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. Loki

    Imagine the stupidity of "Honey Badger". Like the chimp with his hand stick in the jar...just release the stuff and you can get your hand out. But Noooooooo. I be need'n my smokesisis.

    August 11, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. BK Martin

    Sounds like he maybe took just a little too much...

    August 11, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mr. Bond

    Penn State may have some openings!

    August 11, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • lindaluttrell

      Or the NFL...

      August 11, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Peter Galanko

    This is a disgrace to LSU and the football league. The fact that they get test for recreational drugs is a joke, especially since it was the synthetic stuff, the type you can pick up at a gas station or smoke shop.

    This guy didn't do anything morally wrong, he didn't do anything illegal, he is being punished for a victimless crime, and THAT is wrong. Let him be young and enjoy life.

    August 11, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Scaber

      Drugs a victim less crime? Thousands of children and spouses of drug users would disagree.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • twistedpuppet

      Actually, Galanko, more and more states are now making the synthetic marijuana illegal because of the way it is used and also that it is actually possible to overdose and die from it. I don't know if Louisiana has outlawed it yet, but they have done so in Tennessee and many other states. So yes, it is possible he did do something illegal.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlkaSeltzaaaa!

      Being synthetic is even worse, no one knows whats in it to start with, he shouldnt be allowed too play simply because hes just stupid.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • XxMacleodxX

      wah wah wah ...he knew the rules and was compensated thoroughly for following them....this is not his first or second time to be told to stop doing drugs and obviously he did not respect the team or school enough to learn from the previous mistakes.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • JG

      Synthetic marijuana is absolutely illegal in Louisiana (and most states). The real disgrace would be in coddling an adult who can't control himself enough to respect his team and his future.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith Hottinger

      He agreed to the "terms" when he accepted the scholarship. The only disgrace is his. LSU got my respect today.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      Doesn't matter if it is trivial in your eyes, he broke the rules, not just once, and is being sent to the showers. Hope he finds a way to live up to his talent.

      August 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      He violated team rules 3 times. He is out. What if a whole team did that?

      August 12, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lee Downie

    TS, Honey Badger: straighten up and fly right.

    August 11, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. ron

    Oh dear lord. The last three freaking presidents have smoked the "evil weed"! Don't act like it's a moral failing, that's SO 1950's. Most of America, and even more of the population of the rest of the world, have at least experimented with it. Humans have used it in one form or another for many thousands of years.

    But he should be slapped for using the fake stuff!

    August 11, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. W

      No, it's not a moral failure at all, but its a failure of discipline and judgement. He knows the rules he has to follow to receive his scholarship and the opportunity to perform on a national stage–he lacked the discipline it took to follow those rules. My guess is he gets drafted, but his market value may have dropped a bit.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kathmandu91

    I love his hair!

    August 11, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. us_1776

    Clean up your act and transfer to Florida Gators.


    August 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BOB

    Huskers should pick him up.

    August 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    There's an opening in Lubbock!!!

    August 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. GatorALLin

    I feel bad for him.... I hope this is the wake up call he needed to get serious. He should still make the NFL and do well there... It will be interesting to watch where he ends up next.... and if he can focus on football vs. media attention for all the wrong reasons. Good Luck Honey badger.... I bet you do care....(now).

    August 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. parnell in canada

    Hey, you folks don't know what rule he violated. He may not have kept his marks high enough. If it was drug use or alchohol, those are pretty silly rules. I still find it hard to believe that college students in the States can go and die for their country (or for some bizarre cause) but can't have a few beers on a weekend. I understand the concern that families of drug users suffer but, really, we're talking about a unversity student having a bit of fun. Lots of us had a toke or a few beers when we were in college but turned out fine and don't abuse either once we got a job, married, etc.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      It's called , Code of Conduct, and he'll learn. Canadians don't even speak Canadian nor do they have a military to call it one so stay out of American business and affairs, parnell in canada.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mark

    Wouldn't be a summer without one of LSUs players gettingin some sort of trouble. When you recruit from the bottom of the barrel that is likely to occur.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    Smoking Weed? Not like that is performance enhancing by any means. He should be chastized for using the fake stuff though...I agreee with that.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mel

    I am not sure what reading level of comprehension most commentors have but the article does not say what rules he broke this time. It does state he used the drugs last season and was still allowed to play but it does not state that drugs were the reason he was kicked off the team.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
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