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. richard

    Had everything in the World going for him and he blew it ! IDIOT !

    August 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Edgmon

    LSU could lose 2-3 more starters and still be better than 95% of the country, that is one fantastic football team, and now they have a QB that can throw it all over the field as well.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. conoclast

    Dollars-to-donuts says it was pot. If he'd been drinking and driving he'd get a firm slap on the wrist; because it's Evil Marijuana the team is forced to shoot itself in the foot! Oh well, LSU is too damned good anyway...

    August 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Diane

    YAY! I'm glad to see college football (which is just mini-pro ball these days) demanding that its players represent more than just the almighty dollar they can attract. This is how INTEGRITY gets built – by understanding our choices have repercussions, and being forced to shake ourselves off and get up if we make a bad choice. I hope this is not the last step toward making college sports accountable to the idea that they are more than money mills, and that sports celebrities can and should return the days when they were actual role models.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dm54

    who said hes from the ghetto.Mr. jim bob

    August 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sailor101

    It is refreshing to see the team do this, these spoiled kids need to be tought that it's not all about them. The sports teams in this country are filled with they type of people, we do not need any more of them. Hopefully, just hopefully he will never play orginized sports again for any team in any country. Better start acctualy applying yourself to a real life area of study in college. Hopefully you will need it!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dpcfoh

    yeah, it's too bad that he'll end up making millions and doesn't really have to care about the rules.. athletes and the rich (often one in the same) have a whole different set of rules then the rest of us.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeaux Bleaus

    Wanna bet?

    August 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GaPeach

    Pull it together! You are young and have your whole future ahead of you! Do something with it!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mikebeck

    Les called him a "quality person". If he is, why did he get kicked off? Seems like a false description of the person.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      Exactly, you can not kick someone off your team for disciplinary reasons and praise them at the same time. Maybe he would not be in the position he is in if people around him did not treat him with kid gloves and sugar coat everything. This is why so many star atheletes fail in the real world when sports are done with them.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Charla Brown

    Honey Badger and Randy Travis walk into a bar.........

    August 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Satan

    Penn State!

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

      If he can cut it there without a scholarship, that might not be so far-fetched.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lunchbreaker

    He probably trash talked the wrong person's mother.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Charla Brown

    "Quality People" also make mistakes....and have to face consequences. Coach Miles is doing the right thing. Should have been done with Jefferson, too.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Get Real

    smoking pot does not equal ghetto thug, it does mean you might be a racist for you school of thought (or lack of)

    August 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
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