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. fat joey

    He'll take a year off,have a couple of kids and sign a big bonus next year! With Dallas.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. r rega

    Oakland Raider?

    August 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fat joey

    He just figured since he was really really good the rules don't apply to him,its understandable

    August 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BlackDynamite

    The Honey Badger smokes what it wants too.....

    August 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Greenaxe

    Hey Frank, way to sneak your political comment in that was pretty clever??!!

    August 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fat joey

    Thats right the "average" corners are 5'11,190...the above average coners are over 6 and 200...he's a bum

    August 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. don

    Whatever. Tired of over rated, hyped athletes that don't give back and have the brain of a mouse. Now, maybe he will get a real education, but not in America. Someone will sign him tomorrow because college is more about making money than education, nowadays. While these guys are bringing in big bucks on the weekends, students graduate with huge bills and no job. Only in America.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • joseph

      He is just 20 and he was kicked off the team not out of the school entirely. The standards for college football players go way beyond normal students, thats why sometimes they get breaks. Yeah I agree sometimes they get breaks for really bad stuff but most student athletes do twice the work for the same education.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hadenuffyet

    Politics in everything , move along...

    August 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fat joey

    He can drop out of school now,he wasn't there for the education

    August 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sby the Tuba Texas

    Glad there are standards for athletes. Perhaps he can lear, perhaps he won't, LSU won't put up with the dude! Wish more teams were like that.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • SciGuy

      Why? Maybe we should kick them off for drinking beer, and for exceeding the speed limit, and texting while driving. What a pansy nation.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jobi

    Good 1 frank !!! True.....It's a good thing he is gonna be a 1 term president, huh ...........lmao.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DOM


    August 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ben

    I think that that is great. People should not be held accountable for something minor like doing soft drugs when they were young.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LIB

    What a disappointment. I don't care what he did the fact is you have so many other young players who would do anything for a spot like that and those who do make it mess up. All sports should set standards, In the long run, it is also better for the player. To learn discipline.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Norhymeorreason

    Dear Tyrann, ah, sore at us? Sincerely Yo's, LSU fans

    August 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
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