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. Mitch

    Good riddance, he failed three drug tests, LSU had no choice but to cut him loose.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. blah blah

    he will end up in jail or over dosing on something

    August 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      Hopefully, it will be before the taxpayers spend any more money on him.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BeezyB

    Don't worry Oakland or Cincy will still draft you.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nicholas. U

    Typical dumb racist, always trying to start up trouble on the internet with comments.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. iceload9

    A very difficult decision for the coach. If LSU struggles on defense he will be criticized. Hopefully Mathieu learns the team (any team) can move on without him when he gets his next chance.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I think the decision was out of Les Miles' hands!

      August 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      No next chance. Dead by December.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gman5727

    I don't understand why people see color in any of this. This is a young man, (young being the key word), that needs to grow up. You people that have to make a color comment need to do the same thing. Question for all of you that see the color, what would you have said if he had been white?

    August 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • dm54

      thank god some one on here with alittle sense.your right they always bring up the color card when its a black person.but its funny how we set trends then everybody takes an try to make it there own without giving us credit.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimbo

      Imagine what they would say if he was dark skinned....

      August 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicolas

      Well said...we still have a long way to go.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • pennylane

      they're you go throwing in the race card....why can't some people get past it....in regards to your question,...the same thing would have been said....these 'young' men don't know how to handle notoriety....they're all out to just get 'theirs' thinking that their skill will get them their....look that the last five years of NFL recruitment...they're all to narcissistic to think they need to be responsible...they seem to think they're above the law and when someone gets into trouble...someone like yourself has to throw in the 'race' card....waw waw waw....

      August 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis1020

      Some people see color because they are stupid and racist. Simple as that.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. blah blah

    the criminals make all the money in this country...so he will get paid

    August 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cool in ak

    With the way LSU played Alabama last year in the National BCS game and being shut out on top of it, I would think he would be happy to play for a different team.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • jc

      Dude, he was in the National Championship game. It's not as if he was on a Division III team that got pounded in a championship game by a school no one ever heard of. Good grief.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • jc

      Dude (Cool in AK), he was in the National Championship game. It's not as if he was on a Division III team that got pounded in a championship game by a school no one ever heard of. Good grief.

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

    He'll end up playing for Ohio State or USC teams with lower standards.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dennis

    Honey badger don't think,honey badger don't play.How about changing his name to "honey booger"?...Son,you can make your own rules up at home or with your "homies".Team effort comes with collective thinking and being unselfish.This kid doesn't have that.He might not be NFL ready afterall.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve

    Wow, to get kicked of LSU's team is bad. Won't be bad enough to prevent him from playing in the NFL though. He should be picked up by my Lions, he will fit right in with the other drug users. They might even be able to get bulk discounts – win win.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. magnus

    if there is a supplemental draft in the NFL, pick him up now.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Drake

    In this day and age, pre-programmed responses like yours are the norm.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MNTaxpayer

    Sports build character. He'll go pro and earn millions.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Billy Davis

    This really stinks man

    August 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
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