Louisiana State University has banned Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from its facilities for the next two years, according to Yahoo Sports. The athlete’s alma mater was forced to put the restriction in place after he was recorded handing out $100 bills to players after the team won the National Championship Game over the Clemson Tigers back in January. The university stated that he handed out $2,000 to the college athletes, which was a violation of NCAA rules.
The penalty regarding Beckham is not the only one that LSU has agreed to self-impose. Limitations on the number of scholarships and recruitment visits are also set to be put in place due to other violations.
Sources said that LSU will give up a total of eight scholarships, four per season, over the next two years. It will also take off 21 days during the 168 allowable off-campus contact days. Additionally, a six-week ban of communication with recruits will be put in place at the same time as the other enforced penalties, according to a recent report from Sports Illustrated.
Three separate incidents sparked the university to take the recent corrective actions. In addition to Beckham’s cash payments, there is evidence of embezzlement and illegal recruiting by members of the coaching staff. In terms of embezzling, the father of offensive lineman Vadal Alexander purportedly received over $100,000 from one of the school’s boosters, John Paul Funes. Funes admitted the money was stolen, and that he took more than $500,000 from a local hospital in Baton Rouge. Additionally, LSU coach Ed Orgeron illegally recruited an athlete in 2019.
Rather than waiting for the NCAA to impose a punishment for the previously listed actions, the school decided that it would take matters into its own hands with self-imposed penalties. Sources have reported that the program worked with the NCAA to find punishments that would fit the crimes.
“LSU has worked proactively and in cooperation with the NCAA to identify and self-report any violations that occurred within our football program,” the school’s Senior Associate Athletic Director, Robert Munson, said in a public statement. “We believe these self-imposed penalties are appropriate and we will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the NCAA on this matter.”
The football program is not the only sport currently under investigation at the college. The head coach of the men’s basketball club, Will Wade, has been under close watch since September 2018. Wade allegedly provided unauthorized payments to at least 11 recruits, their families, and/or people associated with them.