All-American defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, whose fans at LSU copycatted Collin Klein in giving him the “Honey Badger” moniker, has been kicked off the team by LSU coach Les Miles. Miles cited a “violation of team policy” in making the move.
Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Mathieu was widely believed to be one of the best returning players for the Tigers. The man I’ve always referred to as “the fake Honey Badger” (given that KSU fans were calling Klein that several months before anyone ever referred to Mathieu that way) finished fifth in the Heisman voting last season, after scoring two touchdowns on both defense and as a return man. Of the situation, Les Miles said:
This is a very difficult day for our team. 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.
There were inklings of trouble as early as last season. Mathieu was suspended for one game, after failing a drug test. (Coincidentally, I’m sure, he returned the next week, just in time for LSU’s regular season match-up with the Alabama Crimson Tide, which the Tigers won.) It’s unclear what happened this time, but it’s probably a fairly safe assumption that it is a similar type of offense.
It is expected that Mathieu will transfer to a Division 1-AA (FCS) school, where he could play immediately this season. At this point, Mathieu’s NFL draft stock is up in the air.