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. joseph

    And you could also make asinine analogies on the web. Do you actually believe spouting your junk on the web is going to sway a voter in your favor? I think you might have the opposite effect chief. Next time, hold the thought, it is just you.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. groinksan

    What rock have you been under the last 40 years?

    August 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. iwillnotbeashamed

    The thing is. what has he done to get dismissed? Why is this not public? To save his career? Because he's so good he should NOT suffer the public consequence of his behavior? Way to pamper people because they're 'good at something'.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Perhaps because it's nobody's business what he did. It's a private matter and LSU is treating it that way.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aezel

      Because the public has a right to know about his private academic matters right.....or not. If it is just a matter of school policy and not legal issues, it's none of your business.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Even if he did break the law, it's nobody's business anyway. That's one of the issues in our society today, too many people are worried about what others are doing.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • midogs2

      I agree with Bill. If Tyrann wants to disclose the infraction it's his business.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ahmadullah

    Pakistan's Karachi University is looking for a good corner-back and this might be a good opportunity for this player. Best wishes though!

    August 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. notingdoting

    Dearest Tyrann, ah, sore at us? Sin sear ly yo's, LSU fans

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

    I look in his file!

    August 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alex

    It states quite clearly in the NCAA Rules of Eligibility that you are allowed one season to have a ridiculous nick name/moniker/alias within censorship reason. Since he did chose to go with "Honey Badger" for yet another season of college football, he broke the rules. Les Miles had to enforce it and then unfortunately give the press release.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. deb536

    What does it matter if he's kicked off the college team. The pros will recruit him. No consequences.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Breaking a team rule is not breaking the law. I don't know what he did, but it shouldn't prohibit him from going further in his career.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ahmadullah

    Please pass the message that Karachi University's famous football team "Habibullah's Heroes" is looking for good American players. Thanks!

    August 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jd1

    I do recall Bill Clinton and George Bush had some form of drugs/substance issue. Maybe you're right.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. nik

    I think that Ty told the school just where to stick it. The man graduated in accordance with his own time plan. Ty is letting that college coach down easy.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fastball

    Got the world by the short-and-curlies...and you mess it up.
    Don't they teach you anything in college?? Oh, sorry – football scholarship. Majored in don't-care, rules-don't-apply-to-me, and hanging-with-the-homeboys.

    August 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • KABA

      Right on!

      August 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • austinb

      yeah, god forbid a 20 year old smoke a little ... synthetic pot.... the kid will be fine, it's the rules that will change.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Burbank

    All the more reason to end the insanity and legalize pot. If he had done a few beers the night before nothing would have happened, he would still be on the team, and pot is far less harmful than booze anyway. Time to end the blatant and very stupid discrimination!

    August 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • RTFH

      Judt follow the rules and stop whining. If Pot is not legal, don't smoke it and complain when you get caught.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      As much as I agree that marijuana should be legalized he knew it wasn't allowed and still had some. He would have ran into some kind of trouble at some point if he's that stupid.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheLostSurveyor

      Obviously you missed the little tidbit where it stated it was "synthetic marijuana." He was not banned for an illegal substance. He was banned for a legal substance.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • jlafitte

      Synthetic is illegal in Louisiana

      August 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paul Davidson

    Why is this news? He is a college jock, big deal.. Football is nothing more than a sport, made into a hyper-reality by the media.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • DanW

      Paul, why are you wasting your time reading about something that is so insignificant for you?

      August 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheLostSurveyor

      Football is nothing but a sport? Are you really that naive? It's a multi-billion dollar business in the country. Just because you don't care does not mean MILLIONS of your fellow Americans do. "Football is nothing but a sport." PFFFFT

      August 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hogarth

    If this was for pot, LSU is the stupidest organization on the planet.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      Yes how stupid of LSU you to hold all it players to the same standard. Thats sooo soooo stupid

      August 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheLostSurveyor

      SYNTHETIC marijuana. Not even the real thing. Can you say over reaction?

      August 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
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