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. Samuel R. Preston, III

    I was there. He broke team rule #62: "Never furrow your brow"

    August 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Bob

    You can take the man out of the ghetto but you cant take the ghetto out of the man.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. us_1776

    Transfer to Florida.


    August 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rik

    About time someone starts holding kids responsible for their actions.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • curt

      Because smoking marijuana is such a bad crime.. I'm sure you've done many worse things that you have never had to take responsibility for. Maybe you'll go to hell when you die and pay then.. Hopefully.

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

      People are so full of nonsense it is ridiculous... You think prescription drugs are fine because your doctor told you so? SHEEPLE

      My doctor is pretty useless for a wealthy person, its all lies.. The government just like control that they never deserved to have in the first place.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pelegrim

    Poor Honey Badger Boo Boo Child

    August 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dan I

    “We lose a quality person, teammate and contributor to the program." head coach Les Miles said

    Um coach, if he's been disciplined once for violating policy and continued to violate policy to the point where you had to kick him off the team he is:

    1. Not a quality person – clearly doesn't care enough about himself to stay out of trouble
    2. Not a quality teammate – he's a big part of the team but didn't care about his teammates enough to shape up and keep playing
    3. Not a contributor to the program – well at least not anymore.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Drake

    Typical racist, always pointing out truths that ideologues can't handle.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BeezyB

    He can't go pro for at least one more year and if he did fail another drug test he won't be able to play at any other schools either.

    Just another athlete that is too stupid and arrogant to follow the rules.

    Just take your game to the next level like Marcus Vick and Maurice Clarett did. Straight into anonymity or jail.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gager

    Does anyone mature these days?

    August 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      Suspended from a game for drug policy YET still finalist for the Heisman Trophy, there's your problem....he's been trained that he can do, go, say or crap on anyone he wants and he will still come out ahead. Good Job LSU coaches...nice lesson but, it will not save him....he's too far gone.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. A Different View

    Actually the only way that he can play college football this year (as long as the rule he violated wasn't an NCAA rule) would be for him to go to a school in a class lower than Division 1A. Additionally he is not eligible for the NFL until next year when he is three years out of high school.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. YGBKM

    That's how today's thug-a-letes keep it REAL! No body's gonna disrespek HIM by layin' down some BS teams rules. That 'aint how I ROLL!! Got's to represent!

    August 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      Would like to give this post about a million "LIKES" or a thousand "SHIV A GITS" because it is exactly righteous.

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

    Don't know if its headline news or not, but it's not like Sandusky. Now, if Miles had decided to sweep whatever the infraction was under the rug for the "good of the program" it would be. Nice to see a coach enforce the rules even when it hurts.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    What is Brent mussberger going to do?

    August 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nokoolaidcowboy

    Wow BILL. I hope you are equally honest when you are out in public and not just sitting behind a keyboard. I'm sure this generalization will create interesting dialogues among African Americans that would disagree.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rob

    You can take the ghetto out of the person.....

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