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. Steve-O

    He was dismissed for breaking the team's number one rule: having a gay nickname such as "Honey Badger".

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

      And, "Steve-O" is such a manly name? Oh, yeah...just like "Jackie-O"...Uh huh...ROFL

      August 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      🙂 🙂

      August 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bigun80

    LSU has "standards that their players are held to..." ?!? Seriously?! He must have killed someone. Twice.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. surfdog

    hope he pulls it together. what a waste

    August 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mfx3

    Probably get picked up by Bama or Penn State. To some, football is more important than anything else.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hear Ye

    Looks like honey badger or whatever you chose to call the kid better get tough on his drug life before he becomes dead, bringing a fist to a gunfight somewhere, some night.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. anahadwolves

    I'm a Crimson Tide fan first and foremost. Having said that, I am also an SEC fan. LSU and Honey Badger were always great to watch because of the synergy between the player and his teammates. I hope Tayronn can get into another program worthy of his talents and clean up his act at the same time. He is a talented young man with a lot to offer any team. Good luck, Honey Badger from a 'Bama fan.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ingrid B

    Great way to throw away a free education. Oh, wait, sports. Right, football. Sorry, I forgot.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      LSU and EDUCATION do not go together in the same paragraph.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dave

    Oh no! Not weed! Didn't this used to be America? How have we devolved into this conservative fascist police state? Forcing individuals to drug test is a worse crime than smoking weed. What a joke.

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

    Another sports guy that thins he's special or above the rules because he's very coordinated. I am so unimpressed with the sports people unless they give back to their community in other ways. They get more attention and money then our armed forces people who even give their lives for us. What an injustice.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. pork&beans

    mushroom, mushroom...

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

    Oh no1 he is black there must be racism involved.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      You are right. It is the white man's fault for offering him a free ride toward a college diploma (even if it might be in AFRO STUDIES) and then denying him a chance at his chosen profession. This kid is obviously a slow learner with a criminal bent. Best that he realize that right now, wash out of the system and quite being frustrated with his limitations.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. oqiwrtujalsvnopiu

    I hope the coaches didn't can this kid because they found pot in his system.

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


      August 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      Why do you hooe that – especially if it was the 29th time?

      August 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dee

    It is vey hard to grow up and realize that you are expected to follow the rules.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Never underestimate a kid's ability to mess up his/her future.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SinnFeinFunn

    @Manuel Imel,
    You have no idea what you're talking about.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. William

    did anyone really expect anything else?

    August 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
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