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. CAMEO35

    ........................PRAISE BE TO THE COACH.................

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

    Sad when you have EVERYTHING going for you and you take it for granted.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 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 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. just bob

    Thug life eventually catched up to you.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jay011

    I bet it was for weed. I believe he should be able to smoke if he wants. Hell they can drink alchol, worse than weed. Laws need to be changed because times have changed. Ruining his career over stupid thing like weed, which does no harm to him what so ever. I am successful business man who is well educated and smoke everday for the last 12 years. I am actually healthier than what i was when i wasnt smoking. Border line diabetic. But no longer have that problem.

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

      Hey Jay -boy. It's not about a law. It's a rule. Tell us more about your business success and your education ????

      August 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • g

      then get a chest xray and check out those healthy black lungs

      August 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • PaulieJ

      Wonder what your doctors would say about the health of your lungs compared to someone who hasn't smoked anything for the past 12yrs?
      Regardless, which is more stupid ...
      The current marijuana laws?
      Or the person with literally the world in front of them as a Heisman trophy candidate and about as sure a lock as you can get to what would like be a promising pro career that decides to do something they KNOW is against the rules and risk losing all of that because they wanted to get high?
      Now, if his life goal was to be a martyr to try and change the country's views on the legality of marijuana than I can admire his convictions in light of the risks he was taking.
      However, I HIGHLY doubt that was his ambition ... at all. Just another name making a foolish choice and now living with the consequences of those choices.
      Regardless of my opinions on marijuana laws I have zero sympathy for this young man. He had opportunities that many only dream about and he chose to throw them away for something as stupid as wanting to get high.
      Hopefully he's learned his lesson and perhaps with luck he'll land on his feet and get a chance to play someplace else. But, if he doesn't I won't shed a tear over it.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. snowdogg

    I'm sure there are other colleges in contact with his agent at this very moment.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. yeah yeah

    why no post?

    August 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Loose

    Are the negative comments necessary? Bad break for a yooung man.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • self-induced

      Bad break? That he was caught breaking established team rules – maybe TWICE? Don't be a coddler.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Its not a bad break for a young man. He knowingly broke the rules. Only he is responsible. The only bad break is the problem he created for himself. If this is how he wants to behave, that's fine, but he has no place on the football team.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. yeah yeah

    College athletics is a farce. Make it grade-dependent, automatically expel the mischievants, and return college athletics to extra-curricular rather than supra-curricular status.

    If you want to be an athlete, professional organizations should spend their profits on academies and lesser leagues to showcase and grow the next generation of spectacle...and leave college to those who care about bettering our society rather than draining it with unproductive entertainment.

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

      Would you actually watch if it was moderately athletic scholars in low-scoring, low-interest games?

      August 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deej59

      I won't argue that college sports has become a giant monster with way too much sway over everything, but I will point out that your school's football and basketball programs probably pay for a lot of the best things your school has to offer you as a student. The football program is huge at any given college for a reason. It keeps the rest of the school funded.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. slaythedonkey

    If y'all commit da crime, ya do da time!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. richard

    Les made big error in playing his bad boy QB last year and put Lee on the bench.. Ever think WHY that.was done. And he lost with the bad boy QB... Someone had better start looking at Les. and his staff....

    August 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 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 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Say what? Racist? Get a clue idiot. He broke the ruels. What's to understand?

      August 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Pika

    Yeah, lets just throw another person with a great future to the curb just becuase he smokes a little marijuana. It's not the marijuana holding people back it's the rules and people who enforce them. Where would Phelps and Obama be if they where treated the same way? Not where they are now, that is for sure. I can't believe how stupid people are.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dm54

    so Mr.Bob who said that hes from the ghetto.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GBAZ

    Well, Tyrann's life just got better. Some pro-football organization will now draft him and offer him big bucks. Why? Because he's already in the news.

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