BATON ROUGE (RNN) - Louisiana State University defensive back Tyrann Mathieu has been dismissed from the school's football team for an unspecified rules violation.
Mathieu bolted to the forefront of the Heisman Trophy campaign in 2011 before losing to eventual winner Robert Griffin III.
LSU head coach Les Miles did not specify the reason for the decision at a news conference Friday.
Mathieu violated an athletic department rule and had his scholarship revoked, according to Athletic Director Joe Alleva.
"This is a very difficult day for our team," 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."
The Tigers were recently voted the top team in the preseason coaches' poll an were entering the season with high hopes for a BCS title, despite losing the national title game 21-0 to Alabama last season.
LSU's most dynamic player from a year ago played a major part in the team's success.
Mathieu was named the 2011 National Defensive Player of the Year, unanimous first-team All-American and received the Bednarik Award.
He finished fifth in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting with 327 total points and 34 first-place votes, but he faced his share of hurdles to get there - both on and off the field.
Mathieu was suspended for the Auburn game last season for a violation of the team's drug policies.
But while he was on the field, Mathieu used his 5'9", 180-pound frame to become an explosive playmaker for the Tigers as a cornerback as well as returning kicks.
Mathieu earned the nickname "Honey Badger" for his fearless play, despite his slight build.
In 26 career games, he has forced 14 turnovers and holds the school record for forced fumbles with 11. He has scored twice on fumble recoveries and two more times on punt returns.
Mathieu has also racked up 133 career tackles, 16 for loss, and four interceptions.
The New Orleans native was entering his junior season this year as a candidate for the Heisman, and he was also on the preseason watch lists for several other individual honors, including the Walter Camp and Jim Thorpe awards.
Mathieu has two years of eligibility remaining and can play right away if he transfers down to a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school, but he is ineligible to play major college football this season for a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team.
"It's hard because we all love Tyrann," Miles said. "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."
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