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. Al

    Does anyone know what exactly he did (or did not do) to get him kicked off the team?

    August 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • lewtwo


      August 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mary Jane

    You can take the boy from the hood but not the hood from the boy. They just don't get it. He just ruined his chances of earning Millions of Dollars next year because he felt the need to "Keep it real" with his homeboys. What a waste

    August 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Big_D

    Just legalize it already and get the other drugs off the street with all the time they waste on pot. Pot is better than alcohol for those that can't handle it and our law was built on racism and water polluting paper production. Revisit this stupid law and let this player play. How many kids got tossed for alcohol? Zero, and it is worse.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean Dougherty

      Pot is FAR worse than alcohol.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. Imvotingforobama

    Honey Badger needs to find a job

    August 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Danny

    First we had Michael Phelps, now Honey Badger. Well, it's starting to seem like marijuana smokers can still be world champions. Not looking good for the marijuana smear campaigns.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jim in PA

    Enough with the tired Honey Badger meme. Please. Just. Stop. It's about as fresh as "Where's the Beef?"

    August 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. X

    Think The Honey Badger cares? Honey Badger doesn't give a (Censored). The Honey Badger just takes what it wants...

    August 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Charlotte, NC

    Well, I guess he will pick a SWAC school just like Georgia's Isiah Crowell did and went to Alabama State. Stay in state and go to Grambling or Southern. At least you can get hyped to the band music and pretty dance girls. The bands at those schools practice more than the football team. Band practice goes from 5:30 p.m. until midnight Monday through Thursday. lol.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Charlotte, NC

    Go to Southern so you can stay in Baton Rouge. They need all the help they can get!!!

    August 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rich

    Dear god, if this is all over pot... wow, what a pointless act, to cut a talented player. People need to get real.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. b

    props to LSU

    August 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      OK..sorry to hear that..but..wanna play for USC??!! we need a good DB & return specialst..hey!! this is football!!!

      August 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. buhbyyy

    Na Na Na – Na, Hay Hay eeeee Goodby!

    August 10, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. truthspeaks

    I'm not sure what team policy Mathieu violated, but given the "look-the-other-way" culture that permeates many of universities (Penn State), Les Miles needs to be APPLAUDED!!! He's on another level for how much more I respect him.

    We're not talking about a solid player or even the best man on the team. Les Miles dismissed a HEISMAN FINALIST!!! This takes courage and character. Here's to you Coach Miles!!!

    For the record, if Mathieu was dismissed for smoking weed, I think it's a harsh policy to be dismissed from the team. Nevertheless, if those were the rules, I applaud Les Miles for enforcing them.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      I for one am devistated about this! I was looking forward to him being burned by another half dozen sidline fades by bama! lol. Goodby honey sucker.

      August 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bayousara

      If all is as it says, I agree with you. We need to see more of this. In the long run it will help our young people in this crazy mad world.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Duck Fan

    Hats off to LSU for being willing to enforce the rules with a star player. Most big schools are not quality enough to do this. Hopefully it can be a positive lesson as well for him going forward.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      And it will hopefully give other players 'pause' before they consider breaking the rules. Props to the coach for sticking by his guns.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kleo Knights

    And another "thug" bites the dust...

    August 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
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