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. Ernie Zippreplat

    He will have to sit out a year if he plays in the FCS...what a dumb dairyaire!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jobdespair

    He'll end up at a school that doesn't care about such pesky things as drug use and minimum GPA averages.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • I c wut u did thar

      Apparently you ended up at a school that didn't care either...

      G.P.A = Grade Point Average

      GPA averages?? Grade Point Average averages? What does that even mean?!?!

      August 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jose

    Give me a break, booted for a little weed? Like other college level sports players are not doing it. This country has got to get over itself. Son go play somewhere else, and next time be smarter about when you do weed.

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

      Booted out for breaking team rules. Would be the same result for any rule he broke and had received a previous suspension about.

      August 11, 2012 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jenni

    WOW what a well spoken young man...drugs? That I would have never guessed...LOSER!!! Sound like TO

    August 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pat Cotter

    He's from Ohio... I'm sure coach Meyer can give him another chance.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Will

    I have a pink banana with a purple colored helmet in my pants if anyone wants to see

    August 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Drew

    "UFL! Here I come!"
    -Honey Badger

    August 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bobster

    "Synthetic" marijuana? Hahahahah. What's the point if it's illegal anyway and the safety is a question? Might as well smoke the regular stuff...

    I don't even see why marijuana needs to be banned from sports. Anyone who smokes it will tell you it gives them absolutely NO advantage in sports whatsoever. That'd be like saying smoking cigarettes or having a few beers a day somehow gives an athlete an unfair advantage. It's horrible reasoning to anyone who knows more about the substance than "drugs are bad, mmmk..."

    August 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pika

      Actually there are advantages with sports and marijuana, you just don't know.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 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. people who are against civil liberties and basic human rights are racists and bigots. how dare LSU takes Federal subsidies and uses them for destroy peoples lives.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • PAPilot

      He ruined his own life by disobeying the rules. Things are the way they are, not the way you think they ought to be.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • rkdres

      Perhaps a portion of those subsidies can be used to send you back to school to learn proper grammar.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • harryhaller

      Ruined his entire life? Funny, I thought college was for studying and becoming prepared for an actual career. He is off the team, but the story does not say he is kicked out of the university. So, he can continue his education and still become a nuclear physicist! And he can play football in the park on Sunday when he is done with his homework!

      August 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Rules are rules, but I guess that doesn't apply to you right?

      August 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug


      Can you absolutely butcher this word anymore than you already have? Ridiculous*

      August 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • lol

      I take back what I said about athletics being a distraction from education.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      1. He violated team rules.....rules that HE KNEW were in place. He basically crapped on his college career.

      2. It's a very far stretch to say his life is possibly ruined. No NFL GM will pass on this guy.....way too talented to not take a chance on him.

      3. Not if, but WHEN he goes to the NFL, he'll have the SAME RULES to comply with as he did in college. The question is whether he'll have the discipline and the smarts to do what is necessary to hold on to his million dollar job. If not, then IT'S HIS OWN FAULT!

      August 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • rollon

      He broke the rules! He needs to learn, you can’t break the rules. He did this to himself. We have rules that enable us to have basic human rights and civil liberties. He broke the rules too many times. And if he keeps breaking the rules he'll waste his special talents forever. This is a very sad day for the loss of this player.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rpelle

    praise for LSU. Les Miles did a difficult thing. The right thing.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      That wasn't the right thing at all. The idea that marijuana is illegal is beyond absurd, and ruining a promising career over something that hurts no one, affects no one else, is a travesty.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Richard Jones

    This took a lot of guts for this Coach to do this, but it was the right thing. Obviously something that Paterno, Woody Hayes, the Oaklahoma/Dallas Cowboys bozo, and many other coaches would not do. It will be interesting to see if anybody picks this boy up !!!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    Can't believe what a jerk this kid is! Maybe a learning moment for others in this??

    August 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ryan

    Penn State will Take him

    August 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Loveulongtime

    The world at his feet and he is being a pin head, Maybe he just needs a goood old fashioned beating to wake him up

    August 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ryan

    Another African American Gentleman with an abnormally low Intelligence Quotient!

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