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. Dana

    Now he knows. rules are for everyone,

    August 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Raule

    HB should not be picked up by any college team. It sends the wrong message. He should not be considered for the Heisman either. Definitely sends the wrong message.

    August 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • king_dork

      For what reason? Nobody even knows what he even did to violate team policy.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. El Jefe

    LOL – tested positive for synthetic marijuana...surely in an effort to avoid detection for marijuana, he used that toxic stuff they sell in certain shops instead. Well played, dum-dum...well played...

    August 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TheBob

    Honey badger don't care. Honey badger just keep playing.

    August 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lewy

    This guy could be a best-selling author – 'Dumb for Dummies'.

    August 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lsterne

    So he's "suspended"- off the team. Now will he stay off? For far too long big time athletics, especially college football, has been the tail that wagged the dog. I'd believe perhaps we're beginning to make some progress if by some miracle he's not welcomed back as someone who's "paid the price" and "seen the light" and "turned over a new leaf" or whichever cliche is used, but I don't expect it.

    August 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • justme

      He was kicked off the team for failing his 3rd drug test. The first failed test requires the football player take drug counseling. The 2nd failed test requires a suspension, which he was suspended last year at the beginning of the year. The 3rd offense and he is kicked off the team for good. He won't be playing for LSU anymore. Foolish choices have cost him much. If he transfers to another top college team, he will have to sit out for one year. Rumors abound that he is going to transfer to a lower rated school so he can play immediately.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kodak

    Status quo. The latest prerequisite for college sports nowadays is to have at least one felony rap against you. I doubt you can even qualify for PRO sports without one or two. At least some kind of rap sheet shows character!

    August 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Veritas Lavinga

    Thisth isth tha Hunny Badger. Hunny Badger donut care. Guess what Honey Badger has to eath for the next three weeks? Yep. Cobra. You got it, straight & pure Cobra.

    August 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Besus

      Are you on something?

      August 12, 2012 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. SPENT

    Let him go back to the "Hood" and run interference for the Drug Kings. Have a good life, dude...Hey, maybe Penn State will take him, they have very little to offer, after all one of their great performer's is in prison and this dude can join him later in life.

    August 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • do..dirt

      And what about Randy Travis....

      August 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • agoodcatholicgirl

      The area of New Orleans Tyrann is from is in no way 'the hood."

      August 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James Blunt

    If I'm gonna get busted for smokin some weed...it sure as hell ain't gonna be the fake stuff. C'mon now.

    August 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jt_flyer

    Due to NCAA drug testing requirements, a college football player has a 2 week period in which to smoke pot and still have 30 days necessary for a clean urin test. If the player is going to smoke they will do so during this 2 week period.

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

    So he smoked marijuana. Who the heck even cares? I hate to say, LSU needs him a hell of a lot more than he needs them. If I were him I'd ditch them like a bad habit and head to a better team.

    August 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roll Tide

      There's only one, and Saban has the same standards there.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Missaness

      I care. I don't and cannot abide people who use drugs illegally.

      August 12, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bob

    Should do the same for woods. Kick him off the PGA tour.

    August 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Old guy

    Any program that takes this guy should be given a one year death penalty. Of course some school will pick him up and "turn the lad around" but it's all baloney and he could be a good example for other athletes if he is just flat out gone for good. At some point coaches and administrations need to do what is right for the sport, not just look to make a buck or win a trophy.

    August 12, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. Argentine Mastiff

    Big deal! My goodness, just some weed. Synthetic stuff, although he could have killed hmself, he did not killl anyone. Cmon man!

    August 12, 2012 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
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