We’re sorry that Tyrann Mathieu is no longer a member of the LSU football team. LSU football coach Les Miles and LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said that Mathieu, a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist, was dismissed because of a violation of both team and university policy. They did not elaborate, but media outlets, citing unnamed sources, said Mathieu’s dismissal was the result of a failed drug test.
The dismissal of Mathieu, a colorful player nicknamed the “Honey Badger,” suggests that LSU officials are serious about enforcing rules, even when such discipline means the loss of talented football players. That kind of resolve can be challenging in a community where Tiger football is something of a religion.
We know very little about the specific circumstances leading to Mathieu’s dismissal. But we believe that clearly enforcing team and university rules, whatever its short-term consequences on LSU’s football team, will be good for the football program in the long run. Such expectations help create a climate in which young people can thrive — not only as athletes, but as students and human beings.