LSU Self-Imposing Penalties and Banning a Former Player
According to reports on Wednesday, the LSU Football Program will be handing itself a bit of a punishment for a two-year in the making investigation into boosters making payments to the father of a former player. LSU will strip itself of eight scholarships (four each year) for the next two years, a reduction in recruiting visits, evaluations, and communication with potential recruits.
In addition, they're immediately implementing a two-year ban for the former receiver and current Cleveland Browns star Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ was caught handing out $2,000 worth of money to LSU players on the field following the 2019 National Championship Game where the Tigers defeated Clemson.
Sports Illustrated reached out to LSU officials for comment on the situation and this is what Robert Munson, LSU Senior Associate Athletic Director had to say.
“LSU has worked proactively and in cooperation with the NCAA to identify and self-report any violations that occurred within our football program. We believe these self-imposed penalties are appropriate and we will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the NCAA on this matter.”
The only question remains is whether or not the NCAA will impose a more serious punishment against them or not...
The violations are considered to be in the most serious category that the NCAA has as level 1 violations. However, there are three tiers to the level 1 violations, and LSU's are considered to be in the lowest tier according to SI. The hope is that with the self-imposed penalties there won't be any postseason ban for the Tigers which would set them back after such a dynamic year in 2019.
One other major factor in this situation could be that the two men who held high positions among the athletic staff at the time when the booster payments occurred are no longer with LSU. Those men would be former AD Joe Alleva and former head football coach Les Miles.
The booster payments went to the father of former Tigers offensive lineman Vadal Alexander who was paid $180,000 in stolen money by booster John Paul Funes. In addition, Funes also admitted to embezzlement in 2019 from Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in B.R. worth more than half a million dollars.
We'll keep an eye on this story as it unfolds, develops, and as the NCAA gets involved.