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. sp

    Penn State could learn a thing or two from this,...LOL

    August 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gina Buckhalter

      Leave Penn State out of it!!

      August 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Russ

    Their loss is his win. He will have an NFL contract in hand by this time next week!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      And he'll be thrown out of the NFL for the same reason on his first drug test. The average non player may think it's ok to smoke pot but its WAYnot OK to do it in professional sports, morons.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Rich

      The Coboys will be the first in line for this guy...can play along side the other LSU player that got a 3 on the wonderlick...More power to LSU for sticking to its standards!!

      August 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. joedog

    When I was much younger, I was a sports fan; but that was before I matured and experienced more of our world. I then decided that sports today is a business, not unlike Hollywood, which is show business. And being such it is all smoke and mirrors and hype. We can not get many of our young to learn to read. But we have 200 million dollar stadiums in crumbling cities (i.e Philadelphia, Detroit). India graduates more folks in the hard sciences than we have practicing those important professions. Our cities are becoming Third World hellholes that are too dangerous to walk in at any time of the day or night. And most of my adult peers buy $150.00 sport shirts with some celebrity sports star's name on it; but are too busy to pay attention to family, community and politics. They do know batting averages, rosters on several sports teams and do not even pause when they discuss some athlete getting 120 million bucks over 5 years. Ponder the Honey Badger and his college. NCAA football is a gross celebration of all the wrong things. "Pan et Circe", i believe the Romans called it. Bread and circus for the ignorant masses. Enough of the rant. Oh...I wonder how many honest college credits Honey Badger has really earned at the football factory, where he was able to degenerate into thug.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam East

      That was extremely well put, sir.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      We're on the same page.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Burnz

    Is he getting kicked out because he was selling coke to his team? Or because he smoked a joint?

    August 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Paul

    Who cares...onto the big money and the real deal. NFL, baby, N F L!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BeezyB

    Big heart, little brain. Good street smarts, no real world smarts.

    He may as well leave school now too, he's obviously not college material.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Babaloo10

    I think if this guy was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, I think each player needs to have his criminal records and background check done. What folly this would have been to award it to a player who plays very well, but whose ethics and integrity do not match the award. Great skill may mask a real criminal.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LSU Fan

    Well I have been told he failed 3 drug tests....maybe up to 7. He had to sit out a game last year for the same problem. What was he thinking?????? Oh, I guess he wasn't!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    I don't suppose this student athlete will just become a student, graduate in 2 or 3 years, and get a job like most college students do.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Of course not. He'll go to a Division II school, so he doesn't have to sit out a year, then get drafted in the first round and take home a 7-figure signing bonus larger than 99% of Americans will make in their lifetimes. It all sounds ridiculous when we say it out loud, but we make the system and all the incentives that go with it. If it makes anyone feel better, this mistake will probably drop him half a round and cost him a couple of million dollars.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ecoirsih

    snakes are Venomous not Poisonous

    August 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris w.

      Glad somebody else caught this too!

      August 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. IT IS POT, WHO CARES

    POT? I would argue that those who smoke pot are healthier, better socially adjusted and more productive citizens overall than those who don't smoke the blessed.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Brown

      You don't know what he did in this case. They didn't say what it was.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam East

      not even pot... "synthetic" marijuana

      August 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slowson

      I agree....look at us

      August 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • some care

      I agree about the pot, but this was synthetic pot. World of difference. The synthetic stuff is BAD and people under the influence can do damage if they drive, etc. It may smoke like pot but the effects are much more mind-and reality-altering.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris w.

      I don't know about that, but it's certainly better than these guys who go to clubs every week, get drunk, stupid and crazy and go to jail for fighting.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Pedro Ramirez

    This article is both interesting and thought provoking too.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Babaloo10

    He ruined his own life by the choices he made!! Quite blaming the wrong person! He knew the rules.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sten

    Further evidence that you can remove the man from the ghetto but not the ghetto from the man.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tasha

      There are A LOT of people that are not in the ghetto smoking pot......WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

      August 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • dm54

      hi

      August 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • notingdoting

      No, they're doing crack!

      August 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. plat_angel

    rediculas.... a person should be able to do what he pleases with his own body as long as it doesnt infringe on the rights of others. they possibly ruined the life of one of the best college football players for absolutly no reason.

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

      No, my friend: HE ruined his life by making a decision that team rules apply to everyone but him.......

      August 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • KMLB

      Yes, but when you are part of a team/organization...and that team/organization has RULES...you break them, you suffer the consequences. Pure and simple!

      August 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • notingdoting

      That's you Honey? I can tell by the bad spelling!

      August 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
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