people will be dismissed for flimsy reasons now.

    Le'ts be honest college football is just a free minor league for the NFL.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Basement_Cat

    Another aspiring professional athlete's career short-circuited by drug use. Film at 11:00.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • SinnFeinFunn

      Nothing was cut short. Ever hear of the NFL?

      August 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
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