BATON ROUGE (WBRZ) – LSU’s athletics department is penalizing its own football operations in hope of avoiding even steeper repercussions from the NCAA for past violations.
Sport Illustrated reports the school is docking eight of its football scholarships over a period a period of two years and reducing recruiting visits. Additionally, former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is banned from team facilities for two years over a controversy that unfolded after the Tigers’ national championship win earlier this year.
The penalties come after a years-long investigation revealed known LSU booster John Paul Funes had paid the father of a football player $180,000 between 2012 and 2017. Funes, the former head of the Our Lady of the Lake Foundation, has since pleaded guilty in an embezzlement scheme that took place during his time with OLOL.
LSU also self imposed recruiting restrictions on Coach Ed Orgeron over contact he had with a recruit during January 2019.
“LSU has worked proactively and in cooperation with the NCAA to identify and self-report any violations that occurred within our football program,” said Robert Munson, LSU Senior Associate Athletic Director. “We believe these self-imposed penalties are appropriate and we will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the NCAA on this matter.”
The NCAA still has yet to announce whether it will levy its own penalties against the team. If the league does opt to take action, it could go as far as imposing a post-season ban on the Tigers.
Beckham’s ban from LSU’s football facilities is the latest development in a saga stemming from the NFL star’s bizarre behavior after the national championship game back in January. Beckham was seen handing out cash to players immediately after the Tigers’ win over Clemson, a seemingly obvious violation of NCAA policy.
The current Cleveland Browns wide receiver also briefly had a warrant out for his arrest after he slapped the rear end of a guard who was accosting LSU players for smoking cigars in the Superdome after the win.