Sat, 19 Sep 2020

Report: Penalties unlikely for LSU, players who got cash from OBJ

Field Level Media
19 Jan 2020, 04:40 GMT+10

LSU and members of its national championship team are "unlikely" to face penalties from the NCAA stemming from players apparently accepting cash from Odell Beckham Jr. following the Tigers' 42-25 win over Clemson, according to a report Saturday by CBS Sports.

The LSU football program has been under extra scrutiny this week following its win Monday night in New Orleans, where Cleveland Browns and former LSU wide receiver Beckham was seen handing out cash to LSU players on the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

CBS Sports cited two compliance experts, who noted that any junior or senior headed to the NFL draft would likely not be impacted, while underclassmen would be required to pay back the money to avoid suspension.

"My takeaway is that they were celebrating and having fun," said former NCAA official Tim Nevius. "This is overly scrutinized despite the fact it could potentially be a rules violation. But it is unlikely to impact anyone's eligibility because the guys who accepted the money are leaving.

"And any underclassmen who got money, there is a threshold that will require them to repay the money that would not likely result in a suspension."

That threshold ranges from $200-$500. Nevius also noted that the NCAA might, however, investigate whether the incident was a scheme by a booster to compensate players. Beckham may be considered a booster after donating headphones to LSU players prior to the game. The NCAA did approve the gifts.

"If they've already played in their last game, they're probably not going to be implicated by the rules," said Brian Battle, former Florida State and FAU compliance official.

The report noted that an LSU official showed CBS Sports a counterfeit bill the morning after the game and said that's what was handed out by Beckham. However later that night, Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow said on the "Pardon My Take" podcast that the money was authentic.

"I'm not a student-athlete anymore, so I can say yeah," Burrow said on the podcast by Barstool Sports.

--Field Level Media

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