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. Required name

    I can't believe LSU would do this considering the school has absolutely no moral character...

    August 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Richard Jones

    Now we here fron the dodo Brian. Hey Brian, IT"S AGAINST THR RULES !!! If you ever get a paying job, you better remember that !!!!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Vad

    Must have been a pretty bad blowout between him and Les Miles. I am curious to know what actually happened.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. No Brainer

    If you're playing college sports at a high enough level to get drug tested, there is a lot on the line for everyone involved. Maybe it'd be a good idea to put that pipe in storage for a couple of years. That being said, a 20/yo kid deserves a little leniency. Maybe a suspension for a game or two is better than totally cutting him, which takes his scholarship and could mean no more school. A college education is more important than football.

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

      If this was a drug offense then it would be his third he failed.....he had enough chances now it is time to get someone in that respects his team.

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

      I agree. And I am a die hard Auburn Tiger fan. He's only twenty. You have to consider the fact the only reason he may be able to go to college is through a football scholarship. I'm sure there were other options, but it is what it is. Hopefully he'll learn from this, get his education and find success in something

      August 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      He already had his suspension for a game for a prior instance of drug use. How many 'suspensions' do you want to give the guy? He screwed up, was punished and got a second chance. Now he screwed up again.....

      August 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barada

      He got suspended for one game last time he got busted. Who knows what he did this time. Good for LSU!

      August 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dm54

    half you guys on here just mad cause you were not good enough to play sports.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lakotahope

    Nothing left to do, but go to the NFL. If he didn't play sports, he would be just like any other student that smoked pot. President Obama and Clinton are part of this crowd.

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

      What "crowd" are you talking about?

      August 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • agentxyz

      What's wrong with smoking pot?

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

      As well as Bush and Reagan...

      August 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 22X Richer

    It matters not what LSU does because the NFL draft is king. He will be picked up by a team regardless of past issues. The NFL has a history of picking up troubled, youthful players and not fostering or nurturing them to manhood. Instead they allow them to continue the bad behavior with a game suspension here and a fine there as the player slowly self destructs.

    Lesson: Set a low bar of expectation and players will continue to climb under.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • REALLY?

      Why is it the college OR the NFL's job to raise these kids? Where are their families or friends? What responsibility do THEY have to raise these little dirtbags?

      August 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. rad666

    Well at least LSU has more integrity than Penn State. They did not let money greed or power stand in their way when it came to making the decision to release this kid. Unlike Penn state who sold their soul to the devil over football.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rosie

    You have to follow the rules until you have enough money to make the rules. Not many of us ever get that rich, and he definitely never was either, playing football. The idiot.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Paganini

    Wow, you've got to be a TOTAL derelict to get kicked off of LSU's football team. That really takes some doing.

    While race is absolutely not the issue, what a colossal waste of a college scholarship. Give the scholarships to kids who actually have an interest in going to college – and just pay these future NFL players for their internship.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Well, figures.

    A pretty unique one, not bad either. So, that's what kind of name it is 🙂

    August 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. anon

    Urban Meyer should snag him up for OSU. OSU cannot play for a Bowl this year so it's win win. He gets to play and he helps OSU in terms of recruitment. He'll get into the NFL that way and can go do whatever he wants, ie, get arrested or not. He'd help Ohio State and Ohio State would help him.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Are You Kidding?

    well it must have been very bad.....and after what happened at Pen State I think this may happen a lot more often when talented players screw up because they think they are above rules. I loved watching this kid play and I hope what ever he did he excepts help before it's to late. There are a lot of players that use to be in the NFL that are examples of wasting talent....

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


      IN PEN state the coach was a has nothing to do with the players.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • King

      Whether it's coaches or not @Jug, it don't matter. ANY rule infraction or anything that can bring the program down in a bad light, you better believe the School is going to take measures like this. Penn State was just the example.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeachAman

      I think it's funny when people say Sandusky was a pedophile ... those guys were over 18. He was guilty of a lot of things but 'molesting children' wasnt one of them. Other than that, yeah I agree Penn State's problems were with the coaching staff, not the players.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jesse

    Not really all that good. Was more a hype machine based around name and trash talk. Too small for NFL, last we ever hear of this guy. And as the saying goes, "honeybadger don't give a sh!t.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Martin

    He looks like Lester from "Red Dwarf"

    August 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dale

      I wonder if he will move to Fiji?

      August 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
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