Report: Odell Beckham Jr. Banned from LSU for 2 Years After Handing Players Cash

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 21, 2020

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 photo, Cleveland Browns wide receiver and former LSU star Odell Beckham Jr. walks off the field after the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game between Clemson and LSU in New Orleans. The New Orleans Police Department said Saturday, Jan 18, 2020, that a misdemeanor simple battery warrant for Beckham has been rescinded. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Odell Beckham Jr.'s celebration with LSU players after the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship has reportedly led the program to ban the former Tigers star.

Per Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde, Beckham received a two-year ban from school facilities for handing players cash as part of LSU's self-imposed sanctions related to booster payments.

Brooks Kubena of The Advocate cited documents from NCAA vice president of enforcement Jonathan Duncan that said LSU's initial findings determined Beckham handed out $2,000. 

Dellenger and Forde noted the Tigers are now "hoping the NCAA doesn’t levy more" sanctions after they self-imposed their own.

The other self-imposed restrictions include a reduction of eight scholarships over two years and "reducing recruiting visits, evaluations and communication after a nearly two-year investigation uncovered booster payments to the father of a football player."

According to Dellenger and Forde, the father of Vadal Alexander, who played offensive tackle at LSU from 2012-15, "received $180,000 in stolen money from LSU booster John Paul Funes, who admitted in 2019 that he embezzled more than half a million dollars from Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. The money was payment from 2012 to 2017 for what the NCAA characterized as a 'no-show job.'"

The school also self-imposed recruiting limits on head coach Ed Orgeron due to impermissible contact with a recruit in January 2019. 

Following LSU's 42-25 win over Clemson to cap off a 15-0 season, Beckham was seen handing out wads of cash to players on the team as they were celebrating on the field. 

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LSU's athletic department confirmed on Jan. 15 that Beckham was handing out real money, which could have constituted a violation of NCAA rules. 

Per NCAA bylaws, boosters aren't allowed to provide financial assistance to student-athletes or their friends, relatives or guardians. 

Beckham played at LSU for three seasons from 2011 to '13. He was named to the All-SEC first team as a junior in 2013 after recording 1,152 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 59 receptions. 

After leaving school early to enter the NFL draft, Beckham was selected No. 12 overall by the New York Giants in 2014. He made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons. The Giants traded him to the Browns in March 2019.