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. NorCalMojo

    This isn't about whether college athletes should be allowed to smoke marijuana.

    This is about whether the top 1% should have to play by the same rules as the rest of us.

    We've seen too much corruption excused because the corrupt are considered high performers. It's cost us 100's of billions in bailouts and resulted in a serial molester being allowed to continue his sick ways at Penn State.

    Whether or not to change the rule for everyone, that's a separate debate.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Your post is pointless and doesn't even correspond to the article.

      Take the political BS elsewhere, OWSer.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Margeaux

      Good post, NorCalMojo. Well said.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Well said.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KABA

    Thanks CNN for your CENSORSHIP. I see you removed my post about this pathetic minority not being able to spell his name or find Canada on a MAP. I STAND BY MY POST.
    This moron will end up dead in a shoot-out with police, and you {CNN} will report what a tragedy it is because he's black. I guess the folks running the blog all must be BLACK, you know how they can look past anything, because they have to. Look at their race. Just watch it all play out.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • kenny

      umm earth to crazy person, this guy will become a mega millionaire after he's recruited by the pro's and thanks to all the publicity getting tossed for silly rules about weed he'll get endorsements from all over the place. I could be wrong unless history NEVER repeats itself except for the last 100 times for a player this good

      August 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Walter

    Gee CNN, you're so quick to lambast Mathieu, but yet yours is about the only site that doesn't have anything on the front page about Fareed Zakaria's plagiarism – I wonder why.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      How the heck does this story lambast Mathieu?

      August 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alfredo

      When I was a manager and business owner, I never spoke publicly about any action I took against an employee. CNN handled the issue, and disciplinary action was taken. Fareed's credibility has taken a blow that will last.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. james

    The Honey Badger could be the most bad a __ person in America right now !

    August 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nick Saban

    He'll be in an Alabama uniform by the end of next week.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • deb

      Isn't it funny how Alabama gets all of LSUs leftovers? Huh Nicky boy?!

      August 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Beavis

    Good riddance, it's about time those meatheads abided by the same rules as everyone else.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. odessacomputerguy

    Hats off to LSU. After the Penn State mess, it's good to see a prominent sports program do the right thing. Sometimes integrity trumps winning games. (sometimes)

    August 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Kicking someone off a team for likely smoking pot does not show integrity.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean Dougherty

      It DOES show integrity. It shows the world that LAW BREAKERS lose. Smoking pot is against the law in the USA. Don't like it? Move to Jamaica.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. ManTex

    He should give the University of Texas a try. It knows how to treat and protect its gangster athletes.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • RE McCray

      Right ... encourage gang violence and drug abuse!

      August 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gary

    This is not about weed this is about order and discipline not just for him either. It's for everyone on the team.
    One set of rules for everyone.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. June Young

    Where in the world did this writer go to school? Doesn't anyone ever proofread for grammar? "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" Do you talk that way too?

    August 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • deb

      I think the writer was just using literary license–really no biggy! Just emphasizing that "he don't care" and "he don't get" The really BIG story is that..the LSU fans don't get either 😦 D#AM you honey badger!!!!!

      August 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BeverlyNC

    Since when did college football teams have any rules for players?

    August 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • D41

      Apparently today

      August 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Shaman13

    Could not have happened to a more deserving little egomaniac. This kid was a blackeye on LSU football. A true disgrace to the term sportsmanship. Every team they play, he's on Twitter talking trash. Good riddance to the piece of garbage. LSU deserves better.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RE McCray

    Another professional LOSER!

    August 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RE McCray

    Another professional LOSER ... for Oprah to do a special around ... and then attack him at the end. Poor baby ... grow a set and get an education because hopefully your football career is over.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mariah

    The dude smoked pot !! To be kicked off ok, to be ridiculed not ok, it's feakin weed lol not like he is doing cocaine ain't no biggie. If rather have my son smoke pot then drive drunk and kill someone.

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

      This is one of those times that the difference between then and than really matters.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Well, that's what he was caught at BEFORE. We don't know what he was caught for this time. Regardless, it's still illegal.

      Plus it's a team rule. Why should *he* be exempt? And why should *he* be allowed to get away with something that's against the rules when his teammates can't? And why should he risk NCAA sanctions for himself and his team? And look what a "fine" teammate he's been...he kept breaking rules, and now his teammates have to play without him.

      And you think this is nothing????

      August 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean Dougherty

      Weed is ILLEGAL. So it is a biggie. Pot is the worst drug there is. Why? It is so easy to get. It IS addictive. And EVERY single person that I have known to smoke pot is an unambitious, looking to smoke their next joint LOSER.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
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