Report: LSU football to self-impose sanctions, including multi-year Odell Beckham Jr. ban from team facilities
Big news out of Baton Rouge: LSU football is reportedly self-imposing multiple penalties in hopes that the NCAA does not levy more sanctions.
The news comes from Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, an LSU insider from his time on the Tigers beat, and Pat Forde. SI reports that the school is “docking itself eight football scholarships over a two-year period and reducing recruiting visits, evaluations and communication.” Those measures come after a roughly two-year investigation uncovered “booster payments to the father of a football player,” per SI’s sources.
LSU is banning former Tigers standout Odell Beckham Jr. for two years from team facilities after the Cleveland Browns wide receiver handed out $2,000 in $100 bills to players after the national championship game in New Orleans.
SI reports that LSU notified the NCAA of these self-imposed sanctions earlier this month.
LSU responded to SI with a statement when contacted by Dellenger and Forde:
“LSU has worked proactively and in cooperation with the NCAA to identify and self-report any violations that occurred within our football program,” Robert Munson, LSU Senior Associate Athletic Director, said. “We believe these self-imposed penalties are appropriate and we will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the NCAA on this matter.”
SI details the scholarship and recruiting self-imposed penalties as follows:
The program will give up four scholarships in each of the next two years for a total of eight. Teams are normally allowed to have a maximum of 85 players on scholarship per year. The penalties will not impact the team’s ability to sign the maximum of 25 newcomers a year. Recruiting reductions include the elimination of 12.5% of official and unofficial visits, a 21-day reduction of the normal 168 days of allowable off-campus contacts and a six-week ban in communication with prospects.
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.
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.”
We’ll see if the NCAA is satisfied with LSU’s self-imposed sanctions to the football program now that the matters identified above are tied to the ongoing basketball investigation.