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. Je f F nk (R-O io) "R ght W ng Insa ty"

    LSU didn't say. LSU didn't say. LSU didn't say. LSU didn't say. LSU didn't say. LSU didn't say. LSU didn't say. LSU didn't say.
    Maybe LSU doesn't know themselves. Hmmm?

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

      Maybe they owe it to the student to not publicize it. It's not like we have a "right" to know.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Amobius

    Good. Maybe some of that scholarship money can go to somebody who might actually make a difference in the world.

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

    apparenly youi have never seen the viral video that is being quoted- it only has several million hits.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. cp

    Black men can't seem to stay out of trouble, no matter how many opportunities they get in life or how much money they make in life. They've got to revert back to that trashy street thug life that they love.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1st-Sgt TopKick

      Let's see now.. In the images shown yesterday, it didn't appear that Randy Travis had turned Black. And, EXACTLY when was it that Willy Nelson, Robert Downey, Jr., Mel Gibson, Lindsey Lohan (or Robert Mitchum for that matter) turned Black?

      My, my, my... What a person can SEE – once they open their eys.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      Some white men, too. Race doesn't matter, not following the team rules does.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. james

    Judging by his playing ability..we have not heard the end of this guy.....he is a star.

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

    He better finish college, he may end up having to get a real job now like everyone else.

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

      Remember that you read it here first. He will spend the majority of the rest of his life making big rocks into little rocks.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Skeptic

    It's petty to boot someone for smoking marijuana.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bookie slasher

    California Universities are more tolerant of this rule....come to SC and smoke some of that sticky icky with snoop lion and become a movie star here.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Will

    Why can't he play in the NFL?? He's 3 years removed from High School. He should just sign as a free agent with someone.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jesse Pinkman

    I told him not to smoke dat purp...

    August 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Donald in CA

    The rules are for everybody. No go pro and make the mercedes money.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rich

    This is sad, so many of these guys are thugs and the colleges, coaches and teammates try to help them. Self help is the only way to change. A missed opportunity for this player.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Sadly the schools, coaches and teammates spend more time enabling them rather than helping them. Only when something becomes an issue do they throw them under the bus.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Vicki

    Top story? Americans really do take their college ball seriously.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • faye62

      (lol)....sad isn't it...with all that's going on.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. w5cdt

    Brilliant HB....screwing up your best chance to make a living. Not THAT is impoverished thinking. Sad.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • faye62

      Like you've never made a mistake...Youth is for making mistakes and growing. He learn from this and be a better man. Let the first without sin cast the first stone. Keep your head up HB; it's not the end of the world. EVERYBODY makes mistakes. You'll be picked up by another school.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • GEAUX Tigers

      CB, not HB.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kudos

    Kudos for setting a positive example.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
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