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. SSampson

    Now – I don't pay much attention to this sort of thing.... but WHO calls themselves (or allows 'Honey Badger' as a nickname – Maybe its just a question because I worked overseas for a while and PERHAPS learned a different definition....

    But 'Honey Badger' is the mythical testical eating animal that likes to drink the white fluid found within the region...

    Not something I'd want to be called

    (trying to get past the word police here)

    August 11, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. rob0rah

    Someday he will look back and reflect on how he really blew the chance of lifetime......he will reflect on this many many times until the day he dies.

    August 11, 2012 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Lewy

    You can't educate 'dumb'.

    August 11, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • adam

      I dont see color here , I see a stupid jock who has been coddled, pampered, given a free ride all his life
      and now the idiot cant understand why hes finally being held accountable.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
    • C

      Then there goes 3/4 of the NFL and all of the NBA

      August 11, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nathan

    Kudos to the LSU staff for doing the right thing..these athletes are coddled and they develop a sense that they are above others just because they have an athletic talent..with talent comes responsibility.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      With talent comes responsibility? Huh? Since when? Responsibility isn't something that comes with talent. It comes with maturity and sensibility. And needs to be taught from the very early days and continued to be taught. But parents have abdicated "their" responsibility. And teachers have abdicated "their" responsibility. So when a coach finally steps in it is a very BIG surprise. Kudos to LSU.

      August 11, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. Scott B

    Absolutely foolish that in the 21st century we continue to ruin peoples' lives because they choose to get high on their own time. We should be punishing people for actually causing harm to others, not taking something ranging from not very harmful to anyone to something that could potentially cause an addiction that could potentially cause harm to themselves and maybe others.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • TexasAnnie

      The person "ruining his life" is the same person who doesn't have sense enough to follow team rules. Here this guy had the world by the tail, a free college education handed to him, and a gateway to the NFL, and he was too stupid and too full of himself to just follow the rules for 3-4 years. It was HIS choice. No sympathy here whatsoever.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
    • zaqaz

      Absolutely foolish that in the 21st century we continue to apologize for people who choose to get high on their own time KNOWING THAT IT IS ILLEGAL.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
    • BoFo

      No, what is absolutely foolish, Scott R, is that people like you are actually running around in the public without adult supervision.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
    • ELH

      Well, for sure let us have two different sets of rules, one set for gifted athletes and another for the poor shmucks of this world. Mr. Honey Badger was already given two passes when any other jock would have been booted and now, because of his arrogance, he must pay the piper.

      August 11, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. louiske

    so what smoking a joint in your free time and you are expelled?
    there wouldnt be a problem if he was using steroids like all baseball and fb players...

    what a terrible offense just shoot him ... what is school for if not to send you to jail.

    August 11, 2012 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
    • qirin

      He didn't get expelled, just kicked off the team.

      August 11, 2012 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
    • zaqaz

      "so what smoking a joint in your free time and you are expelled?" –louiske
      "what is school for if not to send you to jail." –louiske

      Did you even *read* the article? He was neither shot, nor was he expelled.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. jimbo

    On the fast track to nowhere. He can't blame anyone but himself.

    August 11, 2012 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Rod

      This program is making a fortune off these kids. You people claiming "free ride" and over privileged are crazy. Do you know the time and commitment it takes to be the best at something. These kids are doing this because they're underprivileged and they want to better there family's situation. If these programs didn't spend millions a year lobbying to make professional football players play college first he would already have the money he worked all his life for. In my opinion him getting kicked off the team is the best thing that ever happened to him. He may slip in the draft, but how far would he have slipped if he tore an ACL. Would he still have a scholarship if he hurts himself? These university's owe way more than a scholarship to these kids.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      @rod, your comment doesn't make sense. Are you saying all college football players earned their athletic scholarships because they were underprivileged? Ridiculous. Sure, some universities make lots of revenue from football, but the athletes already have a free ride. Often they take the "rocks for jocks" type of classes or are given special consideration so they can maintain the required GPA. What else do they need?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. Gus the Greek

    He should go to Penn State

    August 11, 2012 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. cacalips

    GOOD! The stupid religous nation will see that Marijuana = BETTER ATHLETES!
    Micheal Phelps just broke olympic records and smokes pot.
    This guy best athlete and smokes pot.
    Schwartzenager smokes pot and is best actor and a governer of Cali.
    The president of the United states smokes pot.
    JEsus, Smoked pot.
    I think sober people are actually less physical and mentally retarded. They should smoke pot.

    August 11, 2012 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jt_flyer

    One less Prima Donna and a strong message to all the others still remaining.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. momsword

    Honey Badger doesn't care.

    August 11, 2012 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. Vincent

    If it werent for the economic costs of legalization, it shouldve been done already.

    But the government already has too many resources targeting marijuana, and needs time to refocus those assets.
    The 'pro' is that there will be billions earned on legal sales that could help the economy. There is also all the savings from not arresting and charging people for marijuana related offenses. It would also remove billions from the cartels, who even though they may switch to different drugs, will still have lost a solid earner.

    The 'con' is the amount of enforcement focused on marijuana (jobs), which includes law enforcement, lawyers, prisons, etc. Also there would be a cost to setup rehab sites similar to alcohol and nicotine.

    August 11, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dave

    Was he kicked of team for smkoing a little weed?

    August 11, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Pinkflam

      No, he was kicked off the team because he tested positive for synthetic marijuana.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. watash60

    Liberals and sports nuts just cannot understand how some people are just bad...

    August 11, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mr. Thanatos

    Hope it was worth it.

    August 11, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
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