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. lsugrad13

    Doesn't matter what other school wants him... He'll be going to McNeese St. in Louisiana to stay near family and hopefully play right away.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. footballlove

    You know life just isn't that easy. I'm afraid in a year if he does not clean up his act he will be in one of two places, jail or buried. I wish him the best though.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. KABA

    This is not newsworthy......every college has ignorant minorities on it's payroll, opps I mean on schollarships. The need to win championships outweighs intelligence and always will. This pathetic excuse for a human being will hopefully get what he deserves and be found in a ditch somewhere with all the other stupid black athlethes that can't spell their names or even find Canada on a world map.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    I don't care if LSU comes in last I am very proud of them. They don't need "anyone" who thinks they are above the rules instead of being as they should be an idiol and mentor to kids and other players. Bye and Good ridance fool. P.S. Any School that lets him play is on my list...

    August 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. danthefisherman

    Apparently, the kid has found something that's more important to him than football.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DCBill

    I don't think this young man can play in the pros until his class "graduates."

    Of course, the NFL makes its own rules.....

    August 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JeffM

    Penn State will take him.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bantum

    No worry some NFL team will scarff him up in a heart beat. They don't care what drugs they have taken.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jason

    Penn State will take him

    August 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tiger Badger XXVLI

    Ghetto Badger will end up with his face posted on Best Mugshot of the Day in a little while.
    If he's smart, which I doubt, he could actually get a degree and make something of himself.
    Student athlete is such an oxymoron and 'ole Badger here is a real moron!

    August 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve

    Stupidity on both sides. The anti-drug policy is regressive, and the kid was foolish to risk his career for a high.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mick

    I hear Penn State is looking for players...

    August 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gray

    While its unfortunate that they had to eject this very talented player, people must understand that if you break the rules you must be held accountable. We all must be responsible for our actions, no matter how talented or famous you are *cough cough* Lindsay Lohan

    August 10, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Surely you're kidding. This punk finally arrived at his living large destination having never noticed a rule his entire life, and now suddenly you think he's going to be an upright law-abiding citizen?

      When you can externalize the consequences of your bad decisions, you'll keep making bad decisions. Over half of America is on welfare. You're talking about accountability? That's so 1950s.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • bakes

      smoking weed should not lead to suspension, thats ridiculous! absolutely ludicrous! anyone who thinks otherwise is twisted.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • *Wordsdontmatter

      You could not be more wrong.. and this type of thinking is what ruined this country and permitted it to bully, bomb and bribe other nations exporting evil or oppression while breaking all the rules anyhow while domestically you guys argue over stupid stuff and scraps.

      You do not need to obey rules and be responsible when the game and structure of our society is rigged by others who even themselves are not legally or ever morally obliged to follow the silly rules they make..

      We do not make these rules.. and no need to be drones anymore now that we have built some..

      your simplistic thinking works great for fascist dictators too but you would blindly and childishly and quite a historically replay, most likely, that your little rule only applies it great US America as we are pure but no need to do this in Syria, or Egypt, or Saudi or Africa or Russia or any other place you probably never heard of..

      besides smoking synthetic weed is not illegal and prob not wise, as i have done it too, because we no nothing about its contents or side affects; however, if our oppressive government and simplistic citizens (your govt and private capital considers you simply consumers) would mind their own business, we could live in liberty not oppressing others in violence or coercion. However, our nation and national culture is all about the few in oppression over the many..right? financially, legally, and mentally..

      Weed should be legal and enough said.. and well he is a great athlete and it seems weed never hurt his abilities like the myth says it will.

      Laws do not equal justice.. nor does faith in a romantic nation myth.. open your eyes from matrix land and see the wonders of the spider web of deceit, and false morality, aggression, greed, and pride that is your great 'US'.

      I expect you would have had wise King Solomon cut the baby in half to follow the law instead of the spirit of it..

      despierte tio

      ps you are probably a liberal, or conservative, or pro Israel or anti-Semitic, or anti-american, or do not have a job, or want free stuff, or are lazy, a hippie, or not really an american but a socialist or part of the Muslim brotherhood, or pro/anti gay (just figured to get out all word secular possession most people who think they are 'political' spew forth thoughtlessly regurgitating their TV training)

      August 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tony

    Honey Badger just cost himself millions of dollars. No way he will be a first overall pick. NFL teams are rightfully terrified of repeated maturity issues. Shame. Hopefully he won't end up a forgotten tragedy like so many others.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    I am not an LSU fan, but Les Miles has come way up in my admiration for him. He did what needed to be done. It's just too bad that other coaches nationwide don't have the guts to enforce the rules on conduct on their own teams. And you posters are correct. He will be picked up by some other powerhouse with no restrictions put on him once he gets there.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
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