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LSU dismisses former Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu for a team rules violation

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(AP)

Apparently, the Honey Badger should have cared.

LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, who earned the nickname the "Honey Badger" last year for his blonde hair and his ferocious play, has been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules.

Mathieu was a Heisman finalist last year and was named the nation's top defensive player.

"This is a very difficult day for our team," LSU coach Les Miles said in a statement released by the school. "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.

"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."

[More SEC: Toomer's Oaks cleared for one of the sport's great traditions]

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(AP)

In two seasons with the Tigers, Mathieu had 133 total tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss and four interceptions. He also forced 11 fumbles, which ranks first in school history and seventh in NCAA history, and had eight fumble recoveries.

Miles did not give a specific reason for the dismissal, but Mathieu had been suspended for the Auburn game last year for an undisclosed violation of team rules, though several newspapers reported it was because of a failed drug test.

According to LSU's drug policy for athletes, a player is not suspended until he has a second positive test. A third positive test can result in dismissal or up to a year suspension.

Now, Mathieu's eligibility to play elsewhere is in question. As Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com points out, if Mathieu did fail a third test, he would not be eligible to play at another NCAA school. Feldman says Mathieu would have to be eligible to play at the school from which he's transferring. That means Mathieu might only be immediately eligible to play at an NAIA school or junior college immediately. Of course, Mathieu could sit out a season and play next year at the school of his choice provided that he was eligible.

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Also, Mathieu, a true junior, must wait one more year before he is eligible for the NFL.

With Mathieu gone, Miles said Odell Beckham would handle punt returns. Tharld Simon is the other corner opposite Mathieu, and redshirt freshmen Jalen Collins and Jalen Mills are listed second on the depth chart.

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