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. Nodack

    Alcohol is much worse than pot and nobody has ever died from using pot in the history of the world. Tens of thousands die from alcohol every year. People get aggressive and out of control on alcohol and do stupid things. People get mellow and paranoid about doing something wrong on pot and yet alcohol is legal and you go to jail or get kicked it of school for smoking pot.

    Just sayin....

    August 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • davidwhite1

      Smoking weed makes for poor decisions afterward like riding a motorcycle or cliff diving...can lead to death or paralysis...Your logic is like saying "No one ever died in the history of the world by texting." Yea, as the car veers head on into the semi.

      August 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crop 1981

      BULL! Pot is is every bit as dangerous as tobacco. I am sure there are several thousands that have died due to pot use, maybe not directly, but by being killed on the highways and streets by some stoner too drugged out to drive.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bayousara

      What about eating someone's face? All the perp had in his system was marijuana.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • NorCalMojo

      It's not about smoking doobies. It's about corruption. Do you think "high performers" should get special allowances when it comes to breaking rules or laws? (Penn State did)

      Whether or not you agree with the rule or law in question isn't the issue.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • facts

      Marijuana gives athletes an edge over other athletes. It opens up the lungs and allows for less constriction. So it really is cheating. I don't think anyone cares whether it is legal or not. Until it is legal people need to not use it. Alcohol has wrecked many lives and will continue to do so. 7 % of all marijuana smokers are addicted and ALL of them are putting smoke (a solid) into their lungs. So get over the fact that you seem to think it is the miracle drug. Not even.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean Dougherty

      Alcohol = legal.
      Pot = illegal.

      Is this too difficult to understand???

      August 11, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. cxd

    Who cares ? He'll play one year at the Division II level and he's ghost !

    He will be drafted high. Hell, if Charles Manson could run a 4.3 / 4.4 dash, some NFL Team would find a way to get him out of prison......

    August 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. apple barrel

    remove those that abuse marijuana not those that use.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean Dougherty

      Same thing.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tony

    Michael Phelps Smokes weed....He gets more endorsements...

    August 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      Think back a couple of years, there WAS a backlash & Phelps lost some endorsement deals.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. Donnie the Lion

    Matheiu should transfer to.....are you sitting down? Penn State. They need a DB, and have former NFL coaches on staff that will help him transition to the NFL. Better than going to an FCS PSU he'll be the best player on a BCS division school and there is less trouble to get into in Happy Valley than say, South Beach or USC.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wjeri

    LSU is a wild University. Been there done that. Send your daughter there and look out. I know....

    August 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AmeliaaE

    is he honey boo boo's real dad?

    August 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JD

    After his problems last year...I'm sure he deserved it. We all forget that University's have both academic and disciplinary rules for ALL students. This adolescent was given a huge gift by getting a scholarship at a big University. He is considered a student first. If he cannot respect the rules set forth by the school for ALL students, then he gets the same punishment. That would probably mean expulsion from the University. Being an athlete should not garner him any special privileges. That would be discrimination to all students that are paying massive dollars to attend the same school. PERIOD. Unfortunately our society gives him a free pass and in 2013 he will be eligible to go to the NFL and make millions of dollars to be as irresponsible as he wants. Cincinnati or Detroit will be a perfect fit.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Argle Bargle

    You can take the boy out of the trash, but you can't take the trash out of the boy.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. wildhog

    Hog fans ain't crying, way to go Bagger.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jim Mac

    At least he'll have a few good "Man, I was really sumthin" stories to tell during his smoke breaks from his job at Home Depot for the next 30 years. I can see the new kids working there in a few short years thinking "Yeah, right loser."

    August 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • oceanluvver2

      He will probably get another chance because sports are the almighty to some but I hope he has learned a lesson from being booted from one of the premier programs. We will see.....

      August 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. birdhouse9

    This is sort of screwed up. They let convicted felons play pro ball that should NEVER see the light of day again. They can drive drunk and injure people. Yet synthetic weed?? Spare me with your bs. You want to clean up sports, start with the pro's and work your way down. In light of Pen state's child moleting cover up that went all the way to the top, this looks like Jay walking.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean Dougherty

      Felons that should never see the light of day? Name one. And you better not say M.V.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. NorCalMojo

    Bad for the team, great for society. One set of rules for everyone, even the VIP's.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. alligator face

    "HONEY BADGER" is now to be formally known as "STUPID BADGER"..........just sayin.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. t3chn0ph0b3

    You can test positive for THC and CBD just by going to an Allman Brothers concert. Drug testing to the level that it's done is crap.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
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