LSU announces self-imposed 2020 bowl ban
LSU started 2020 by winning the biggest game of the college football postseason, the College Football Playoff national championship game. Now, in December, the school has announced it won’t participate in a bowl game at the end of this season.
LSU athletics and Tigers head football coach Ed Orgeron each released statements Wednesday evening announcing a self-imposed bowl ban for the 2020 season.
LSU Athletics statement:
“LSU has informed the NCAA and SEC that it will self-impose a one-year postseason ban on its football program for the 2020-21 bowl season, in addition to self-imposed sanctions already declared. LSU leadership made this decision after careful deliberation and review of the NCAA rules violations that have been discovered in the University’s cooperative investigation with the NCAA and IARP. This decision reflects LSU’s commitment to compliance with NCAA regulations and maintenance of institutional control. We regret the impact that this decision has on our current student-athletes, but we make it in the best interest of the football program and University. LSU will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and IARP throughout the enforcement process.”
“I respect the university’s decision to proactively address NCAA issues from the past. I share the disappointment of our student-athletes who will not be able to compete this season in a bowl game. I am especially proud of our players’ dedication to the program during these unprecedented times in our country. Their pride in LSU will be the driving force as we continue to build a championship program. Geaux Tigers.”
The bowl ban is LSU football’s latest self-imposed penalty. Earlier this year, the school announced a reduction in scholarships and a multi-year ban of Odell Beckham Jr. from team facilities. The football program is dealing with an NCAA investigation involving multiple violations. Sports Illustrated had a lengthy report on the matter in October:
The SI report details that the booster payments to a player’s father happened while Joe Alleva was athletic director and Les Miles was the head football coach. The father of former offensive lineman Vadal Alexander received $180,000 in stolen money from LSU booster John Paul Funes, who pleaded guilty to federal felony wire fraud and money laundering charges. The investigation noted Ed Orgeron had impermissible contact with a recruit in January 2019.
Those violations are in addition to Beckham handing out cash to some 2019 LSU players at the national championship game in New Orleans. LSU could be waiting months for an NCAA resolution as the football program investigation is reportedly tied as an NCAA case to the investigation into Will Wade’s basketball program. From October:
SI’s lengthy report further details that LSU had hoped the NCAA would rule on the football matters and the investigation into Will Wade’s basketball program separately. The NCAA, however, has jointly referred both to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process as opposed to the traditional hearing panel, the Committee of Infractions. While the football investigation is complete, “the basketball case is expected to drag on for as long as another year.”
Orgeron’s squad is currently 3-5 with games remaining against Florida and Ole Miss. Earlier this year, the NCAA waived win requirements for bowl games this season due to the unique circumstances of the FBS season.