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. flashtrum

    "a quality person"? One who can't speak the English language (Honey don't quit) who's in one of the best colleges in the country and still will come out sounding like a thug. Gotta love those skallaships, yo!

    August 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beebe

      best colleges in the country? LSU? According to what ranking? I think in the recent Forbes ranking LSU was over 400th! In the US News ranking is was way below all Big 10 and ACC schools, in addition to 90% of the Big 12 and Pac-10. LSU is a football school, Louisiana doesn't care about higher ed

      August 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hrpufnstuf

    Put him in Congress. They're above the rules too, get rewarded handsomely for it, and suffer no consequences. He would fit right in.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ACC 4 Life

    Why? He went to class?

    August 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ACC 4 Life

    What could you do in the SEC to get kicked off a team?

    August 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. 18E

    Why the fluff from Coach Les Miller.
    "we lose a quality person, teammate and contributor."
    If you break the rules multiple times, and get kicked off the the team,
    your are not a quality person, teammate and contributor.

    Man up coach and be professional and direct, in your public statements.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ACC 4 Life

      I guess he could only hide so much.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    You can take him out of the hood.....But you can't take the hood out of him....He will need to get his basket weaving degree at another college....Or better yet he can go to the NFL and screw the degree.....

    I can't believe this is a headline as if LSU is screwed by him getting the boot...You screw up...you pay or wait you can enter the NFL draft.....Breaking news?

    August 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ACC 4 Life

    ....yeah that's it.....every player in the SEC would be looking for another school......COME ON!

    August 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Wasted talent

    An example of why they say "youth is wasted on the young". Hopefully this young man will be able to learn from this experience, take responsibility for it, and get over it so it does not become what defines him as a man. You're more than a football player Tyrann. Please know that there is more in store for your life. Don't give up!

    August 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tr1Xen

    Dang, that sucks.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. samwaltpete

    Unless it is a performance enhancing drug, what business is it of these schools to regulate what their players put into their own body? Would they have done the same if he had too many drinks? Or too many bacon double cheeseburgers? I'm so tired of this false notion that pot is such an evil thing. And don't try to tell me it's a legal issue. There is no law against having pot in your system unless you are driving or operating heavy machinery. People who make these rules are such self-righteous buffoons.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. nc1965

    Don't worry. He will go pro.

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

    Penn State scandal has changed the way football coaches can hide problem players. The world watches now. For those that don't understand what I am saying. Paterno ran the school and hid any player issues but could not hide forever the pedophile. With that said now all schools are saying to the coaches at top schools like LSU for example. "You no longer run the school" You influence is no different that the professor of english and we will not take a chance of getting sued, getting our program ruined.

    No school is safe and this is the way it should be. A player who is talented beyond belief needs to know he can no longer play by his or her own rules. There will be more students being let go as the year goes by. Miami Hurricanes are full of thugs and they soon will be let go as well. 'THE WORLD IS WATCHING"

    August 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chillipepper

    More and more athletes in College and the Pros are messing up. Coaches too. Wonder whats going on?

    August 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mark trought

    serious signs of bigotry here

    August 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rettas Vegas

    What a waste of CNN'S resources, I think most Americans have much more in the news to be interested in than this story. Why does the media think this stuff really matters, I don't know.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny Orlando

      What are you crying about? Its news. If you dont want to know what happened then why even click on this? You are what is wrong with the world, you are a complainer who offers nothing.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • ipmutt

      This to distract you from real news which is mostly bad, reflects poorly on Obama and is not what mainstream media wants you to hear.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey David

      Because....

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

      It's valid sports news. The kid was a Heisman candidate and pre-season All-American. With all the bad that the Penn State administration and athletic department did in covering up wrongdoing, it's good to know LSU is upholding standards and policy...even if it means losing a superstar player.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • nvmature

      Good to know LSU is not PSU.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
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